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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Great Tragedy of Our Age...

... is that you can't differentiate anymore real life from The Onion.



Sessions̢۪ own church accuses him of child abuse over immigration policy

Seriously, I often open up multiple tabs of my web browser, The Onion being one among many of the other supposedly serious news websites. Lately I do need to check, multiple times, which page I am really in.

77 comments:

Bret said...

At least tens of thousands of children are separated from their parents each year. Many of those are separated due to Child Protection Services, often without any sort of due process, more due to parents being put in jail, often for victimless crimes like using drugs or prostitution, many of the latter being easily solved for the benefit of the children by using house arrest instead of jail if we're not gonna get rid of such laws that damage society with limited benefit.

So we take children from parents. Lots and lots of them. For lots of reasons, illegal immigration being only one of them and only a small fraction of children who are taken from parents in the United States are those of illegal immigrants.

I'm wondering why this small fraction of children should hold a special focus for me over all of the other children? I'm wondering why I should care about Sessions attitude towards them? I'm wondering why he should be lambasted for enforcing these particular laws, but not others that also cause parents and children to be separated?

It's really not resonating with me.

Clovis e Adri said...

The short answer is, you don't! You let that fot people with half a heart still pounding.

I just wanted an opportunity to post a picture of Sessions because I find it devishly funny all by itself.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

BTW, instead of writing the long answer to your questions, I will refer you to people who may better answer the questions about Law, in both practical (Dershowitz) and philosophical (Boudreaux) terms.


https://cafehayek.com/2018/06/law-legislation-trump-administrations-cruelty.html

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/06/18/alan-dershowitz-mr-president-please-end-policy-separating-children-from-parents.html

I better not to say too much myself, least you guys steal my kids next time I visit the US.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I better not to say too much myself, least you guys steal my kids next time I visit the US."

Are you planning on visiting illegally? :-)

Anyway, apparently Trump agrees with Dershowitz at some level given the recent executive order. However, there may be a court injunction against it shortly: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/20/white-house-separated-families-legal-battles-659010

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I have a tourist visa, of course, but since you are taking children away from people for a misdemeanor offense without any previous due legal process in place (contrast that with your other examples of breaking families due to incarceration of parents), to have a visa means very little. You will soon take children away from any brown person crossing a red light.


Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] but since you are taking children away from people for a misdemeanor offense without any previous due legal process in place ...

Wrong, and wrong again.

Think about the implication: "asylum seeker" (those are scare quotes) have a legal way to enter the US -- through a border control checkpoint, and make an asylum claim. In everyone of the cases you are so exercised about, illegal immigrants flouted the legal process, then used "their" children as a get out of jail free card.

If the administration does nothing about this, then that, de facto, means the US, alone among every country in the world, has foregone the right to decide who may reside in the US.

Moreover, you have created a special class of people whose privileges under US law exceed those of US citizens.

Really?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Every other sane nation on Earth gets to enforce their border control without separating families. It is a no brainer.

You created a needlessly contrived process, and faced with the consequences your own legislature created (loopholes allowing people to enter with kids), your president took the coward path: take the children hostages to achieve the legislative agenda he wanted.

If the US has "foregone the right to decide who may reside in the US", that's on you guys only. Go and take the issue with your Congress, instead of isolating toddlers, crying and soiling themselves the whole day alone in chicken cages.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "...has foregone the right to decide who may reside in the US."

Not exactly. More it has sorta foregone part of the control of the process of who enters the U.S. The people crossing still have some trouble trying to reside here and there are ways to make it even harder if we really cared.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...your president took the coward path..."

Why is that cowardly? I could understand ruthless or other negative descriptions, but I'm trying to see cowardly.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...since you are taking children away from people for a misdemeanor offense without any previous due legal process in place..."

I wasn't aware of that. Do you have a link with an example of someone on a valid tourist visa having their children taken away for running a red light? How many times does that happen per year? Out of how many tourists? Only brown tourists? Or would the same thing happen to, say, a Canadian (given that Trump doesn't much like the Canadian prime minister)?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Every other sane nation on Earth gets to enforce their border control without separating families. It is a no brainer.

Oh really?

Tell that to Canada.

... your president took the coward path ...

I'm with Bret, whatever it was, it surely wasn't cowardly. But what it did to is expose to the light of day what the law and court decisions require. And it also equally exposed grotesque Democrat hypocrisy: this is apparently the worst thing ever, so bad that they refuse to do anything about it.

Here is the whole sorry story.

And immigration isn't only an American problem.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] ... instead of isolating toddlers, crying and soiling themselves the whole day alone in chicken cages.

Hello, fake news.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Hello, fake news.
---
https://www.apnews.com/9794de32d39d4c6f89fbefaea3780769

Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, met with a 16-year-old girl who had been taking care of a young girl for three days. The teen and others in their cage thought the girl was 2 years old.

“She had to teach other kids in the cell to change her diaper,” Brane said.

[...]

Dr. Colleen Kraft, the head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said that she visited a small shelter in Texas recently, which she declined to identity. A toddler inside the 60-bed facility caught her eye — she was crying uncontrollably and pounding her little fists on mat.

Staff members tried to console the child, who looked to be about 2 years old, Kraft said. She had been taken from her mother the night before and brought to the shelter.

The staff gave her books and toys — but they weren’t allowed to pick her up, to hold her or hug her to try to calm her. As a rule, staff aren’t allowed to touch the children there, she said.

“The stress is overwhelming,” she said. “The focus needs to be on the welfare of these children, absent of politics.”


And there is also this:

https://twitter.com/nick_ramsey/status/1007424552245264384

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Tell that to Canada.
---
From your link:

"Last year, 151 minors were detained with their parents in Canadian immigration holding centres.

Eleven others were held in custody unaccompanied by an adult, according to the Canada Border Services Agency."


---
I'm with Bret, whatever it was, it surely wasn't cowardly.
---
Yeah, it takes a very brave man to cage toddlers. And very brave lemmings to support him doing so.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
Clovis wrote: "...since you are taking children away from people for a misdemeanor offense without any previous due legal process in place..."

I wasn't aware of that. Do you have a link with an example of someone on a valid tourist visa having their children taken away for running a red light?
---

Sorry, but you look to be mixing the real example (illegal immigrants losing their children over a misdemeanor offense - entering the USA illegally the first time is only a misdemeanor, in case you are missing this point) with my snark remark on the red light.

Though my comment was not wholly hypothetical:

"In our data, the success rate of searches (or the hit rate) is generally lower for Hispanic drivers compared to whites; so the outcome test indicates Hispanics face discrimination. For black drivers, search hit rates are typically in line with those of white drivers, indicating an absence of discrimination."


erp said...

Why is this an issue now when Trump did not put children in cages, but was glossed over when Obama actually did it? The other issue is that most of these " kids" aren't small children and the people with them aren't their parents.

In due time, it will all be revealed for the scam it is.

Clovis e Adri said...

These kids are real, and their "parents" are mostly real parents.

Notice I live in a country who is a supplier of illegal immigrants too.

There are 49 Brazilian kids among the +2000 locked up from April to end of May. There are stories running down here about some of them and their parents.

They are real people, who may have chosen very poorly indeed, but they do not deserve to lose their kids for that. Only a barbarian society would elect to punish the parents by torturing their children. And yes, torture is the right word: small kids have no way to understand the situation they are in, and they do think they are losing their parents forever, being traumatized by the experience. Even the older kids get traumatized, they stay days to weeks without any contact or news about the parent, completely ignorant of their own future.

If you guys want to defenf this policy is right somehow, feel free to make the argument, but stop with this obfuscation posing none of those things are happening.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, met with a 16-year-old girl who had been taking care of a young girl for three days.

No doubt these children are, for brief periods, in less than ideal conditions. But they aren't chicken cages, and may well be materially better than where they came from.

NB: This isn't to minimize the problem. But aside from being separated from parents (keeping in mind the rapidly increasing frequency of faux parental relationships), the conditions aren't the least onerous.

[Clovis:] If you guys want to defenf this policy is right somehow, feel free to make the argument, but stop with this obfuscation posing none of those things are happening.

From your AP link: In Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for people trying to enter the U.S., Border Patrol officials argue that they have to crack down on migrants and separate adults from children as a deterrent to others.

“When you exempt a group of people from the law ... that creates a draw,” said Manuel Padilla, the Border Patrol’s chief agent here. “That creates the trends right here.”


Which is exactly what was happening. Adults caught with minors were released on their own recognizance. A very large, and increasing percentage absconded. Which is the reason why the administration has decided to detain illegal immigrants, even though they are with children -- it became seen as a get out of jail free card. Exemption from the law created the problem.

They are real people, who may have chosen very poorly indeed, but they do not deserve to lose their kids for that. Only a barbarian society would elect to punish the parents by torturing their children.

Deserve? You are putting much more weight on that word than it can hold. US citizens who are arrested after making poor choices are separated from their children. Is that barbaric? If not, and that is the correct answer, then it begs asking why illegal immigrants should receive more consideration than US citizens.

This is a terrible situation, but it isn't an uncaused effect.

Illegal immigrants have increasingly exploited the "catch and release" loophole if they claim asylum and are accompanied by minors. If the US continues that policy, then the consequence is effectively declaring an open border. Yet enforcing the law, as affected by court decisions, both of which long predate the Trump administration, will create this awful situation.

So what's the answer?


Hey Skipper said...

Oh, and it is worth noting that separating children from their parents also occurred during the Obama administration.

Which makes one wonder about double standards.

erp said...

Which makes me wonder why, if per Clovis,
Every other sane nation on Earth gets to enforce their border control without separating families. It is a no brainer
are all these people coming here?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Oh, and it is worth noting that separating children from their parents also occurred during the Obama administration.
Which makes one wonder about double standards.
---
That ambiguity exists only for the innumerate.


---
US citizens who are arrested after making poor choices are separated from their children. Is that barbaric?
---
For a misdemeanor? Certainly it would be, but it is not the case. Try to find a real analogue first.


---
Illegal immigrants have increasingly exploited the "catch and release" loophole if they claim asylum and are accompanied by minors. If the US continues that policy, then the consequence is effectively declaring an open border. Yet enforcing the law, as affected by court decisions, both of which long predate the Trump administration, will create this awful situation.

So what's the answer?
---
You are certainly asking the wrong person. I am only a citizen of another nation puzzled by the corruption of your hearts, to the point little children became tools to your political disputes.

There are far too many trivial solutions (among them, the one presently adopted by Trump's EO). What you are asking me though is "How do I make my Congress to stop kicking the can and solving this utterly trivial issue?".

To what I can only answer that, having a much more dysfunctional Congress than yours -- to the point some of my fellow citizens make the mistake of invading your country upon the illusion they will improve their lot -- I am the last person you should address that question.

I can contribute a few cents to that Wall, though. Where is the donation website?



Peter said...

People, people, let's get a grip. Can we try to find our moral compasses without engaging in whataboutism?

A) This is not high on the all time list of human atrocities and cruelties, but it is a poignant, difficult situation that offends many people. It should be remedied forthwith without whining about what Obama did or what Hilary would have done;

B) The Dems are rending their garments and preening morally, but that's about all the Dems do these days. They may think there is a place for them in Heaven, but they certainly aren't doing anything to resolve the problem. But that doesn't justify mistreatment of anybody and we on the right shouldn't pretend it does.

C) Clovis reports that Brazilians are upset about all this and I can tell you Canadians are too. We are, of course, entitled to take this position because we are morally superior people who, if faced with millions of illegal immigrants crossing out borders, would welcome them with hugs and a fine dinner and join with them in singing odes to our common humanity. Right, Clovis?

To my American friends, please stop defining your bedrock moral principles on the basis of what this or that President is saying or doing. Try the scriptures or the great philosophers instead.
We're living in a world where the GOP is defending the barbaric practice of separating young children from their mothers and the Dems are responding to the prospect of peace in Korea by slamming the cancelling of war games. Honestly, we in the rest of the world can't take much more of this, and I'm not sure you can either.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

----
We are, of course, entitled to take this position because we are morally superior people who, if faced with millions of illegal immigrants crossing out borders, would welcome them with hugs and a fine dinner and join with them in singing odes to our common humanity. Right, Clovis?
----

Good point, though I submit it should be applied the other way around too: just imagine the US reaction if Canada or Mexico were caging US toddlers...

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "just imagine the US reaction if Canada ... were caging US toddlers..."

Aren't they? I'm guessing they are. How do you know that the "[e]leven others were held in custody unaccompanied by an adult" were not U.S. citizens and weren't young?

Peter said...

Clovis:

Canada has had a lot of immigration for quite some years now, which has changed the demographic of our large and medium-sized cities. Overall, it's been a huge success story. I'm proud of it and there is really no credible anti-immigration political force here. But I am also very aware that the success is built on selectivity of candidates, a mixture of source countries and the assumption it is being controlled. Recently there has been some publicity about refugees illegally crossing the border. They are a mere trickle compared to what our friends are experiencing, but the public reaction is strongly negative and alarmed. If that were to continue or pick up steam, I think our reputation for tolerance would take a big hit. To be totally frank, after watching this brief carefully for many years, if I had to choose which of the two countries showed the most generically tolerate and welcoming animus, I would probably choose the States. Needless to say, that would not make me popular at Canadian cocktail parties.

But I agree. Separating young children from their mothers is barbaric and should be stopped regardless of what that might mean for the congressional mid-terms.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

?!?

Americans need no visa to enter Canada.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

---
To be totally frank, after watching this brief carefully for many years, if I had to choose which of the two countries showed the most generically tolerate and welcoming animus, I would probably choose the States.
---

I am not really surprised by your conclusion.

I had once a chance to go to Canada. I was invited to a conference there, all expenses paid, when I was living in Germany. I went to check how to get a visa, and it was so bureaucratic I gave up. (I also got annoyed that I would need to give them a year of my personal banking accounts receipts, to prove I was not too poor to apply, I guess).

Brazil is presently receiving a large influx of Venezuelans, running away from their mess. I am pretty happy we can help, and I know people personally involved in programs to help them out. Yet, our leading candidate for the presidental election in October is on the record saying he wants to place them all in a concentration camp (yes, he used the word "concentration", on purpose). He is worse than Trump and will deal far more damage if elected.

Anyway, back to the US, I am well aware I am criticizing a nation which has done far more to help foreigners and immigrants than most other countries. Actually, the feeling of disappointment is half the reason I am mad at them.

Peter said...

You are reaching, Bret. Unless, perhaps, you think the kids are children of Dems fleeing Trump in the dead of night. :-)

Bret said...

Peter wrote: "This is not high on the all time list of human atrocities and cruelties..."

Yes, and in the end I'm finding I'm having trouble dredging up the energy to even figure out if I should much care (maybe I should borrow Melania's jacket?). Oh sure, I care about children, mine in particular and all children in general to some extent, but I can kinda see the many sides to this issue.

The two biggest variables in coming up with a position seem to me to be: (a) how Machiavellian one wishes to be; and (b) how important it is to stop immigration, particularly from points south. For example, if one thinks it's critically important to stop immigration and one is an "ends justifies the means" kinda person, then of course one would think it imperative to make such immigrants' lives as miserable as possible as a deterrent. At the other end of the spectrum, if one thinks immigration from central and south america is a good thing (or at least not bad) and one doesn't think any ends can justify any possibly unpleasant means, then of course one would think ALL of the current immigration policies are awful, including and perhaps especially how these children are handled.

I was concerned when Clovis claimed his children would be taken away if while visiting under a valid tourist visa he ran a red light, but it seems that was unserious snark. Nothing wrong with snark, of course, but nothing else above really grabs my attention. The abuses of Child Protection Services have always been way more of a concern to me.

erp said...

Bret, me too. The abuses by those paid to safeguard children are rampant. I was on the state board in Vermont and had to resign because I was being called a nazi when I objected to a two year being returned to his mother and her abusive boyfriend because he was their only source of income.

That was the last straw, but tons more similar things were routine and as you know, Vermont is as far to the left as is possible.

Did you see the pictures of the "children" being sent to a refuge in NYS courtesy of you and me? They were all grown men, one sporting a luxurious mustache.

I can't wait until these vile creatures are exposed and incarcerated and the illegals are sent home. Bonafide refugees can seek entry legally and follow the law to citizenry.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Americans need no visa to enter Canada."

OK.

It's been so long since I've been to Canada that I didn't remember that. However, I do remember being grilled at the border entry check point and very nearly turned away because I didn't have all that much cash on me (and they were worried I couldn't "afford" to make my way back out of the country).

My understanding is that for American to be legal in Canada he has to enter via a valid checkpoint and there's a time limit on how long he can stay and can only work with an appropriate visa. So it's easily possible for an american to be there illegally and indeed many are there illegally to work.

Peter said...

Bret:

Remember Elian Gonzalez and this notorious pic? Here is what America's most insufferable liberal wrote in America's most liberal newspaper at the time:

Yup, I gotta confess, that now-famous picture of a U.S. marshal in Miami pointing an automatic weapon toward Donato Dalrymple and ordering him in the name of the U.S. government to turn over Elian Gonzalez warmed my heart. They should put that picture up in every visa line in every U.S. consulate around the world, with a caption that reads: ''America is a country where the rule of law rules. This picture illustrates what happens to those who defy the rule of law and how far our government and people will go to preserve it. Come all ye who understand that.''
— Thomas Friedman, writing in the New York Times, April 25, 2000


Gosh, can someone remind me who the President was then?

My point is simply that, while there is no doubt the Dems are fueling emotional outrage hypocritically (gun control last month, refugee children this month, who knows what next month) for political reasons, we shouldn't fall into the trap of defending the indefensible in response to them for the same reasons. Some tough measures are going to be needed to solve this mess, but surely there are some that don't involve terrifying and being cruel to small children.

erp said...

Come on Peter. That whole episode was to placate Castro and had nothing to do with a child and our laws.

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] Oh, and it is worth noting that separating children from their parents also occurred during the Obama administration. 

Which makes one wonder about double standards.

---

[Clovis:] That ambiguity exists only for the innumerate.


That's not an ambiguity, it is about double standards. And because of perverse incentives, it also a problem that has gotten worse over time. Which is the nettle you refuse to grasp.

[Hey Skipper:] US citizens who are arrested after making poor choices are separated from their children. Is that barbaric?

---

[Clovis:] For a misdemeanor? Certainly it would be, but it is not the case. Try to find a real analogue first.


Yes, for a misdemeanor. Just one example: If a US citizen gets caught driving with a revoked license — a misdemeanor — that citizen gets taken to jail and separated that citizen's children. Child Protective Services can separate parents from children without even a legal proceeding.

Also, you neglect to acknowledge the very high, and increasing, rate of illegal immigrants skipping on their court dates, and removing monitoring devices. Risk of absconding is reason for jailing a misdemeanor offense.

[Peter:] But I agree. Separating young children from their mothers is barbaric and should be stopped regardless of what that might mean for the congressional mid-terms.

I think it should be stopped, too. But we should give credit where it is due: the ruling of an activist, Obama appointed judge, vastly expanded the scope of the original decree [Flores v. Reno, which held that alien minors cannot be confined by the government for longer than 20 days. This 20-day cap contributed to the flood of Central American child-toting asylum seekers that picked up steam during President Obama’s second term.] and ordered the administration to release the detained minors. The Department of Homeland Security warned that ending family detention would trigger another border surge. Judge Gee dismissed this concern as “fear-mongering,” according to the Associated Press.

Which puts the administration in the position of continuing an extremely perverse incentive, or flouting the rule of law.

That said, I think you might be focusing too much on the immediate issue, without taking a step back. There can be no doubt that the Flores decree has had the result of greatly increasing the number of illegal immigrants bringing children with them. What if the long term consequence of that is worse than removing the incentive, even at the price of temporarily separating children from their parents who, let's not forget, were making complicit in the commission of a crime.

This whole affair has exposed the left's propagandistic double standards, and its obstruction of real immigration reform and border security. And it also exposes the "now what" problem: Some tough measures are going to be needed to solve this mess, but surely there are some that don't involve terrifying and being cruel to small children.

Fine. Now what?

(For me, "now what" is this: an EO negating Flores and establishing facilities to keep parents and their children together. Making it clear that anyone attempting entry into the US at other than openly through an immigration checkpoint has forever revoked the ability to claim asylum, or any other legal status. And also making it clear that very few asylum claims will be approved.)

erp said...

Skipper, yes on all points.

Hey Skipper said...

Two, yes two papers in one!

erp said...

I'll take your word for it. I wouldn't sign in with the Washington Post for love or money.

Hey Skipper said...

It's the NYT.

You can probably open the links in an incognito window.

But if you can't, the first is about how immigrants cause less crime than native born Americans.

The second describes MS-13 terrorizing a school.

erp said...

The first link (NYT) opened, but 2nd link is the Washington Post. It would be edifying if there would be full court press articles explaining the difference between immigrants and invaders.

There is a system in place for immigrants aka wanna-be Americans. I dare say we are all beneficiaries of that system.

Those are the only immigrants we want or need. Others can find somewhere else to invade, somewhere where they manage their invasions more humanely.

Hey Skipper said...

Oops. You are right. My memory mis-served me on the second link.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
That's not an ambiguity, it is about double standards. And because of perverse incentives, it also a problem that has gotten worse over time. Which is the nettle you refuse to grasp.
---
To accuse a "double standard", you need to point out when, back in Obama days, they were separating parents from kids at a rate of nearly 2000 per month. It is reasonable to expect some separations will be necessary, for infrequent particular reasons, but a policy of complete separation of nearly every case was not in place, and you know it.

As for it being a problem "that has gotten worse over time", you may want to reassess that statement.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
But if you can't, the first is about how immigrants cause less crime than native born Americans.

The second describes MS-13 terrorizing a school.
---
If only your error was just mistaking one journal for the other... the majority of MS-13 members are US citizens.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] To accuse a "double standard", you need to point out when, back in Obama days, they were separating parents from kids at a rate of nearly 2000 per month. It is reasonable to expect some separations will be necessary, for infrequent particular reasons, but a policy of complete separation of nearly every case was not in place, and you know it.

Fair enough. I agree; I shouldn't have characterized it that way, which I should have recognized at the time.

As for it being a problem "that has gotten worse over time", you may want to reassess that statement.

Behold the power of the direct quote:

Which is exactly what was happening. Adults caught with minors were released on their own recognizance. A very large and increasing percentage absconded. Which is the reason why the administration has decided to detain illegal immigrants, even though they are with children -- it became seen as a get out of jail free card. Exemption from the law created the problem.

The administration's policy is specifically directed at one type of illegal immigration, as I explained, not overall illegal immigration. (Never mind that even a greatly reduced flow of illegal immigration can still be quite large. What percentage of illegal immigrants are apprehended each year?)

Which, BTW, is why I should have realized my accusation of double standards in this case was over egged. After all, if the Obama administration hadn't created that wide open door then, we wouldn't be experiencing the rapidly increasing number of illegal immigrants exploiting it now.


[Hey Skipper:] But if you can't, the first is about how immigrants cause less crime than native born Americans.

The second describes MS-13 terrorizing a school.

[Clovis: If only your error was just mistaking one journal for the other... the majority of MS-13 members are US citizens.


I did, indeed too quickly grab that link. Turns out, though, my memory wasn't playing tricks on me.

I suppose it is possible that the majority of MS-13 members are US citizens, but sometimes they aren't.

But never mind that. Your very own cite is an argument against asylum:

The MS-13 was established in the 1980s on the streets of Los Angeles by Central American refugees and their children who had fled vicious civil wars. Large-scale deportations of gang-involved youth from the United States in the 1990s exported U.S. gang culture to Central America. Between 1996 and 2002, the United States sent nearly 31,000 convicted criminals to Central America.

So if those refugees weren't allowed in the first place, the US wouldn't have had an additional 31,000+ violent gang members in the second place, who wouldn't have then been deported to export US gang culture in the third place, and, absent ongoing illegal immigration wouldn't have returned to the US in the fourth place.

All of those places boil down to essentially one thing: most Central and South American societies are profoundly dysfunctional, and one effect of allowing largely unchecked illegal immigration is to import that dysfunction into the US.

In medicine, the saying goes that the poison is in the dose (or something like that). What amount of immigration is too much?

That's a trick question. So long as the southern border is essentially open, the answer doesn't matter.

Peter said...

most Central and South American societies are profoundly dysfunctional, and one effect of allowing largely unchecked illegal immigration is to import that dysfunction into the US.

That is a dangerous and quite offensive road to go down, Skipper, and Trump's rhetoric about rapists, etc. is pandering to outright nativism and bigotry. In the first place, painting all of South and Central American societies thus is highly problematic empirically, to say the least, because it's not true. Secondly, as Clovis shows, it's not too hard to show that immigrants do well on comparative statistics about crime, welfare, etc. But the real issue I take with that is the implication that political or social dysfunctions are some sort of bacillus that infect individuals and are predictive of what kind of citizens they will be. That charge has, in the past, been levied against Catholics, Jews, Eastern and Southern Europeans, the Irish, east Asians, Orientals and many others. If it had prevailed, the U.S. would today be a much smaller society populated by the descendants of English and German Protestants.

Immigration is a process that takes at least a generation to complete, and it can be a turbulent one. There are lots of struggles and cultural strains, and also failures--many go back to their homelands. In the heyday of Ellis Island, Lower East side Manhattan was a cesspool of poverty and crime. The Irish, Jews and Italians were all famous for their involvement in organized crime, but their children became cops and their grandchildren went on to even greater successes. Indeed, those inspiring words on the Statue of Liberty imply that immigrants were welcomed as good Americans-in-the-making in spite of the messes in their homelands. I think we can all agree that there is no prouder, more loyal American than our erp, whose family I believe came from Albania. Albania! What would the immigration officer than met her ancestors have done if he thought like that?

I recently had to have some tests at our two major local hospitals and I was struck by how many of the staff from doctors to nurses to technicians to support staff were obviously first or second generation immigrants from what used to be called third world countries--countries rife with "dysfunctions" of one sort or another. My experience was completely positive and I was treated politely and efficiently---none of those boilerplate deficiencies about Canadian healthcare.

The problem is numbers and control of the process, not where they come from, and this is the problem with Trump. He starts off by bravely trying to tackle a huge problem and bring some order to an out-of-control mess, but then panders to prejudice by banging on about gangs, rapists, etc. and talks as if only soft liberal weenies could be upset about separating children from their mothers. Why is he incapable of making an inspiring speech that appeals to American tolerance and nobler baseline values? Every time he tweets or opens his mouth, it's to boast about how tough and smart he is or how awful, stupid of disloyal anybody who challenges him is. The reason I'm finding it harder and harder to say anything positive about him is not because I think he is always wrong, and certainly not because I admire his opponents, but because I don't like the company that puts me in.

erp said...

Peter, apparently you don't see the difference between legal immigrants from all over the world who follow our process and are welcome to join us as Americans and invaders who flout our laws and feel it's their right to invade our country by any means and for us to resist is to be inhumane.

Every country has the right pick the leaders they want, but complaining about Trump's antics while being led by Boy-Toy-Trudeau is an example of the pot calling the kettle black.

The false eye-brow caper will be a hard one to top.

:-)

BTW My grandfather came here with his two young boys to get them away from Greeks who kidnapped boys to fight in their war against Turkey. They were wealthy by Albanian standards and lived a good life. However, I bless my father every day for insisting on coming back here after his mother ordered him to go back in 1933 at age 30 to get married. His 17 year old bride never adjusted to living here and was outraged when she was finally able to return for a visit after the Soviet collapse and was referred to as the Amerikanka.

Peter said...

I'm no fan of Boy-Toy, erp, but I am honoured that you want to play whataboutism with us. And I understand very well the difference between a legal and illegal immigrant. One is entering the country legally and the other is not. That doesn't have much to do with the dysfunctional bacillus's Skipper fears they may be importing.

BTW, a person who shows up at the border and claims refugee status is not doing anything illegal. They are taking advantage of a near-universal treaty right that is enlightened in and of itself but which was never intended to accommodate huge masses of people or to encompass new politically correct categories like "economic refugee" or those fleeing things like homophobia or domestic abuse.

Peter said...

BTW, here is a Trump-hating progressive who is prepared to criticize both sides and rise above both faux-emotional outrage and nativism. I've seen a few others, but not many.

erp said...

Andrew lost all credibility with me. We were pen-pals in the olds days until he called me a nazi for holding the same views we had shared before he was reborn. I love to "argue" with those who have the ability to share their opinions on a subject, but as soon as name-calling starts, I demur and leave the building.

As for real refugees, we have always had processes to accommodate same. What's happening on our southern border is not that. It's an attempt to take over my country and make it into something I abhor. My hat has always been off to the left's mastery of semantics, but invasion is invasion and we can't possibly be responsible for the real or imaginary hurt feelings of the world's snowflakes.

I appreciate your point of view is quite different from mine at least on this matter and to quote either Voltaire or Patrick Henry or unattributed, "I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to my death your right to say it."

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] That is a dangerous and quite offensive road to go down, Skipper, and Trump's rhetoric about rapists, etc. is pandering to outright nativism and bigotry.

That is a perfect example of PC: putting an argument out of bounds regardless of its factual content.

We can quibble about the "most" in "most Central American societies are dysfunctional", but there is no denying more than a few are. Nor is there any denying which countries most of the illegal immigrants come from.

But the real issue I take with that is the implication that political or social dysfunctions are some sort of bacillus that infect individuals and are predictive of what kind of citizens they will be.

You are right, it is not so simple as some sort of bacillus. But people do bring their culture with them; it would be impossible not to. In Mexico, official corruption is so rife Mexicans have a name for it: mordida, the bite. At what level of immigration does that start to transfer to our largely clean government?

Or, closer to where I live, there are large areas where Muslims are more than 90% of the population. That leaves a mark.

(BTW, I am not against immigration, per se. I am against illegal immigration.)

Why is he incapable of making an inspiring speech that appeals to American tolerance and nobler baseline values?

I have no earthly idea. What is certain, though, is that Trump's inability to do so is greatly inhibiting what could otherwise be a beneficially transformative presidency.

Hey Skipper said...

Peter, thanks for the Andrew Sullivan link.

He says what I'm trying to say, except for way better (aside from the ritual obeisance to climate change, and rather too casually throwing around the R-word).

Peter said...

At what level of immigration does that start to transfer to our largely clean government?

When too much of the immigrant population is comprised of young single males.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

----
So if those refugees weren't allowed in the first place, the US wouldn't have had an additional 31,000+ violent gang members in the second place, who wouldn't have then been deported to export US gang culture in the third place, and, absent ongoing illegal immigration wouldn't have returned to the US in the fourth place.
----

Why to stop in 1980? If America had not taken anyone in 1630, you would have 300 million less possible gang members too.

Not having taken Nativism 101 in my school days, I find it hard to follow your logic, Skipper. You have a parcel of the population - immigrants - that allegedly presents a lower crime rate than the average. Yet, of course, they also do commit crimes (their rate is non null). But the crime (and gangs) attributed to them deserve a greater weight because .... ??

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] Secondly, as Clovis shows, it's not too hard to show that immigrants do well on comparative statistics about crime, welfare ...

I doubt those comparative statistics show anything other than how to lie with statistics. The incarceration rate is for alll immigrants. This aggregates populations in two deceptive ways: it combines legal with illegal immigrants, and origination regions. Do you suppose that Asian immigrants, essentially all legal, have the same crime profile as immigrants from Central and South America, a substantial portion of which are illegal?

There is good reason to be skeptical. By a substantial margin, African American crime rates are much higher than the average. Latino rates aren't that high, but are still significantly higher than the average.

I'm betting the aggregate was chosen, despite no doubt being able to easily find a multi-variate statistic, because it fits the narrative.

BTW, a person who shows up at the border and claims refugee status is not doing anything illegal.

If that person shows up at a border control point and makes that claim, you are right. However, if that person is caught while avoiding border control, that is, in fact, illegal.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Why to stop in 1980? If America had not taken anyone in 1630, you would have 300 million less possible gang members too.

Not having taken Nativism 101 in my school days, I find it hard to follow your logic, Skipper. You have a parcel of the population - immigrants - that allegedly presents a lower crime rate than the average.


As I mentioned above to Peter, I bet that the aggregate statistic hides much more than it reveals.

(One example: it is illegal to drive in California without car liability and medical insurance. Care to guess how many illegal immigrants do?)

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] To accuse a "double standard", you need to point out when, back in Obama days, they were separating parents from kids at a rate of nearly 2000 per month. It is reasonable to expect some separations will be necessary, for infrequent particular reasons, but a policy of complete separation of nearly every case was not in place, and you know it.

Was I too hasty in my apology?

Peter said...

Skipper:

Nowhere have I argued that large-scale immigration won't have social and cultural consequences or that it doesn't matter whether immigrants are legal or illegal. I am specifically challenging the view that individual immigrants import the "dysfunctions" of their home nations. That's not the same thing as saying culture doesn't count or that immigrants from anywhere can be expected to adopt the traditional values of Midwestern North European Protestantism. Obviously millions of immigrants from Latin America will change the cultural character, starting with improving the local cuisine and music and moving on to tempering the demographic crisis afflicting the rest of the West. But if you are upset because immigrants don't arrive speaking perfect English and send their kids directly to football or cheer-leading practice, you are going to spend the rest of your days frustrated.

I repeat, immigration is a process that can be and often is turbulent. It involves cultural clashes, poverty, and failures, especially if there is an over-concentration of immigrants from one country or region in a specific area, as in the American Southwest. Large numbers of newly arrived poor immigrants strain social services for the simple reason that the adjustment for many is very tough, but I think you'll find that successive generational reliance on welfare is largely a native-born specialty. The successes and outcomes of immigration can't be truly measured until the second generation at least. In the late 19th century, the Irish were widely seen as drink-sodden anti-democratic papists prone to violence and crime. Jews were weird, insular, dirt-poor remnants of the Middle Ages with dicey commercial moralities. The Chinese were ignorant peasant navvies by day and opium traders by night. Not even I would argue that there weren't some cultural underpinnings to these stereotypes. Do you think it was a huge mistake letting them in? Do you fret a lot about those "dysfunctions" in their present-day descendants.

What is disturbing about Trump is that he started with an impressive resolve to make hard choices and finally tackle the huge problem of illegal immigration that nobody else could do anything about but now seems to be taking the easy road and pandering to prejudice based largely on country of origin (a.k.a.shitty countries) and inflammatory, "point-scoring" talk about rapists, etc. Instead of lauding and inspiring good immigrants he is focusing debate entirely on bad ones and arguably grossly inflating their numbers. That does two things that make trouble a self-fulfilling prophecy. It causes native Americans to think they are under some kind of alien subversive attack when they are not and it makes immigrants defensive and bitter about their new home. That's not good for those who think the dominant ethos on both sides should be e. pluribus unum and the American dream.

There are two aspects to successful immigration countries like the States, Canada, Australia, etc. The first is how quickly the immigrants take advantage of opportunities and cement new loyalties and the second is how fast the native population welcomes them as co-citizens-in-the-making (both problems in Europe). Yes, huge numbers of poor young Hispanic single males in L.A. are causing a serious crime problem, but do you think millions of poor young single males from Eastern Europe or China would be different? Do you really think second-generation Hispanic-Americans are a problem? There is no country in the world that qualifies more as the world's #1 dysfunctional cesspool than Haiti, but if you take a look at Haitian immigrants, their overall success is damn impressive--much, much better than native-born African-Americans. But yes, there are violent Haitian gangs in New York one can point to if one is trying to build a nativist case. The only answer is to note that is also the preferred career choice of far too many native-born Americans.

.

erp said...

Still lumping legal immigrants with invaders. :-(

Here's a very well written and cogent explanation of why I and lots of others like me who voted for Trump because Hillary was unthinkable, now actually support him wholeheartedly and will almost make a case that there is a God who sent him to save not only the U.S., but the rest of the planet.

FTA

We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency. We tried statesmanship. Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain? We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney? And the results were always the same.

This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60* years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.


*I'd go back 100 years.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
As I mentioned above to Peter, I bet that the aggregate statistic hides much more than it reveals.
---

I hope you realize how much you devalue the quality of this discussion, by resorting to such unsubstantiated and insidious affirmations.

Peter said...

BTW, sorry to interrupt the thread, but I just had to share this. God bless the Brits.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I hope you realize how much you devalue the quality of this discussion, by resorting to such unsubstantiated and insidious affirmations.

Clovis, you quoted your cite to the effect that since immigrants have lower incarceration rates than citizens, then crime based arguments against immigration are factually wrong.

Arguing that using aggregate statistics is almost always wrong (e.g., the gender pay gap), and suggesting that differential crime rates in the US points in the direction of statistical malpractice is either correct, or not. It is no more insidious than your claim, and, as it happens is substantiated.: the incarceration rate for latinos is almost twice that of whites.

Consequently, there is a presumptive case that who ever wrote that article engaged in gross statistical incompetence. Whether intentionally or not is hard to say.

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] There are two aspects to successful immigration countries like the States, Canada, Australia, etc. The first is how quickly the immigrants take advantage of opportunities and cement new loyalties and the second is how fast the native population welcomes them as co-citizens-in-the-making (both problems in Europe). Yes, huge numbers of poor young Hispanic single males in L.A. are causing a serious crime problem ...

It looks to me like you contradicted yourself in the space of a sentence. (Or, alternatively, made my case for me.) What you seem to be saying is that poison is in the dose.

I am not against immigration, I am against illegal immigration, particularly when the volume of that immigration so far exceeds what a very large majority of US citizens desire. And it isn't just crime that is an issue. The same part of the population that has gotten the short end of the globalization stick is also getting a repeat with illegal immigration.

Something which the left (and, to be fair, parts of the right) has either forgotten, or ignored.

What is disturbing about Trump is that he started with an impressive resolve to make hard choices and finally tackle the huge problem of illegal immigration that nobody else could do anything about but now seems to be taking the easy road and pandering to prejudice ...

I completely agree. He could have started with the lack of border security being contrary to the will of the people, and ended with the economic havoc wrought on the manual trades. Even if illegal immigrants are over-represented in crime statistics (which they almost certainly are), that is not only a subsidiary argument, it is one he can let others make from far less lofty perches.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
It is no more insidious than your claim, and, as it happens is substantiated.: the incarceration rate for latinos is almost twice that of whites.
---

It is disheartening, not to mention a waste of time, to have a discussion at such level.

The evidence for immigration-crime relation being negative is widespread and robust, as even right-wing think-tanks, such as Cato Institute, can attest. You can either go on and provide solid reasearch refuting that, and it takes more than a raw link to wikipedia, or practice a bit of honesty for a change.

Anyone who ever tried, however superficially, to study the topic, knows the incarceration rate alone is far from a good indicator. Foreign born immigrants -- restricted to Latino groups -- have a lower ratio. The higher Latino rates comes by including 2nd, 3rd ... nth generation, i.e. US citizens, quite a few from Puerto Rico, which grossly muddles the use of this indicator.

Absent a retraction, I will need to concede to the wisdom of Harry and O. Judd, upon banning you from commenting in their blogs. This hateful vitriol gets really tiring.

Peter said...

Just to clarify, Skipper, when I said "huge numbers of poor young Hispanic single males in L.A. are causing a serious crime problem ...", I spoke clumsily and should have said "is" not "are". I did not mean to suggest that huge (as in disproportionately large) numbers are actually committing crimes but that the huge number of poor illegals there makes the communities vulnerable and crime highly visible. I might have said the same about Jewish and Italian communities in New York or Chinese communities in San Francisco a century ago.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...I will need to concede to the wisdom of Harry and O. Judd, upon banning you from commenting in their blogs. This hateful vitriol..."

Not wise, in my opinion.

Neither Hey Skipper nor you nor anyone else on this blog, especially for this thread has written anything that I haven't seen dozens of times before and since lots and lots of people believe both sides, it should absolutely be stated and discussed.

To me, the whole purpose of a blog like this is for folks with wildly differing and strongly held viewpoints to put them forward and discuss them, even when (perhaps especially when) said viewpoints can be shown to be objectively wrong and can be interpreted to push into the realm of hateful vitriol.

I believe that this particular blog, while very small, has one of the widest range of viewpoints in existence and I think that's a very good thing. I'm hoping we can all continue to put up with differing views, especially ones we consider vitriolic.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Just to be clear, I am not advocating banning anyone (it is your blog, after all).

I am trying to take to Skipper the message that he is not collaborating in order to make the discussion meaningful.

What he is doing amounts to a free riding: if I keep engaging at such level of conversation, the weight falls all over my shoulder - I would need to do all the legwork of showing him the large body of research backing my affirmations, while he freely denies it all by wishful thinking, if not downright prevarication.

It is like feeding a troll, for free.

Skipper is well within his rights to use the blog to just blow off some steam ranting against immigrants, but OJ's answer made me think to what extent I should partake in such hate speech, when it looks to be a meaningless exercise.

Peter said...

Clovis:

I have known Skipper virtually for well over ten years and actually met him once. I have sparred with him on many subjects and I can assure you he is not a hater or a racist or anything like that. He's a very decent guy with a keen inquiring mind. He will, however, grab hold of an idea and hold on to it so tenaciously and at such length that he will either completely exhaust you or agitate you to the point that you find yourself fantasizing about murder. :-)

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I am trying to take to Skipper the message that he is not collaborating in order to make the discussion meaningful.

If you are going to accuse me of ranting, then you bloody well better provide a direct quote that constitutes ranting. Arguing that aggregate statistics are almost never valid to make a point is not ranting. Suggesting that high Latino incarceration rates appears to contradict the claim that Latino illegal immigrants are indistinguishable in that regard to all other immigrants.

That doesn't mean it is wrong, but it does raise the question: if Latino illegal immigrants aren't incarcerated at significantly higher rates than the non-immigrant population, how is it that Latino citizens and documented immigrants have rates so much higher? Again, it doesn't mean there isn't an explanation; rather, there is an objectively true fact that doesn't sit well with the assertion predicated upon and aggregate statistic.

I looked at the article, and the paper it was based on. This jumped out at me:

The public focus is on the crime rates of unauthorized or illegal immigrants. The research papers above mostly include all immigrants regardless of legal status. However, every problem with gathering data on immigrant criminality is multiplied for unauthorized immigrants.

And this:

Using panel data on U.S. counties, Spenkuch finds that a 10 percent increase in the share of immigrants increases the property crime rate by 1.2 percent. In other words, the average immigrant commits roughly 2.5 times as many property crimes as the average native but with no impact on violent crime rates. He finds that this effect on property crime rates is caused entirely by Mexican immigrants. Separating Mexicans from other immigrants, the former commit 3.5 to 5 times as many crimes as the average native.

So, I conclude several things. Using an aggregate incarceration statistic as evidence for a particular sub-group is statistical malpractice. If it isn't, then please argue otherwise. Second, there is some evidence of increased criminality when statistics are disaggregated. Finally, the barriers to obtaining sound, disaggregated data are so high that no sensible conclusions can be drawn at all.

I will need to concede to the wisdom of Harry and O. Judd, upon banning you from commenting in their blogs. This hateful vitriol gets really tiring.

I have asked you many times before -- when you make a charge like this, that I have written hateful vitriol, then the obligation is upon you to directly quote what I wrote, and explain why it is hateful vitriol. This is yet another example, of probably a half dozen now on this thread of an insult where an argument belongs.

I always, or near as darnnit, directly quote you when formulating a response. How about returning the favor.

Regarding Harry and OJ:

Harry has accused me of writing racist and fascist things. When asked what they are, he comes up crickets.

In your links, OJ made many fallacious charges -- it is interesting that you are willing to judge me guilty absent any evidence. Bret, Peter and erp were around at the time, perhaps they have an opinion.

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] I did not mean to suggest that huge (as in disproportionately large) numbers are actually committing crimes but that the huge number of poor illegals there makes the communities vulnerable and crime highly visible.

One thing that the Cato institute study did appear to unquestionably conclude is exactly that, a large number of illegals, or even recent legal immigrants, greatly amplifies the impression of crime beyond what it actually is.

erp said...

My opinion, already stated, is that Harry resorts to name calling because his arguments have been proven wrong time and again. Judd, like Sullivan, Charles Johnson and lots of others went over to the dark side probably because given their life-styles they wanted to fit in with the kool kids

Arguing over statistics is pretty silly as none of you know what's true and what isn't.

I don't care what is the race, ethnicity, sex, height or weight of fellow Americans and decry the current fashion requiring reporting of same on the countless forms required by medical and other government offices. I leave it all blank and only reveal under Race: Human.

It's funny that the nasty name-calling is always from the left, probably because when cornered by facts, there is no other response possible.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "Bret, Peter and erp were around at the time, perhaps they have an opinion."

Judd admitted to editing comments "in apparently malicious ways" so it's not just an opinion - it happened and he doesn't seem to feel too guilty about it. He deleted a handful of comments of mine and then edited one such that it said something completely different than what I wrote. So then my name was attached to something I neither wrote nor believed. I asked him to delete it but he refused. That's when I stopped visiting the site. His rules weren't really announced at the time but reading down Clovis's link I guess he felt he was justified in doing so under the Darwinist/anti-religious category. I think it was a comment in which I defended some aspect of evolution.

But I think that this portion of the conversation Clovis linked to is, um, interesting:

-----

Bartman: "...I wondered what happened to Harry."

orrinj: "I don't. Although one of the guys did later kill himself. I always worry about the mental balance of folks who are that angry, which is why I just ban the folks who get personal..."

-----

So he doesn't care about Harry and he's pretty dismissive of Duck who committed suicide. Duck was always extremely polite and respectful and almost certainly didn't commit suicide because of comments on BrothersJudd and, even worse, if he did because he was banned or forced out, I would find that incredibly crappy of Orrin.

Anyway, my opinion is that while Hey Skipper may be a bit overly tenacious and in-your-face on occasion but is really a good guy, Orrin is the perfect gentlemen who will suck you in and then stab you in the back when you're not looking and least expect it.

That's my opinion.

erp said...

Bret, Orrin, like the obnoxious Michael Kinsley and Bill Kristol, is a person who was always the smartest kid in his class, but somehow didn't reach as a high level in the world as lesser beings in his mind.

Phillip Roth described this in a great scene in "Portnoy's Complaint." The hero spots a childhood friend on the subway who is now a professor at Princeton and finds it hard to understand how that could be because his friend's mother never even ironed his pajamas. Whenever I think of Orrin that scene pops into my mind because his brother is/was a professor at Princeton and it makes me laugh.

What kind of a person changes other people's words to prove his point. Even if nobody notices, a big if, what does that do to that persons self respect?

Peter said...

Bret:

I left because I became uncomfortable about the way certain issues were being discussed by Orrin and also some of the commenters. It had nothing to do with personal gripes. I was a pretty active contributor under my real full name and just become uncomfortable about the trail I was leaving. But I remember the issue of deleting or amending comments that enraged Skipper and, if memory serves, Brit, and thinking it made no sense. It wasn't Orrin's common practice and the comments were not personal attacks or anything like rabid anti-Americanism. Why would he do that to two of his most loyal commenters and why would he do it over posts on Darwinism of all things, which we all had great fun sparring over? And why would be be so coy about it? It made no sense to me. Also, he may be referring to Duck, but he may not be. Duck never posted pseudonymously on his site. But if he is, I agree that's cruel and shoddy, although his death was long after he left the site.

All that said, there is an issue here that transcends the characters of the participants. I've commented on lots of different sites and also acted for the plaintiff in a lengthy blogging defamation trial. It was basically a duel between two blogs, one a relatively civil but very left wing blog and the other a very uncivil to the point of scurrilous extreme right-wing one. (I acted for the lefty--go figure). Anyway, both experiences came to make me realize that while Godwin's Law was crafted as a semi-joke, it contains a lot of truth about human dialogue. The longer an unmoderated and unpoliced discussion goes on, the higher passions rise to the point that rage and insults take over and the discussion descends to an exchange of slurs. It's all given me a new-found respect for things like the Oxford debating rules, parliamentary procedure, Robert's Rules of Order, etc. Our ancestors were not just etiquette fussbudgets, they knew they were preventing homicide. Interesting blogging requires personal discipline. Although I can't put it in systematic terms, I am convinced social media like Twitter and the 24 hour news cycle bear a lot of responsibility for the current polarized political distemper. I couldn't disagree more with erp's suggestion above that civility and propriety are for losers, which, BTW, is being argued increasingly frequently and just as "sincerely" today by the other side.

My advice to Clovis is to hold his ground on the argument (because I think he's winning) but also maybe to go for a long walk and ask himself how it came to be that he became so angry and agitated by a debate with a stranger over crime statistics.

Clovis e Adri said...

---
My advice to Clovis is to hold his ground on the argument (because I think he's winning) but also maybe to go for a long walk and ask himself how it came to be that he became so angry and agitated by a debate with a stranger over crime statistics.
---

Indeed Peter, it the wisest advice ever. I will take that long walk, have a nice day guys.

erp said...

Peter, it's hard for me to understand how you can believe the "other" side as presented by Clovis, the "news" media, academe, entertainment media, etc. is winning. They were winning the propaganda war with virtually no opposition until we in the great unwashed got access to information sites on the internets of things.

This is only the beginning because until Trump, we were playing by those old rules of reasoned discourse. Unfortunately, in order to undo a century of mis-information we need to use different methods. Luckily someone came along who can play that game and will outsmart them mainly because they have become complaisant and many actually think it's their manifest destiny to rule the world. My money is on the Donald.

Both Clovis and Skipper are well educated and should know that "research" has devolved into vehicles for moving the narrative forward. I spent some years in an academic environment as an employee, wife of an officer of the corporation, mother of a high school student in a college town ... . My roomie and I were so utterly disgusted by the inner workings that when our youngest was graduated from college, we decided at 53 to retire and live on our savings rather than stay in the literal pit of vipers.

Question: By "very uncivil to the point of scurrilous extreme right-wing blog," do you mean fundamental christian? I have a lot of free time on my hands and read all kinds of things and the only so-called right-wing media of that type are connected with religion.

Peter said...

No, erp, it was not a Christian blog. I would have described it more as fascist-enabling if the participants had been brighter. Basically it was just a succession of vulgar rants, ad hominems and splenetic bilge calling itself "principled conservatism".

Lest our heretofore civil exchange on the subject of civility descend to the uncivil, I'd prefer to just agree to disagree, retreat for now and join Clovis on that long walk. But I'll be back and I trust you will too. I'm sympathetic to your characterization of a lot of academic research today (although surely not all) and would love to hear some of your firsthand stories.

erp said...

Works for me, but if you don't mind, instead of taking a long walk, I'll put my feet up and re-read some old books on one of my devices. My stories are 30 years old, but from what I hear from younger people still in the fray, it's gotten a lot worse.

While I'm at it, another question:

Apparently a lot of the vulgar name-calling and insults in blog comments are from "trolls or bots" which I gather are automated responses to key words in selected blogs and not from real people with opinions.

Does anyone know what that's about?

Hey Skipper said...

[Peter:] Also, he may be referring to Duck, but he may not be. Duck never posted pseudonymously on his site. But if he is, I agree that's cruel and shoddy, although his death was long after he left the site.

I wrote Orrin about Duck's passing.

Given that Duck was about the most civil commenter in the history of the internet, Orrin's comment is sheer, hateful, lying, assholery.