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Bloggingheads
01-07-2008, 10:59 AM

thprop
01-07-2008, 11:21 AM
Good news - I think "Free Will" will be a great show for BHtv. Will does not allow his libertarianism get in the way in his diavlogs - just look at the ones with Rosa Brooks and Henry Farrell. He is a good interviewer and will bring a lot to BHtv.

Also, nerds of the world rejoice!!! Will can get someone like Kerry all hot for him.

So BHtv is up to three weekly features - Free Will, UN Plaza (the only place to get the scoop on the UN) and the always excellent Science Saturday. If the Studs of Science calendar comes back, I expect that George and John will be featured.

threep
01-07-2008, 12:25 PM
Dude is like a puppy.

Trevor
01-07-2008, 03:01 PM
Let me second that hooray for having Will do a weekly show. He's a great interviewer, not least of which for his ability to get inside views he disagrees with, as he does here making the case against immigration to preserve culture (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7753?in=00:33:32&out=00:34:02).

I just wish in this particular episode he'd pushed back a little harder against Kerry's guest worker proposal. I agree with them both that the parts of the American "club" most worth preserving are its dynamism and pluralism (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7753?in=00:35:00&out=00:35:26). Which is why it's utterly mystifying that Kerry thinks it's a good idea to unbundle those virtues. Our tight connection between political egalitarianism and free market opportunity is a feature, not a bug. Like Matt Yglesias as linked in the sidebar, I have no desire to see the United States become more like Singapore (http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/12/guest_workers.php).

Is there anyone out there who thinks intentionally creating a large pool of second class citizens rigidly separated from the American mainstream would be anything but massively destructive to our social values?

threep
01-07-2008, 03:15 PM
Life partners is terrible. If this vaguely European don't-get-married-but- formalize-your-relationship- enough-that-referring-to- your-significant-other-as- boyfriend-or-girlfriend- is-not-sufficient-and- also-sometimes-you- even-have-babies- and-are-raising-them- together-basically-it's-like- marriage-without-the-legal- arrangement-and-somehow- the-lack-of-at- least-traditional-formalism- has-an-effect-where- it's-like-what-Kerry-was- saying-about-non-conformists- leaving-and-then-you- have-conformists-left- when-you're-not-strictly- trapped-it-forces-you- to-do-things-more- purposefully-maybe? -also-do-you-share -bank-accounts?-basically-you're -rocking-it-like- Kurt-and-Goldie thing is going to progress (and it seems like it will) someone really, really needs to come up with a term for it that's better than any Will/Kerry (WillRy? Kerrill?) were trying out. Please, all you clever people out there, get to work on this pronto.

I'm damn tired and when I'm damn tired I like me some hyphens.

Trevor
01-07-2008, 03:29 PM
May I suggest "lovah (http://video.aol.com/partner/hulu/saturday-night-live-patio-lovers/2ON5hJesYxS6q0fONU-UahepnLXublEF)?"

Edit: Wikipedia suggests it's "Love-ahs" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovers_(Saturday_Night_Live))

ogieogie
01-07-2008, 03:30 PM
Loving the hyphens.

Kerry's doing a brilliant job of not being Meghan McArgghle.

AndyH
01-07-2008, 03:31 PM
Kerry is "concerned about the autonomy" of homeschooled kids.

Hmm...what's a good Libertarian solution to this dilemma? Perhaps she could convince them to run away from home and become sex workers?

bjkeefe
01-07-2008, 03:53 PM
May I suggest "lovah (http://video.aol.com/partner/hulu/saturday-night-live-patio-lovers/2ON5hJesYxS6q0fONU-UahepnLXublEF)?"

Sounds and looks too much like loofah, which, thanks to Mr. O'Reilly, has become verbum non grata.

bjkeefe
01-07-2008, 03:57 PM
threep:

All I can say is, if you typed in all those hyphens by hand, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is now in second place on the creepiness (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/trivia) list.

threep
01-07-2008, 04:02 PM
I'm kind of embarrassed, because I think I answered my own question at the end of my stream of consciousness.

Just tell people you're rocking it like Kurt and Goldie.

It's a little awkward, so maybe we're still open to suggestions.

breadcrust
01-07-2008, 08:32 PM
The up-to-now standard marriage (read: heritage marriage) is just a contract. These Hollywood marriages simply have different rights and obligations. Perhaps Kurt stipulated the right of the occasional threesome in whatever agreements he and Goldie cobbled together. Maybe they even signed a contract to that effect. Buy-out costs could have been agreed upon.

So shifting "morals" could obsolesce the heritage marriage (Huckabee Marriage?), giving rise to gradations of marriage or complete re-imaginings which would work better for different people. What Hollywood and the WilkinHowleys can do for me is make their contracts (if they have them) super-public, giving us new templates for marriage and the new names of contract originators -- which can be combined with "marriage" or "wed" in different portmanteaus.

"We just got Wilkinwedded!"

dankingbooks
01-07-2008, 09:32 PM
I appreciated the discussion of immigrant sex workers at the end of the diavlog. May I also flog/blog my book on this subject: Naked in Haiti: A Sexy Morality Tale About Tourists, Prostitutes & Politicians (http://www.dankingbooks.com).

cragger
01-07-2008, 09:34 PM
Will asserts "we don't have a right to healthcare" which I think is true. Insofar as I can tell, the only right we have is gun ownership. There may be a few other contenders.

Rights do not flow from the Declaration of Independence or Constitution, however they may rank among of the noblest documents ever produced by mankind. If you go back, the founders didn't whine that "we should have this or that right because some piece of paper says so and we'll get real upset and whine and wring our hands if we don't get them". They said "we hold these truths to be self evident" and pledged "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" to defend them. And then stood up and did.

It's that simple. If you care enough about something to claim it as your right, and fight, go bankrupt, and die for it if necessary, it is a right. If not, its a privilige. You can hope you get it and cry when someone else doesn't feel like giving it to you, but if you won't fight for it, it isn't a right.

The gun nuts (God bless 'em) realize this enough to fight for their guns. Whether they are deluded in the thought that those guns will guarantee their freedom from tyrany in the modern age is beside the point. They have picked their battle, and as Rosa recently pointed out, are "ever vigilant", however limited their view of defence of liberty may be. There may be a few other issues that a handful of Americans care enough about to spend a buck or two on, but not enough to go to the mat for. Certainly not in enough numbers to make a difference. Demanding a "right to healthcare" isn't one. At least so far.

This does not mean however that healthcare provision is an unreasonable thing to want a better version of, or to want government to help provide. The Constitution pretty explicitly states that it is a pragmatic document. "In order to" achieve a set of desirable ends "we ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America". It ain't magic. Its a tool.

Working Americans pay roughly one of every three dollars they earn to the government. For this considerable toll, it's not unreasonable to desire a fair return. While there may be no more "right to healthcare" than to a "right" to a new multi-billion dollar highway project, or to a new class of aircraft carriers, it shouldn't be surprising that it is a more fundamental desire of many citizens.

One might argue that its a long and pathetic journey from "I will fight and die to defend these fundamental rights" to "I'll try to get out and vote in favor of a better value for myself and my family", but its hardly surprising that a fair proportion of the electorate might be at least willing to do the latter.

The principled elite who formented the American Revolution probably represent a fairly unique situation in history. Given absolutely no likelihood that the vast majority of current citizens are going to have the costs they pay to support their government so significantly reduced as to enable them to consider alternative ways to get what they want through such other mechanisms as the "free" market, its entirely reasonable of them to try to shift the way the government allocates the considerable resources it demands of them in ways they see as providing better value.

It may not be "a right" these days. But its right.

Wonderment
01-07-2008, 10:04 PM
It's good to see people like Kerry thinking outside the box on immigration. There is nothing so depressing as Democratic clichés and Republican xenophobia about undocumented working families.

Kerry and Wilkerson raise the right questions about open borders. Kerry is also looking in the right places for answers -- actually talking to the immigrants and taking them seriously, as opposed to stereotyping, ignoring or demonizing them.

Kudos for never using the term "illegals" throughout the blogcast!

flaming_pie
01-08-2008, 01:31 PM
Are you kidding me? The United States is simply a bunch of "institutional facts" that make up "our imagined community"? What are they spiking the Starbucks with down there?
If borders and passports don't -- or shouldn't -- mean anything, why should real estate and title searches? I know some fancy neighborhoods I'd like to move into -- probably the one Will and Kerry live in. When can I move my stuff into your living room?

Markisme
01-08-2008, 02:41 PM
Dude, just because reality is socially constructed doesn't make it any less real.

I like Kerry as a blogginghead -- lots of ideas that make me think. She is however young. Gotta factor that in.

bkjazfan
01-08-2008, 03:08 PM
Are those guest workers that I see at the medical clinic I go to in Los Angeles? Not having insurance I pay full freight where 95%+ of those there all have what I presume to be government cards of some type. Also, none of them speak English.

Guest workers are great for the employers but bad for the taxpayers.

Both participants in this diavlog should come out to L.A. to see the effects guest workers are having on our schools, jails, and social service programs.

ImmRefDotCom
01-08-2008, 03:29 PM
A few years ago I wrote a satire about "guest" programs and posted it to a blogspot blog (jfsac.blogspot.com) then sent the link to Reason magazine. The all-in-one version of that is here (http://jfsac.cf.huffingtonpost.com/).

What do you know, a couple week later a similar proposal found its way into Reason magazine's pages, written by Will Wilkinson (reason.com/news/show/32871.html).

I don't whether my satire inspired a real proposal from Will Wilkinson or not, but it certainly is quite a coinkydink.

As for whatever they discussed on the video, any of their schemes would give foreign governments even more political power inside the U.S. than they already have. The MexicanGovernment is quite protective of their territory, claiming part of our population as their own, sending their consuls out to propose changes in U.S. laws, and they've even explicitly stated that they're going to use U.S. nonprofits to push their agenda inside the U.S. (http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007300.html). Any "guest" scheme would give them even more power, and they'd use it to the fullest extent they can.

Thus, any of their schemes would result in the U.S. losing partial control inside the U.S. and lead to reduced sovereignty. Some people are willing to trade that in exchange for money, but people like that are usually called traitors and similar names.

Accordingly, can I suggest that the immigration that should occur is that Wilkinson and Howley should leave these shores for a more libertarian environment? Somalia appears to be well on the way to becoming a true libertarian paradise.

Wonderment
01-08-2008, 05:35 PM
That said, the question of legality and worker's rights lies at the heart of just about every challenge we face in the 21st century.


Which is precisely why we need some new ideas and the ability to look at models that have worked elsewhere.

Libertarians, progressives and conservative non-xenophobe Republicans can -- I believe -- find common ground on workers rights in a globalized economy. It is a huge challenge, given our US history of racism, but hey, if the Germans can overcome xenophobia and chauvinism -- and they have made immense progress --- anyone can.

Wonderment
01-08-2008, 05:41 PM
Are those guest workers that I see at the medical clinic I go to in Los Angeles? Not having insurance I pay full freight where 95%+ of those there all have what I presume to be government cards of some type.

No, they are paying customers like you. Either they have health insurance or they're paying out of pocket. There is no "government card" for healthcare for undocumented workers. That is a myth.

>>Also, none of them speak English.>>

So?

>>Both participants in this diavlog should come out to L.A. to see the effects guest workers are having on our schools, jails, and social service programs.>>

Pueden quedarse conmigo. Yo vivo en el Sur de California a 100 kilometros de Los Angeles. ¿Dónde vives tú?

cousincozen
01-08-2008, 07:29 PM
http://www.vdare.com/rubenstein/051115_nd.htm

[...]

For starters, it focuses on adult illegals, ignoring the fact that their U.S.-born citizen children are eligible for the full gamut of public health benefits. There are approximately three million such “anchor babies” in the country.

And adult illegals, even if ineligible for Medicaid, are routinely treated in hospital emergency rooms. In some hospitals as much as two-thirds of total operating costs are for uncompensated ER care for illegals. [FAIR, “The Sinking Lifeboat: Uncontrolled Immigration and the U.S. Healthcare System.”] The RAND study simply ignores this practice.

And, as I reported in an earlier column, ER admissions often result in a “permanent disability” diagnosis, which in turn automatically qualifies individuals for Supplemental Security Insurance—a federally funded cash transfer.

[...]

Wonderment
01-08-2008, 09:30 PM
[QUOTE=cousincozen;68096]

For starters, it focuses on adult illegals, ignoring the fact that their U.S.-born citizen children are eligible for the full gamut of public health benefits. There are approximately three million such “anchor babies” in the country. [QUOTE]

The use of the term "illegals" to describe human beings is disgusting. Ditto for "anchor babies." The Constitution provides citizenship for all babies born here. Do you want to deport all citizens who have foreign-born parents? Or just ethnically cleanse the Mexicans?

>>And adult illegals, even if ineligible for Medicaid, are routinely treated in hospital emergency rooms. >>

Just as you would want to be treated in an ER if something happened to you in Paris or Beijing.

Wonderment
01-08-2008, 09:33 PM
I can put on a paper hat and sing a happy song with the best; and postulated about exactly the kind of change you're describing.

I like your idea of the Forgiver in Chief! I hope Obama does turn out to have a genius for reconciliation (my own audacious hope), but only time will tell.

bkjazfan
01-09-2008, 12:42 PM
They are paying customers like me. Give me a break! At this clinic they are mostly on medicaid which in California is a good deal: all medical, eye, dental, and prescriptions for free. That may change since the state is now under a financial crisis as declared recently by the governor. We'll see.

I am not a statistician but we have all seen numbers on the poor in this state who are on some kind of government program. I will give one: 75% of the births in county hospitals are to illegals. Now when I had kids it was in the late 70's early 80's and it ran about $8,000 each. Now, it must be at least $20,000 for that medical service.

Where do I live? I have been living in Los Angeles since 1947.

bkjazfan
01-09-2008, 01:24 PM
Per Los Angeles Times:

1). 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal.

2). 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

3). Over 2/3 of all births in L.A. County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal.

4). Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properies are illegal.

flaming_pie
01-09-2008, 02:28 PM
Clearly, the nation and the economy benefit when immigration is legal and regulated, and the immigrants assimilated. However, the fluff he passes off for 'new thinking' is what you'd expect to find in a bad term paper by a first-year sociology student. She's not sure whether Luzon is in the central Philippines (it's not), and gained the expertise to make her recommendations by reading a book freely available on the Web and spending a week in Singapore. These people who have a shaky grasp of geography, dismiss America's immigration policy as morally shallow, and reduce countries to 'social constructs' that offer 'club memberships,' have been leading very sheltered lives. Why should the rest of us suffer the consequences of their bad ideas, should they gain enough traction with the ruling class in Washington?

Wonderment
01-09-2008, 03:38 PM
At this clinic they are mostly on medicaid which in California is a good deal: all medical, eye, dental, and prescriptions for free.

Undocumented workers (what you call "illegals") are prohibited by law from Medicaid benefits.

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
01-09-2008, 04:04 PM
Wonderment,

Thank you for your comments on this thread. It is tiring to engage in usually unproductive arguments with bigots who rely on anecdote and urban legend to fuel their paranoid worldviews, but it is always worthwhile to stand up for the dignity of fellow human beings.

bjkazfan, I'm sorry if my above description sounds overly harsh...I obviously do not know you or others who parrot your views personally but I would encourage you in the interest of humanity to give serious consideration to what Wonderment is pointing out here. Regardless of your policy views, stop nonsense like calling people "illegals" and calling your fellow U.S. citizens (I assume you prize your citizenship) "anchor babies." It seems you've lived a long life and I'm sure you'd have much of value to contribute to the discussion but obvious bigotry makes it hard to value your opinion as I would like to value the opinions of my elders.

bjkazfan, you're not Mr. Kaus' sock puppet are you?

On the specific issue, I don't know California, but I know here in Illinois, undocumented children are able to get health care (Thank God for blue states) but it does not come out of the federal Medicaid funding stream but a separate state funding stream. And I don't know what kind of heart a person has to want to deny health care to a neighbor child due to where they were born....on top of the fact that allowing them to have regular and preventive care is more cost effective than having them get real sick and then use the ER as well as making everyone around them more sick as well.

Peace.

Wonderment
01-09-2008, 05:08 PM
And I don't know what kind of heart a person has to want to deny health care to a neighbor child due to where they were born....on top of the fact that allowing them to have regular and preventive care is more cost effective than having them get real sick and then use the ER as well as making everyone around them more sick as well.

Yes, there is a clear streak of sadism (perhaps a corollary of xenophobia) in the rhetoric of the nativist right wing (including Mickey Kaus).

Also, what the Mexicanophobes ignore is that undocumented working families CONTRIBUTE to the US economy. They pay taxes just like everyone else. They pay sales tax, they pay income tax and they have payroll deductions.

The only element of the undocumented population that's outside the system are those in the underground economy who are exploited by "legals" acting illegally. That would be those among us who hire a guy to fix our roof or babysit our kids and pay cash. Believe me, those babysitters and gardeners would love to be racking up some social security benefits.

JLF
01-09-2008, 05:44 PM
Lost in all this sturm und drang about the virtue of this "priviledged elite" over that "priviledged elite" is the observable fact that, more likely than not, a majority of such elite did nothing particularly "worthy" to secure the priviledge. While not all the Founding Fathers earned their money the old fashioned way - through inheritance - almost all benefited from the extraordinarily cheap and available land, which necessitated government spending money to remove the Indians (18th century) and then provide the internal improvements (19th century) to make the land useful . . . and more importantly, more valuable. Even the most government-phobic libertarian wants a government sufficiently big and able to protect his person, property and his particular means of acquiring more.

garbagecowboy
01-09-2008, 09:25 PM
kidneystones,

In a rare instance I agree with you. My dad does advisory work for the Singaporean government and goes there about 4 times a year, and from his descriptions of the place, it sounds like a nation-state where immense financial resources and economic freedoms (the government holds in reserves about $300k per citizen) combine with all sorts of social rigidity. In short it seems like it would be a very miserable place to live, comforting as it would be to know that the government has a third of a million dollars saved up for you.

Looking out beyond the control freaks of Singapore, furthermore, and you find ever more examples of places where "successful" guest worker programs (in the sense that they benefit the workers who send remittances home and who eventually leave the country voluntarily) elsewhere in Asia, particularly in the Arab world, where in some cases a large fraction or even a majority of the workforce is not native born but rather imported, as guest workers, from other Muslim countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia.

From the descriptions of people I know who have been to these places and from reading about their economic systems, I question why we would want to implement anything like that in the United States. In these Arab countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the result of these guest worker arrangements is a permanently stratified society with not just de facto but de jure systems of second class citizens permanently entrenched as part of the social fabric. If Americans could, say, permanently source all of the menial jobs in the U.S. to a permanent underclass of guest workers would this be a good thing?

A defining feature of what makes America great is the freedom and equality it promises those who come here. Perhaps I misunderstand Ms. Howley but looking to countries like Singapore or the Arab countries who take the idea of guest workers to its logical endpoint as a model seems to be counter to the current of American history. The mobility of the American worker to move from one part of the country to another and leave behind ghost towns when economic opportunities change is indeed a feature that has made our economy the most prosperous in the world; but another feature has been that the immigrants who have been incorporated into that system eventually shed their identities as members of the nation from which they came and became Americans. I have no problem with this if it continues to occur at a sustainable rate, and the people who come from "zombie countries" can be successfully integrated into the mainstream of American society, but sacrificing our system of integrating immigrants as opposed to using a guest worker program to extract labor from poor countries in a temporary fashion seems quite different than this historical precedent. As up in arms as progressives and conservative populists are about things like economic inequality and the massive influx of illegal immigrants, I would think that adding a permanent strata of guest workers to the equation would serve to much more rapidly and further undermine the egalitarian ethos of the American experiment.

bjkeefe
01-09-2008, 09:51 PM
Adam:

A defining feature of what makes America great is the freedom and equality it promises those who come here. Perhaps I misunderstand Ms. Howley but looking to countries like Singapore or the Arab countries who take the idea of guest workers to its logical endpoint as a model seems to be counter to the current of American history.

Very well put. I completely agree, except that I think you did misunderstand Ms. Howley. IIRC, she stressed that she was only in favor of a guest worker program if the workers had complete freedom to change jobs, which (also IIRC) is not a feature of guest worker programs in Asian and Arab countries.

Wonderment
01-09-2008, 09:58 PM
If Americans could, say, permanently source all of the menial jobs in the U.S. to a permanent underclass of guest workers would this be a good thing?

We need to face the fact that only immigrants will do these kinds of jobs for the wages we're willing to pay them. Back-breaking agricultural labor for minimum wage is NOT going to be done by American citizens with a high school diploma. English-language literacy will simply land you a better-paying, easier and steadier job elsewhere.

There IS no other labor market. We need poorly educated Third World immigrants who are willing to do our hard labor either so they can earn 4 or 5 times in Fresno than what they make in Michoacan and send $$$ back, or so that their children can assimilate into the American dream, speak English and go to high school and college.

It's been a bumpy road but overall a pretty decent win-win situation for 100 years or so in the Southwest. The Bush regime, however, has stirred up plenty of 21st century trouble by conflating terrorism and immigration (the hoax that brought us the Wall) and by tapping into Republican base xenophobia as Mexican immigration has spread to regions of the country that were previously whiter. Granted, all this was brewing during the Clinton years, but it took 9/11 hysteria and a resurgence of xenophobia to turn Republican politics into a battleground to prove quien es el más macho on immigration, i.e., who hates Mexicans the most.

garbagecowboy
01-09-2008, 11:05 PM
We need to face the fact that only immigrants will do these kinds of jobs for the wages we're willing to pay them. Back-breaking agricultural labor for minimum wage is NOT going to be done by American citizens with a high school diploma. English-language literacy will simply land you a better-paying, easier and steadier job elsewhere.

There IS no other labor market. We need poorly educated Third World immigrants who are willing to do our hard labor either so they can earn 4 or 5 times in Fresno than what they make in Michoacan and send $$$ back, or so that their children can assimilate into the American dream, speak English and go to high school and college.


We must have immigrants picking vegetables, forever? Granted, menial labor will probably never completely disappear, but the trend for several hundred years has been that it has been ever more displaced by technology.

I hope I don't invoke some corollary to Godwin's law here, but a similar argument might have been made by a Southerner defending slavery in 1860: "There is no way we can produce cotton at prices people will pay without slave labor." A century and a half later this is patently absurd; picking cotton, a once labor intensive process is now done, I believe, almost completely mechanically. This process has been going on for a long time (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object.cfm?key=35&objkey=158).

Let us develop technological solutions to these problems; perhaps picking fruit is now done much cheaper by immigrant labor than it could be by machines, but there is no law written in stone that this must be the case. Furthermore, why our immigration policy should be dictated by the demands of keeping the prices of cheap goods and services as cheap as they are today. I am not arguing that immigration must be completely stemmed, but saying that since the cost of what many Americans see as a sensible immigration policy (one that does not simply let anyone who can get in, stay) might be higher prices for goods and services, that we must completely abandon the immigration policy. Also I think it is a facile statement to say that Americans "won't do" the labor that immigrants do; of course they will. The question is at what price. Fortunately the free market is very good at sorting that out. So I reiterate, we should not subjugate immigration policy decisions to the current regime of cheap immigrant labor. A combination of technology, substitution of services, and price changes will take care of all of these things in a situation where the pool of immigrant labor is growing less rapidly than it currently is.


{quote}
It's been a bumpy road but overall a pretty decent win-win situation for 100 years or so in the Southwest. The Bush regime, however, has stirred up plenty of 21st century trouble by conflating terrorism and immigration (the hoax that brought us the Wall) and by tapping into Republican base xenophobia as Mexican immigration has spread to regions of the country that were previously whiter. Granted, all this was brewing during the Clinton years, but it took 9/11 hysteria and a resurgence of xenophobia to turn Republican politics into a battleground to prove quien es el más macho on immigration, i.e., who hates Mexicans the most.
{/quote}

I hate to go all Krugman on you (or anybody) but real wages for the least skilled Americans have stagnated, due in no small part to massive, unchecked illegal immigration. This is hardly a "win-win" for our country. Again, I don't think that immigration must be completely shut off, but I think a system that prevents illegal immigration and allows in a reasonable flow of immigrants from poor countries (and assimilates them into the society, as opposed to making an institutionalized second class via a guest worker program) is better than the current free for all we have. And it is indeed possible that terrorism is an ancillary, related problem; you don't have to believe that terrorism is the main threat from the Mexican border to think we should have tighter border security, but it is possible to believe that both problems (unchecked illegal immigration and security concerns) stem from the same root problem: the massive, unpatrolled border region that separates the U.S. from Mexico.

And finally, I would submit that your understanding of U.S. immigration politics is somewhat off; Bush was a supporter of "comprehensive" immigration reform, which would have basically amounted to token strengthening of the border while basically providing amnesty to immigrants already here with the net result of providing plenty of cheap, undocumented workers for American businesses. If he was pandering to anyone on immigration, it was the business community in the United States, not the right-wing "xenophobes" of the Republican base, although the latter could be said of many of the Republican Congressmen who led the charge to defeat "comprehensive" immigration reform.

bkjazfan
01-09-2008, 11:14 PM
Oh, if one is against illegal aliens than that person is a bigot. That is an old song that doesn't play anymore.

What happened to Bush's immigration program? It was dead on arrival in the opposition party's control of congress. Not much Reid and Pelosi could do for that one.

I don't remember mentioning "anchor babies." Perhaps you are confusing me with another so-called bigot.

garbagecowboy
01-09-2008, 11:16 PM
Very well put. I completely agree, except that I think you did misunderstand Ms. Howley. IIRC, she stressed that she was only in favor of a guest worker program if the workers had complete freedom to change jobs, which (also IIRC) is not a feature of guest worker programs in Asian and Arab countries.

You are indeed correct about that facet of her proposed guest worker scheme. I posit, however, that the autonomy of our "guests" to change jobs would not drastically alter the social dynamics that make the scheme un-American and highly unsavory. Even if the Mexicans could say "screw off" to an unfair employer and move on to greener pastures, they would still be an institutionalized lower class with no stake in America except as a source of cash to be remitted to their families in the third world.

In this case I am with you progressives in thinking that these libertarian nut-jobs are way to doctrinaire and utopian and completely naive about the real-world. The U.S. is an "imaginary community"? Am I quoting her correctly, I know she called the U.S. basically an "imaginary" entity. Seems pretty real to me. Also, with regards to their agreement about the obsolescence or illogic of the nation-state, I would ask what better system there is for having at least pockets of the world with good governance and the prosperous economies that depend on good governance to thrive?

If all the world were not divided into nation-states, do Wilkinson and Hurley think it would more closely resemble the United States or Nigeria? Because my money would be on the latter.

Yes, in an ideal world, the man with the gun should not stop Will from doing business with his fellow human in Mexico. However, in the real world, a complete equilibrium of human movement between the rich world and poor would probably lead to, well, just that: an equilibrium where everywhere the average income was the world average, which by my back of the envelope calculation is about 46 trillion into about 6.6 billion (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/xx.html), or about $7,000. Pretty good if you're coming from Nigeria, not so hot if you're from the U.S. I guess I am now a cold-hearted capitalist and anti-capitalist for saying this, but I think there's a pretty good case to be made for rational self-interest in the U.S. not seeing the unfettered ability of anyone anywhere to pack up and decide to call anywhere else on the globe home as a particularly good thing.

And also, somehow I doubt that in this stateless world the pie would be split equally. Not that I generally care about this phenomenon as it relates to the bourgeois in the U.S., but with regard to the world population, I would assume that a rising tide would probably not lift the boats of those in the poorest countries with the least to offer... for instance, as they note, the people who leave Indonesia for greener pastures in Singapore are the exceptional ones.

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
01-09-2008, 11:37 PM
bkjazfan,

I apologize if I implied or stated anything about you that wasn't true. I did try to make a comment in response to a strand of arguments that I link together, including more than one on this thread and even others in the larger culture.

But I mentioned your 'handle' in particular, and so I should have been clear about what you did or did not say.

Again, I apologize and I hope at least that you can still consider wonderment's point about the use of terminology such as calling people "illegal" perhaps not being fully consonant with their dignity as human beings. (For example, why is it that people who are break laws other than immigration are not referred to as "illegals.") If your argument is that bigotry can never be popular I'm sorry but that is certainly wrong.


Oh, if one is against illegal aliens than that person is a bigot. That is an old song that doesn't play anymore.

What happened to Bush's immigration program? It was dead on arrival in the opposition party's control of congress. Not much Reid and Pelosi could do for that one.

I don't remember mentioning "anchor babies." Perhaps you are confusing me with another so-called bigot.

bjkeefe
01-09-2008, 11:43 PM
Adam:

... I think a system that prevents illegal immigration and allows in a reasonable flow of immigrants from poor countries (and assimilates them into the society, as opposed to making an institutionalized second class via a guest worker program) is better than the current free for all we have.

We're agreed. Unfortunately, as you hint at later, there are many forces at work against this ideal solution: the xenophobes, the farmers and small business owners who like the cheap labor, the woolly-headed leftists who want everyone to earn above average, etc.

bjkeefe
01-09-2008, 11:48 PM
Adam:

I posit, however, that the autonomy of our "guests" to change jobs would not drastically alter the social dynamics that make the scheme un-American and highly unsavory.

Maybe. On the other hand, it could be argued that our ancestors didn't face much better when they got here, and somehow or another, things worked out. Granted, there was a lot more open space back then, not to mention a lot less global competition and less automation and pre-fabrication. But there is a part of me that feels like this idea might be worth trying, at least on a trial basis, if we could be sure that the freedom to change jobs was real.

... in the real world, a complete equilibrium of human movement between the rich world and poor would probably lead to, well, just that: an equilibrium where everywhere the average income was the world average ...

I don't know if I agree. Freer trade has tended to increase the overall well-being. Granted, it takes time and there are people who suffer during the transition.

bkjazfan
01-10-2008, 12:34 AM
OK. Spending about as much time in the military as I did in school I am not up to date on the refined nature of the English language. Sorry, no college degree here.

I thought that immigration was an orderly process that one undertook if they wanted to reside in another country. So, when people sneak into another country I don't consider them immigrants.

Awhile back I looked up the definition of illegal alien in a dictionary and after checking it out I felt I was using the appropriate terms. Perhaps, for my lack of schooling I wasn't using a correct dictionary. Or maybe there has been a changing of terms that I am not familiar with. I have worked as a janitor a few times in my life. Now, it isn't called a janitor but now is a sanitation engineer.

I am open to reasonable alternatives.

Wonderment
01-10-2008, 12:36 AM
There are many creative and humanitarian ways to approach the challenge of immigrant working families crossing our borders in response to the supply of jobs.

Republicans want to frame the issue, however, in punitive, sadistic and exclusionary terms. That's unfortunate, hypocritical and counterproductive.

Democrats cannot be absolved of blame either. Draconian border enforcement actually began with Clinton, and NAFTA devastated Mexican agriculture, pressuring campesinos to head north.

Wonderment
01-10-2008, 12:44 AM
Bkjazfan,



I am open to reasonable alternatives.

Thank you for being open-minded. I prefer to use the term "undocumented immigrant families."

bjkeefe
01-10-2008, 12:45 AM
bkjazfan:

I have worked as a janitor a few times in my life. Now, it isn't called a janitor but now is a sanitation engineer.

Well, that term is usually more often applied to garbage collectors, but I take your point. I also worked as a janitor for a while, and never minded calling myself that. I hated "custodian" and "maintenance crew." I also hate all manner of "-challenged" and "special" euphemisms.

The problem I have with the term "illegals" is that there is such a tacit approval, in so many parts of the US, that these people be allowed to do what they're doing. There is no real unified sense of what's right and wrong here, the way there is about, say, murderers, rapists, and thieves. Calling people who are here trying to earn a living without having jumped through the proper hoops places all the blame on them. In reality, we here in the US should own up to our own responsibilities for the situation: many of us like the cheap labor and few of us badger our government to streamline and expand the process of legal immigration.

If you start calling the people who hire these undocumented workers "illegals" as well, I'll have more respect for your insistence on the term.

garbagecowboy
01-10-2008, 03:12 AM
I also, was a janitor at one point in time.

I think calling them illegal immigrants is perfectly justifiable. They immigrated into our country against our nation's laws. It wasn't a typo, their paperwork didn't get lost and there was no foul-up in line coming across the border.

Call the employers "illegal employers" if you like; it is also a perfectly accurate term.

I abhor politically correct euphemisms that sacrifice clear thinking for political expediency. Are criminals "law-compliance challenged individuals?"

Wonderment
01-10-2008, 03:28 AM
I think calling them illegal immigrants is perfectly justifiable. They immigrated into our country against our nation's laws. It wasn't a typo, their paperwork didn't get lost and there was no foul-up in line coming across the border.

Illegals we know and love: Dred Scott, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, 6 million Jews, and every red-blooded American citizen who employs "illegals," especially agribusiness, childcare, health services, maintenance services, food services, etc. The whole friggin' economy is "illegal," since it would collapse in a nanosecond if the "illegals" suddenly vanished. Do you eat fruit and vegetables? You're an accessory after the felonious fact.

garbagecowboy
01-10-2008, 11:15 AM
Perhaps I am, but it is the illegal nature of their crossing that defines the lives of many of these people.

They don't work in shitty jobs with conditions unacceptable to American citizens (like the 5 guys who almost died in a fire (http://litterblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/another-fire-nearly-kills-possible.html) after being locked into the building they were re-tiling overnight) for no reason. They don't jam themselves into cheap apartments at twice the density typically allowed by law like the 9 Malians who died in a fire last year because they're simply unskilled workers. The illegal nature of their arrival and continued presence in this country is a defining feature of their role in this country vis a vis American-born or naturalized citizens or legal resident aliens, or tourists, etc.

Again, calling a criminal a "law compliance-challenged individual" would be technically correct, but it would not be as apt a name because it would downplay the major thing that makes these people different: they are criminals.

Even if the American system has had a part in the "making of" the illegal immigrant, even encouraged his arrival, I don't understand how that makes the most apt description of him "undocumented," when what he did is still illegal. Strange and cruel world that it is, this sort of irony may very well exist, with some people in this country doing quite a bit to undermine our immigration laws from within, as well as the actually people coming in illegally. Doesn't make them simply "undocumented" though. There is no reason that you cannot make your argument perfectly forcefully without resorting to obfuscatory and technically incorrect language. Down that road madness lies. Think: "death tax," "climate change" not global warming, etc.

Wonderment
01-10-2008, 03:55 PM
If nothing else, you should stop using "illegal" for the same reason you stopped calling black people "negros" -- because they object to it and find it demeaning and insulting.

Undocumented immigrants have made it crystal clear that being called an illegal (especially as a noun) is as tolerable as being called a ******.

bkjazfan
01-10-2008, 06:52 PM
Sure, we can call them illegal employers engaged in criminal activities. Or just illegal employers, the list is endless.

bkjazfan
01-10-2008, 06:59 PM
These euphemisms are ridiculous. They can't be called undocumented immigrant families. When one is an immigrant they enter into a process with the government of this country to legally come to this country. These people did not do this so they are not immigrants. So, I'll settle for undocumented families.

bjkeefe
01-10-2008, 07:05 PM
Sure, we can call them illegal employers engaged in criminal activities. Or just illegal employers, the list is endless.

No. Just call them illegals.

bkjazfan
01-10-2008, 08:36 PM
One of the reasons for not calling them illegals is because someone pointed out here is that they don't want to be called that. I am referred to as a bigot, gringo, gabacho, white trash/devil, and an assortment of other names. Do I care? Not in the least.

Wonderment
01-10-2008, 09:39 PM
So, I'll settle for undocumented families.

Fair enough. Thanks for understanding and not denigrating people gratuitously.

garbagecowboy
01-11-2008, 02:43 AM
I don't call them "illegals," but I will not stop referring to them as illegal immigrants; this is what they are, and used as an adjective with regard to their immigration status, it is not pejorative.

While I agree generally with not using words that are inflammatory racial epithets, I not believe that this falls into this category. This is closer to to what I think as over-bearing political correctness, not a case of the use of a term that is offensive. Words like "******" and "spic" etc. have a long history of being used to demean people of a certain race for being of that race. Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, are aptly called; this is a perfectly correct description of them, and I will not stop using it out of political correctness considerations. Perhaps illegal immigrants take offense at being called such because being called "undocumented" obfuscates the fact that they are in this country illegally. I can understand why they would want this fact to be obfuscate, but I for one, will not play along.

bjkeefe
01-11-2008, 05:44 AM
Adam:

... used as an adjective with regard to their immigration status, it is not pejorative.

The word phrase instead of the noun "illegals" is a big step in the right direction, and I'm in support of your campaign against unnecessary obfuscation.

However, I still dislike "illegal immigrants" because it fails to take into account the complicity of the many US citizens in the supposed crime.

garbagecowboy
01-11-2008, 11:35 AM
I would imagine you'd argue that drug addicts have a fair amount of people who are complicit with their addiction... the drug dealers who sell them the dope; the enablers such as parents who look the other way or don't ask enough questions and give the kid money; friends who introduce the drugs to the person.

But we call them drug-addicts, not "people who, together with society, have come to be addicted to drugs." Just as we don't call illegal immigrants "people, who together with society, have come to this country illegally." I think it's fair to say that A)those latter two phrases obfuscate things and that B) even if they don't, they lack enough brevity such that anyone will use them. Also notice that you can think of a pejorative for a drug addict ("junkie") which is worse than something that describes the real situation ("drug addict") but which is not a total euphemism ("chemical euphoria oriented hobbyist").

bjkeefe
01-11-2008, 02:06 PM
poll

Adam:

But we call them drug-addicts, not "people who, together with society, have come to be addicted to drugs."

Okay, now you're being a little ridiculous. I wish you had quit at "illegal immigrants."

In the first place, "drug addict" and "junkie" are not particularly offensive terms compared to "illegal" (as a noun). (As a side note, I'd point out that people who really want to emphasize the medical aspect of the problem prefer not to use these terms, either.)

In the second place, the laws concerning illegal drug use apply uniformly, at least in theory. Leaving aside the uneven punishments for those of different socioeconomic strata, everyone is subject to the same rules. By contrast, the people who come into this country to work without having jumped through the proper hoops are doing something that would be considered good behavior if their papers were in order. They're basically not any different from someone doing renovations to a house without getting a building permit first.

Besides, a large chunk of the citizens of this country want those workers to come here. To go put users of illegal drugs into the same context, we'd have to have a situation where, say, Wal-Mart was selling cocaine as a cleaning product and (wink, wink) telling people not to snort it. Lots of people would know this was going on, but they'd be happy about it, because they were making money off of their Wal-Mart stock, or enjoying the lower prices on other goods that Wal-Mart could afford to offer as a consequence of their profits from selling cocaine.

In the end, none of this debate between us really matters. The people to whom the term "illegals" is applied find the term offensive, as do a lot of other people. Why, then, insist on using the term? I think we should borrow from the French, and use the term "expatriates."

garbagecowboy
01-11-2008, 02:20 PM
In the end, none of this debate between us really matters. The people to whom the term "illegals" is applied find the term offensive, as do a lot of other people. Why, then, insist on using the term? I think we should borrow from the French, and use the term "expatriates."

The point wasn't that drug addicts and illegal immigrants are in any way morally equivalent, I was just trying to think of a group for which you could use a euphemism to describe them which obfuscates the true nature of what they are. But you're right, it's not an apt comparison, so I'll drop it.

This will be my last word: I don't think that "illegal immigrant" is pejorative, I think it accurately describes their situation, and I believe that calling them "undocumented workers" is a euphemism that obfuscates the true nature of the situation: they broke our nations laws, they jumped the line ahead of people who would like to come here but follow the rules, and their continued presence in this country is against the law of the land.

Sure, there are lots of factors that complicate the situation with regards to what policies we should take regarding immigration, but that doesn't alter the fact that these immigrants are not simply "undocumented," they came into this country illegally. I reject any comparison of the term "illegal immigrants" to racial epithets; illegal immigrants can come from any country or be of any race. It might be offensive to them to be reminded of the fact that they are in this country illegally and that their being here has stirred up a lot of controversy and animosity. However, they are here illegally, and their taking offense at a situation that is clearly the case is not sufficient reason, I don't think, to reframe the debate by referring to them with a euphemistic term that is completely inaccurate and hides the true nature of the problem. So there you have it; I will continue talking about illegal immigrants, not "undocumented workers." Sorry if this offends peoples' sensibilities, but to my mind it is not pejorative, it is surely not a racial pejorative, and I think that that rebranding them as "expats" or "undocumented workers" is to try to frame the debate in such a way as to make it seem that illegal immigration is fine and good, and that it is the U.S. government and its people who are solely responsible for the situation that the problems surrounding their relocation en masse to the United States in violation of our laws.

bjkeefe
01-11-2008, 02:32 PM
Adam:

I'm happy to end this, too. I'd just note two things: First, "expatriate" is not a term that implies any legality, at least in most definitions (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=define%3A+expatriate&btnG=Search).

Second, as I said earlier, I'm okay with the term "illegal immigrants" if you're unwilling to go any further -- it's a big step in the right direction away from "illegals."

Wonderment
01-11-2008, 05:37 PM
Forget "junkie." Why not call everyone who has ever consumed an controlled substance without a medical prescription an "illegal?"

Let's start calling Obama an 'illegal" since he admitted cocaine use. Hillary could take out a campaign ad saying, "Don't waste your vote on an illegal." I figure there are also plenty of Republican illegals in Congress too, and I don't just mean the ones tapping their feet in bathroom stalls or sending raunchy emails to Congressional pages.

Also, we know that there are more citizen white people who cheat on their income taxes than there are undocumented immigrants. How come patriots like Lou Dobbs are not shrieking every day about them?

Then there are all the illegals going over the speed limit on our highways. We should build a wall!

garbagecowboy
01-11-2008, 06:13 PM
I was arguing for not replacing the term "illegal immigrant" with "undocumented worker," not with calling those people "illegals."

I think the term "illegal drug user" is apt for someone who uses drugs illegally. Someone like Rush Limbaugh who takes Oxycontin without a prescription is not an "undocumented" Oxycontin user... he is an illegal Oxycontin user.

So in short, I agree, we should not shy away from describing illegal activities as such.

Wonderment
01-11-2008, 07:32 PM
Hillary Clinton today in Las Vegas:

Clinton and her busload of traveling press moved... to the popular local Mexican restaurant Lindo Michoacan...

In broken English, one woman told Clinton how she wasn't making money as a broker anymore.

"I have no income at all," she said. "So how will I survive?"...

A man shouted through an opening in the wall that his wife was illegal.

"No woman is illegal," Clinton said, to cheers.

bjkeefe
01-11-2008, 09:06 PM
Wonderment:

Good for HRC, but I think Adam is being reasonable about this. He agrees with me that "illegals" is pejorative, I agree with him that (stupid laws or not, inconsistent enforcement or not), there is a distinct class of people who are here in the US in violation of the letter of the law and it makes sense to have a non-obfuscatory term to use when discussing this group.

Of course, I'd like him to move a little closer to where you and I stand, regarding the people who are in this country without having gone through the proper hoops, but he's no Tom Tancredo.

Just in case you haven't read the whole thread, I mean.

Baltimoron
01-12-2008, 12:09 AM
I found Will's intro ANNOYING! Could be sound more flippant and bubble-gum lightheaded and scatterbrained?

I take back my vote!

Oh, gee golly whizz, Will's back to talking like a normal person!

garbagecowboy
01-12-2008, 02:01 PM
Yea, and in case you wondered what I thought about immigration in general: I don't think that any of the people currently illegally in the U.S. should be deported.

The first step should be to shut the southern border, via some combination of physical barriers and increased law enforcement presence... think double the border guard, cameras, etc. Once we have lowered the number of people getting across each year to some small fraction of its current level, we could go about putting those who were here before the law was passed on a "path to citizenship." As this is going on, legal immigration could be increased to perhaps not make the total number of migrants as high as it has been, but higher than it has been in the past.

The net effect would be to try to temporarily decrease the rate at which new immigrants come into the country and stop people coming across the border illegally, which I believe the sheer rate of is hurting the assimilation back home of some of the new arrivals. The goal would not be to "get them furreners back from where they come" but to allow the U.S. to continue to allow immigrants in and assimilate them permanently, but at a rate which we can control and which will be sustainable in the long run. Also I'd assume that one of the benefits of cracking down on people coming across the southern border would be that we could ratchet up the amount of legal immigrants we let in concomitantly or nearly so. Wouldn't that be good? To give the people who "wait in line" a fair shake over those who "cut the line"? And it isn't helpful to obfuscate the situation by making it seem as if all the people who are now in poor countries who would like to come to the U.S. are the same: some don't try at all, some try via legal channels, and the majority who make it here just get around our border patrol and then our law enforcement. They are here.... illegally.

Wonderment
01-12-2008, 04:34 PM
Yea, and in case you wondered what I thought about immigration in general: I don't think that any of the people currently illegally in the U.S. should be deported.

Bravo. That is what we've been saying for years: legalización para todos.

The first step should be to shut the southern border, via some combination of physical barriers and increased law enforcement presence... think double the border guard, cameras, etc.

The problem with militarizing the border more is that -- so far at least -- it has led to increased fatalities. People find a "safer" route and die in the desert. Of course, it the border was truly impervious that wouldn't happen, but then you have the biggest Berlin Wall in the history of the planet. Great symbol for the land of the free and the home of the brave. Gonna do that across Canada too because the Mexicans will eventually figure out that they can come in through North Dakota. Besides, all the immigrant has to do is save a few more pesos, fly to Los Angeles or Houston on a tourist visa ( or take the bus from the border) and s/he's in.

Tamper-proof National ID card would solve that, but the right wing hates the idea, as do employers (the richer illegals).

The long-term solution for me is to DE-militarize the border and work with Mexico and Central America on a universal word permit for everyone. It's not a painless fix, but it works for Europe. Europe helped its "third-world" dictatorships like Portugal, Spain and Greece democratize nonviolentally and join the booming economy. Why not here? In fact, we could all go on the Euro. I wish I bought a lot of them in 2001 when I was there and they were going for 0.85.

wh61193
01-13-2008, 12:43 AM
This woman talks about migrating as if we all were cattle. She may have no feeling for any particular piece of land but some people do. She makes me sick with that piping valley girl bitch voice of hers. She knows EVERYTHING and yet, what is she? 20 or 25 years old? How'd she learn everything so fast? I don't guess she's an idiot idiot is she? She sounds like one but she must not be- she's an editor. God fear the thinking of 20- something liberals. They assume they have brilliant answers for everything. Personally I want my piece of land and I want my culture and I don't want to be multi-cultural. We've taken in way too many Mexicans already. I couldn't care less about their problems or their migrations- just stay in Mexico to migrate around. Also I don't want to see America have 600 million people. In the sixties liberals worried about over-population- now they bemoan the trampled "rights" of the over-populaters who actually have no legal rights in the US and shouldn't have any except the right to not be physically harmed unless they're threatening or resist the law. Same as what would happen to me if I resisted the law. I'd be a little more open to a guest worker program if children born to guest=workers were not citizens unless born to an American citizen. But even then the guest worker would have no avenue towards citizenship. I mean guest workers, not cloaked immigrants.

bjkeefe
01-13-2008, 03:56 AM
wh61193:

God fear the thinking of 20- something liberals.

Did you mean libertarians? I'm pretty sure Kerry would not describe herself as a liberal, and I'd also say that her argument did not sound much like liberal dogma to me.

DisturbingClown
01-13-2008, 04:39 PM
Judging from the rest of his analysis, it's safe to say he's probably not too concerned with a careful accounting for details.

cousincozen
01-14-2008, 01:03 AM
Ha! How 'bout "Good hearted people just looking for work," Jorge Busheron's favorite term. Would you like that better? Strictly speaking, and as everyone knows, the formal and proper term is illegal alien, which through often use has simply been truncated to "illegal." Everyone knows that. You're simply trying to control not only the discussion of illegal aliens and their presence in this country, but the very language permitted to be employed in the discussion. You're getting ahead of yourself, friendo. This isn't Canada, yet.

garbagecowboy
01-14-2008, 02:20 AM
Well, to be fair, it has been pioneered by those on the right... (http://www.amazon.com/WORDS-THAT-WORK-WHAT-PEOPLE/dp/B000YFAC40/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200291597&sr=1-1) Global Warming -> Climate Change. Estate tax -> death tax. Etc.

Doesn't mean it's a somewhat odious strategy, however.

cousincozen
01-14-2008, 08:28 AM
I don't care if they have it copyrighted. It's a sniveling carny gag that ain't gonna work. Especially when things like THIS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOe5uYFcXzY) are going on.

bjkeefe
01-14-2008, 03:22 PM
cousincozen:

Who made that video? Leni (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leni_Riefenstahl)?

cousincozen
01-14-2008, 04:16 PM
As in Riefenstahl. Funny. Yes, it was a cast of thousands...well, hundreds (and hundreds, by the look) and cost mucho Reichsmarks. You're implying that the whole thing was staged?? It looks damned genuine to me! But I certainly don't want to disparage Good-hearted-people-just-looking-for-work and their exotic ways. I guess one should look on the bright side: No still-beating hearts were cleaved out of chests with sharp shards of obsidian. (Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with doing such a thing should it be part of ones cultural heritage, lord knows.)

bjkeefe
01-14-2008, 05:54 PM
cousincozen:

Yes, it was a cast of thousands...well, hundreds (and hundreds, by the look) and cost mucho Reichsmarks. You're implying that the whole thing was staged??

Not at all. Just that it was skillfully edited and produced. I'm sure the raw footage was real, and therefore cost nothing beyond the purchase price of the camera to obtain. However, there's no way to tell from the cuts showing the supposed victim what he might have done to bring that grief down on himself. Remember the "Don't taze me, bro" kid? I could have used the same techniques as those used in the video you linked to to make him an entirely sympathetic character: carefully select little snippets of footage, add some ominous music and graphics, and boom, I've got a video showing The Man stomping a defenseless citizen just for trying to ask a question.

Much more importantly, the idea that this one incident says anything general is a completely unwarranted leap. Random bad things happen all the time. The maker of this video took advantage of one such event for one reason: to suggest that this poor guy got beat up because there were Latinos marching, and to imply that all the trouble is due to Those People being here in the first place. This is a laughably obvious example of the fallacy of confusing correlation with causation, to begin with. Worse, it's clear that the effort put into editing and producing had a single motivation: to appeal to a preexisting prejudice.

If you're buying into the message that video is selling, you're either looking for data to support some hypothesis you already have, or you're just being duped.

Unfortunately, from the rest of your comment, it's evident that the former is the case. It's hard to believe anyone who has had the privilege of growing up in America really believes that Mexicans want to cut "still-beating hearts ... out of chests with sharp shards of obsidian," or even feels that it's appropriate to say such a thing as a joke.

I guess I'll leave it there. Arguing with bigots about their bigotry is usually a waste of time.

garbagecowboy
01-14-2008, 11:28 PM
____________

cousincozen
01-14-2008, 11:44 PM
You're the stereotypical liberal who hasn't gotten mugged yet. And no, I don't remember the "Don't taze me, bro" kid.

The guy was roughed up by the cops for flipping off the crowd. I mean, anybody should be able to ascertain that immediately. Prior to the cops confronting him, there was a conversation between the driver, as he sit in his car, and what appears to be a couple of members of the crowd. Now, there can be an argument made that the cops demanded that he, as you can hear in the video, get his hand down from the open sunroof of his car as he set in stalled traffic, because the gesture was causing the crowd to become uncontrollably hostile. But if so, that just shows that the cops didn't really have control of a potentially violent crowd in downtown Seattle (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002923949_rally11m.html) and acquiesced to the demands of violent demonstrators in preference to the freedom of expression of a single citizen on, what I would suspect to be, his commute to or from work.

Here's another edit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es7YakKQpXE) of what I think is the same video.

You stand as refutation to the aphorism that a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps it's a case of shoe-horning reality to fit preconceived notions on your part, much as you accuse me. (However, in my case, I plead guilty. Big deal.) I don't claim that the demonstrators are responsible--were the cause--for the violence that befell the commuter. He could've sat there like a good boy and listened to them chant and make a spectacle of themselves and disrupt his ability to travel. Totally his fault for thinking that he could safely express himself in that manner. I mean, it's like giving the finger in a crowded theater. So no, I'm not saying there's causation. I'm saying there's correlation! (Duh!)

And of course the videographer saw a perfect opportunity to tell the story he wanted told, as I would think all documentarians do. That the surly crowd of mestizo invaders...I'm sorry, I mean good-hearted-people-just-looking-for-work complied is no indictment of the video's content. And since this isn't Canada (http://www.pentictonherald.ca/stories.php?id=84935) yet, the videographer's intentions (http://ezralevant.com/2008/01/what-is-your-intent.html) are not that relevant (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080120.wcomment0121/BNStory/National/home). The content (http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/01/13/hate_speech_laws/index.html) should stand on its own merits.

I agree with your parting sentiment, though. It's usually very difficult to pointless to try to dissuade the devout, but I really don't care. My thoughts are directed to those who agree but are silent, who are intimidated by the fashionable thoughts of their imagined betters, but especially to those who blithely assume that everyone is on board for the deconstruction of America.

And no, I don't really believe that Mexicans, as you say, want to cut out still-beating hearts with obsidian shards, as their ancient ancestors did. It was just a caustic and crappy way to stress the danger the driver faced. Everyone knows that they're more into machetes nowadays.

In other news, Bush administration's (http://www.lewrockwell.com/lott/lott58.html) chief lawyer before the Supreme Court files brief arguing that private-firearms ownership "threatens public." (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59674) I say correlation. What do you say?

bjkeefe
01-15-2008, 12:43 AM
Speaking as one member of the left, I had zero sympathy for that "don't taze me, bro" kid. It was obvious that he was hoping to provoke an incident. (A week or two later, he admitted it, if memory serves.)

Tasing in particular seemed a little excessive. I thought the security personnel should have just carried him outside.

garbagecowboy
01-15-2008, 10:34 AM
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Wonderment
01-15-2008, 04:25 PM
Wait, wasn't the "Don't taze me bro" dude a sympathetic figure to lefty types?

Speaking for the international brohood of lefty types, he was sympathetic to us as a victim of excessive force by security forces.

The incident served to show the world the dangers of tasers and to stimulate a discussion of their use, abuse, misuse. This is a particularly good discussion to have now, while the torture issue is on everyone's mind.

I am not saying there is no legitimate use of tasers ever. I'm undecided on that; I'd rather be tased than shot and it might be better than getting clubbed on the head too. But we should develop better tools and standards for deploying them.