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January 09, 2008

Comments

So it's OK for male politicians to exploit the gender card (...)

No, and nobody said so.

jesurgliac - I never said it was okay for male politicians to play the gender card. I think, for example, that some of the things Sarkozy and his supporters said about Segolene Royal in the French election were inexcusable. I don't like identity politics. Period. I think they're dangerous, divisive, irresponsible, and distract from the issues. I see no reason to deviate from that stance because in this case it's a woman engaging in gender based identity politics.

Phil - I said OPEN racism. Ads about immigrants taking American jobs or burdening the social welfare system aren't ipso facto racist, despite what liberals want to believe. Racism is sentiment of the "keep those dirty wetbacks out" variety. That's out there, but it's not mainstream. The fact is, immigrants do compete with Americans for low income jobs, and allowing in too many without incorporating them into the tax structure will burden the social welfare system. I'm strongly pro-immigration myself, but even I'll admit that there are reasons one might oppose it without it making one a flaming racist.

Reminds me of a bunch of boys in high school, who took offense because I - the only girl who rode a bike to school - would park my bike in the bikeshed, which had been boy's-only territory up to then.

Well that's a sad tale, but if you get over your high school traumas some day, you might notice that this blog, like much of the rest of the grown-up world, operates on different principles.

Anytime you decide to apologise for your offensive comments btw, I'll graciously accept.

jesurgliac - I never said it was okay for male politicians to play the gender card. I think, for example, that some of the things Sarkozy and his supporters said about Segolene Royal in the French election were inexcusable. I don't like identity politics. Period. I think they're dangerous, divisive, irresponsible, and distract from the issues. I see no reason to deviate from that stance because in this case it's a woman engaging in gender based identity politics.

Phil - I said OPEN racism. Ads about immigrants taking American jobs or burdening the social welfare system aren't ipso facto racist, despite what liberals want to believe. Racism is sentiment of the "keep those dirty wetbacks out" variety. That's out there, but it's not mainstream. The fact is, immigrants do compete with Americans for low income jobs, and allowing in too many without incorporating them into the tax structure will burden the social welfare system. I'm strongly pro-immigration myself, but even I'll admit that there are reasons one might oppose it without it making one a flaming racist.

In what significant ways are the advocation of a giant wall across our southern border, and openly consorting with members of groups like the Minutemen and Vdare, not precisely equal to "keep the dirty wetbacks out?" And what did the Giuliani ad have to do with immigration? It was openly xenophobic if not outright racist.

Oh for goodness sake jesu. For goodness sake. Have you even taken the time to read some of the replies people have put up to respond to you? Indeed your high school story is sad, and I'm sorry that it has clearly affected you to this day, but it is a complete non sequitur. I agree with byrningman, I think you owe some people an apology.

That's nice, DL. I'm sure some people are glad to know that.

I think you owe some people an apology.

I fear it will never come, she's trapped in the deep dark bikeshed of the mind.

I'm also a little perplexed by the idea that sub rosa racism is somehow better than open racism. All the former does is give its perpetrators plausible deniability and put its victims ok the defensive.

I don't see any evidence of that, frankly, and I think the insinuation is insulting.

Hey man, two words: voter ID.

Not a conservative racist thing? Talk to our good buddy Erick over at Redstate about it.

Race relations have changed, quite often for the better, in the last generation or two. It's great -- really, really great -- that Obama is running and the fact that he is black more or less merits a yawn.

But there is way more than "no evidence" that conservative Republicans continue to work the racism angle when it's to their advantage.

I doubt many of them are, personally, all that racist, but IMO there's not a dime's worth of difference between being a racist and playing one for the crowd.

Just an aside on the "baby boomer" thing:

I was born late in 1956. I am, allegedly, smack in the middle of the "boomer" bulge.

I have no idea where I was when JFK was shot. I was probably at recess playing marbles. It was a non-event for me.

During the "summer of love" I was 10. When Woodstock happened I was 12. It was just a lot of hairy people on TV to me.

By the time I was old enough to serve in the military, Vietnam and the draft were over. I came up way more punk than hippie.

The boomer thing is a pop sociology category that has, as far as I can tell, no meaningful application to the entire cohort of folks born between 1946 and 1964.

1945 to maybe 1952, you could make a case. But not really much beyond that. The formative experiences of the folks involved were really just not the same.

I'm not sure what significance that has for "generational politics", but whenever folks start droning on about "the boomers" I, as someone who allegedly is one, just don't know what they're talking about.

Thanks -

What russell said.

Technically I’m a boomer. My formative years were the 70’s. I don’t identify with the boomers any more than I do with the GenX’ers.

Watergate and Apollo, Nixon and Carter and Brezhnev, SNL and MASH, Bell Bottoms and stoner hats, Afros and Mullets - I like classic rock and punk and grunge.

Trying to pigeonhole someone based on the year they were born isn’t really any more productive than asking them what their sign is.

I agree Russell, you're too young to be a boomer. I think one of the best depictions of the boomers and the generational gap with the so called Generation X is The Ice Storm by Rick Moody/Ang Lee.

I'm also a little perplexed by the idea that sub rosa racism is somehow better than open racism.

I'm guessing here, but I would presume there are two things involved. The first is that the most virulent of racists would no longer have access to the kind of support that would let them influence more widely. The second would be that driving it underground would make it so that people who might be unthinking racists would find the weight of social approbation on them and so reduce that incidence. Tolerating sub rosa racism might be said to be trying to create a cordon sanitaire around the racism, like you deal a disease vector.

I'd suggest that American society has largely adopted this approach because 'liberalism' as the notion of tolerating a wide variety of opinions says that you don't stamp out those opinions. We generally think that a person's mind is a private preserve where they can do what they want. On the one hand, it has helped us move on, but at the cost of forgetting how we as a people were.

I'm 37, and I think Obama's support remind's me of running for president in the 6th Grade.

I wish it was Obama's time, but it ain't going to happen. The Republican's will cream him. I have always been an Edward's supporter, however most folks in the Party are moving towrad Clinton. I support platform's over personalities. I'm not crazy about Clinton, but all the stuff right-wingers hate about her, I happen to respect. I'm not looking for a drinking partner or a lover in my politicos. She's tough, cold, hard, married to a dick, and seems to keep it together.

Xeynon: the post Civil Rights era

This phrase chills me to the bone. It's clear from your comments that you mean: after the era where civil rights concerns were focused mostly on black people. I don't have a problem with that concept. But coming towards the end of a Presidency where the civil rights of all Americans have been under attack -- and by the party you seem to support (I am not blaming you personally for this, but I do blame the Republican party and its leaders) -- well, like I say, the phrase itself chills me to the bone.

It's not progress if we win the battle for black civil rights, but lose the war for everyone's civil rights.

And your spirited defense of Republican racial neutrality, while welcome, has yet to deal with their effort to use bogus voter fraud charges to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters, which is anything but racially neutral.

On preview: I was born in early 1952 and I agree with russell that there was a cultural sea change between people my age and people his age, and that the "boomer" idea is meaningless.

Now I'm not saying those attributes are definitive, I'm sure she knows when and where to show different aspects of her personality.

I don't know if the unprofessional nature of the coverage of Hillary is due to sexism or not. In a way it doesn't matter because the behavior of most pundits and talking heads is unprofessional across the board, whether the target is female or not. We have a lousy press corpse.

I totally buy the idea that Democratic women who had previously been uncommitted or mildly committed stomped off to vote for Hillary just to give a big FU to the wankers who had been going on and on and on about her "anger" or her "crying". Sexist or not, our pundit class is a bunch of overpaid undereducated cocktail party twits, incapable of innsight annd dedicated to the conventional wisdoms of decades past. Sheesh, what has Ed Meese got to do with annything? We are cursed with pundidts who have no comprehension at all of how peple in thhe real world think NOW. If I lived in NH I, a committed Obamiac, would hhave been severely temptedto vote for Clinton.

Here's a little story: I went out to a bar one eveninng with a bunch of people and got into a conversation with thhe male friennd of a friennd ( call him Jim). The conversation, as is the wonnt of beer-influenced chat, became impassioned, but, I thought , in an enjoyable way. I don't remember what we werre discussing, but it wasnn't personal. No "Youu jerk!", for example. Anyway I waved my hand arouund while talkinng annd suddenly Jim innterrupted me, using thhe tone a dog trainner uses for a dog, annd said, "Don't you wave your hand at me. I won't put up with it."
It was like getting slapped inn the face. It was also compltely annachronistic--I thought the days of men telling women what emotions we werre allowed to feel and how we were allowed to expres them was way back in the early fifties. I was stunned to encounter a man so insecure that he couldn't handle a conversation with a woman who waves her arms arouund while talking. And it was only one arm and barely waving. See how I get defensive? Like it's my fault thhat I don't express myself according to his standards for women.

So I think the press coverage of Clinton is old fashioned, predicated on the assumption that men get so say how women should act and women will be rejected if thhey don't act according to those stanndards. And, on this, as on so many issues, our pundits are wrong.

Of course, if the voting in the New Hampshire primary was rigged against Obama, a lot of the analysis above is superfluous:

http://ronrox.com/paulstats.php?party=DEMOCRATS

oh god. please don't start the "rigged voting" bullsh!t already. if it looks like i'm gonna have to put up with eleven months of this nonsense, i'm going to shove a voting machine straight up some conspiracy-theorists ass.

AS for the sixth grade nature of the support for Obama--there does seem to be a lot of support that isn't linnked to issues. But that's good.

Neither party can winn an elelction bexclusivley by getting the votes of people who support their issues. MAny many Americanns donn't vote on thhe issuues. Issue-oriented Democrats unappreciate this point. Many voters don't vote on issues, annd as stupid as you may think that is the fact remains tht you can't win without the votes og the "6 th graders".

The Republicans will beat up on all of our candidates. The questtion is which one will it be easiest to beat up on and which one the hardest? Beating up on Clintois reflexive withh thhe press all though thhere might be a learning curve after the resonse from NH. Beating up on Obama is hhard for the righht and for the press--it makes them look racist. That doesn't mean they won't do it, just thhat thhere is a built inn down side.

So don't put down the cannddate that gets the nonissue boters. We need those voters and the ability to attract them is a valuable asset.

Although I think the Bradley effect played a more important role than most seem to suspect, …I am more impressed by Clintons performance, if indeed she thought her performance would galvanize pissed women. Someone who can motivate women like that, show’s she can platy HARDBALL with the white boys.

Rilkefan: Her latest comments on the issue.

The link didn't seem to relate to your point. Maybe I missed it. It was about transparency but not specifically in response to allegations that she was refusing to release records from her tenure as First Lady.

I think concerns about secrecy and HRC not releasing records come from events such as the Rose Law Firm billing records with her fingerprints on them
mysteriously reappearing
in the White House months after being the subject of a subpoena.


Phil: In what significant ways are the advocation of a giant wall across our southern border, and openly consorting with members of groups like the Minutemen and Vdare, not precisely equal to "keep the dirty wetbacks out?"

Controlled borders and immigration do not have to be mutually exclusive. I acknowledge that a lot of support for a wall is driven by racism. I am in favor of immigration in general and immigration from Latin America. I am also in favor of controlled immigration.

I don't have a problem with a wall to deal with border security/drug issues. The real question is the number of visas or work permits we are willing to give to Latin Americans. Query: If someone is in favor of the wall but simultaneously in favor of a guest worker program and increasing visas to Latin American countries, how is that the equivalent of "keep the dirty wetbacks out?"

Controlled borders and immigration do not have to be mutually exclusive. I acknowledge that a lot of support for a wall is driven by racism.

I wish more immigration debates recognized that.

From family history, I know a majority of the anti-immigration forces were fueled by racism. And some of the same arguments, down to the exact wording, are being recycled today.

That engenders a fair amount of skepticism that a lot of people don't seem to recognize.

I call shenanigans on "the Bradley effect." It ignores the fact that Obama's returns, as well as those of Edwards and Richardson, were in line with the polls. What seems likely to me: undecideds and Dodd/Biden voters broke heavily for Clinton.

"Guest Worker" programs would do the exact opposite of what anti-immigration folks say they want to do. It'd create a permanent underclass of foreign workers. And every few years, as the guest workers started getting proficient in English and becoming more assimilated to our society, it would kick them back out and replace them with a completely new cohort of workers who hadn't assimilated at all. And it would give the guest working immigrants no reason to invest in our society, so they'd have even less reason to assimilate.

And it wouldn't do a damn thing about pressure on low-wage jobs. It wouldn't do anything about enforcement problems or the rest. It'd just provide a cheap pool of practically disposable labor. Which is why the big business leaders are for it.

If you want to slow illegal immigration, the best way to do it is to crack down on the DEMAND for illegal immigrant labor. Which means the businesses that hire them. It's a lot easier and more effective and less stupid than trying to build a fence along thousands of miles of desert and river and mountain.

"From family history, I know a majority of the anti-immigration forces were fueled by racism."

I wonder if this storyline is going to persist as the Democratic Party anti-immigration forces grow stronger. A natural outgrowth of Edwards' trade outlook is the idea that immigrants are 'hurting' the American worker. Is this really fueled by racism?

gwangung: That engenders a fair amount of skepticism that a lot of people don't seem to recognize.

I tried that out on a Jewish friend who was infuriated by the racism of the anti-immigration arguments used in the 1920s and 1930s: pointing out that the same anti-immigration arguments were being used today, just against different groups. (Friend is firmly anti-immigration as far as Muslims are concerned.)

His response? "Those arguments were wrong then. But they're right now."

Nate: If you want to slow illegal immigration, the best way to do it is to crack down on the DEMAND for illegal immigrant labor. Which means the businesses that hire them.

And to increase legal immigration. If people want to enter the country enough that they're prepared to risk death to do it, then you might just as well make it so that they won't be available as cheap labour to drive down wages: let them come in as legal immigrants with the right to unionize, protest unfair treatment, leave a bad job or a bad employer, and demand decent wages.

I wonder if this storyline is going to persist as the Democratic Party anti-immigration forces grow stronger.

Anybody who knows anything will. It's not unknown to me how racist unions were from the 19th Century through the 1970s.

That's the point of bringing out that story---to try to prevent people from going that that xenophobic path.

I don't have a problem with a wall to deal with border security/drug issues.

The border between the US and Mexico is not quite 2,000 miles long. Much of it is river that is relatively easy to cross. Most of the rest is mountain or desert.

The more populated parts of the border include several large metropolitan areas that span the border itself -- San Diego / Tijuana, El Paso / Juarez, Brownsville / Matamoros.

250,000 legal crossings are made each year.

Leaving aside the underlying policy issues, I don't see how you could possibly build an effective physical barrier between the two countries. I just don't.

Any policy that requires a wall is going to fail.

Thanks -

"If people want to enter the country enough that they're prepared to risk death to do it, then you might just as well make it so that they won't be available as cheap labour to drive down wages: let them come in as legal immigrants with the right to unionize, protest unfair treatment, leave a bad job or a bad employer, and demand decent wages."

I'm going to take this opportunity to almost completely agree with Jesurgislac. If people are willing to take crazy risks to become Americans, I'm willing to say that I'm ok with them becoming Americans.

I was born late in 1956. I am, allegedly, smack in the middle of the "boomer" bulge.

I have no idea where I was when JFK was shot. I was probably at recess playing marbles. It was a non-event for me.

Interesting. I was born on November 5th, 1958, and I remember it happening -- that is, I remember my memories of my memories of my memories -- perfectly clearly, albeit my memories are centered around the television, and how it was nothing, of course, but all-JFK for days, and how, at age 5, I actually understood that the President had been killed, and that it was terrible, and that everyone was very sad.

And I accepted that it was reasonable for there to be nothing but coverage of the death and events for the first three days.

And then on the fourth day, I finally started to get really annoyed that they hadn't brought back any cartoons, or anything, and felt this seemed like it was going on too long.

Then finally things returned to normal on tv within another couple of days, and life went on.

But it was absolutely the first public event I clearly remember. I couldn't swear I have any such clear recall of a public event until Gemini III, and that's much vaguer in my memory, as are all other public events, until June, 1967, which was when I turned from a growing interest in the newspaper into an obsessed daily reader of multiple newspapers, and a follower of the tv news, as well as any and all magazines at the library, all as part of a general obsession with reading, of course. But while I avidly followed the space missions between 1965 and 1967, my memories of those launches is entirely vague.

Naturally, that I recall JFK's death, russell, means that I'm a superior human being to you.

;-)

On the boom, there are plenty of variant theories for one to cherry-pick from; see here, for instance.

Any of this preferable?

[...] The conceptualization that has gained the most public acceptance is that of a 1942-1953 Baby Boom Generation, followed by a 1954-1965 Generation Jones. Boomers and Jonesers had dramatically different formative experiences which gave rise to dramatically different collective personalities. Other monikers have been sometimes used to describe the younger cohort, like "Trailing Edge Boomers", "Late Boomers", and "Shadow Boomers", but the moniker "Generation Jones" has achieved far more popularity than any of these other terms, and is the only moniker for this cohort that is commonly used in the media.

In his book Boomer Nation, Steve Gillon states that the baby boom began in 1946 and ends in 1960, but he breaks Baby Boomers into two groups: Boomers, born between 1945 and 1957; and Shadow Boomers born between 1958 and 1964.[8] Further, in Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers, author Brent Green defines Leading-Edge Boomers as those born between 1946 and 1955. This group is a self-defining generational cohort or unit because its members all reached their late teen years during the height of the Vietnam War era, the defining historical event of this coming-of-age period. Green describes the second half of the demographic baby boom, born from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s as either Trailing-Edge Boomers or Generation Jones. [9]

[...]

It can be argued that the defining event of early Baby Boomers was the Vietnam War and the protest over the draft, which ended in 1973. Since anyone born after 1955 was not subject to the draft, this argues for the ten years including 1946 to 1955 as defining the baby boomers. This would fit the thirtysomething demographic covered by the TV show of the same name which aired from 1987-1991. The cultural disaffinities of those born after 1955 (thereby missing the draft and being too young to be part of the 1960s) could be captured by the Gen X of Douglas Coupland in his book Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.

And so; apologies that I've feeling like lazy, and not reproducing all the italics.

"Query: If someone is in favor of the wall but simultaneously in favor of a guest worker program"

If you are suggesting that a "guest worker" program is somehow a pro-immigration device, you are badly misinformed.

The entire point of a "guest worker" program is that it doesn't allow people to become citizens, and thus prevents them from legally immigrating. People who are pro-immigration oppose this, as we're for legal immigration.

If people are willing to take crazy risks to become Americans, I'm willing to say that I'm ok with them becoming Americans.

New shows for fall 2011:

Fear Factor: INS Edition
Green Card Jackass

If people are willing to take crazy risks to become Americans, I'm willing to say that I'm ok with them becoming Americans.

I'm with Seb and Jes. With bells on. Y'all come.

Plus, somebody needs to soak up all of that surplus housing stock. :(

Naturally, that I recall JFK's death, russell, means that I'm a superior human being to you.

This comes as no news to me. :)

followed by a 1954-1965 Generation Jones

I knew it! Finally, an identity to call my own.

With an extremely hip name, no less!

Generation Jones, baby!

Thanks -

People keep citing the Bradley effect. But the polls pretty accurately predicted Obama's support; the polls failed by underpredicting Clinton's support. This suggests that the Bradley effect wasn't the main factor.

Well, I just wanted to let Russell know that the quote of mine (second one in his comment) he used in his 12:20am was a bit of pontificating from the boomer end of the demographic python.

It may have been unclear who I was defending, the mature or the immature. Somehow I manage to be immature and senile at the same time.

I was merely pointing out that hubris is a non-depleting resource passed on from one generation to the next in pristine amounts. It reached peak status in the beginning and then plateaued.

I'll also point out that the unfortunate coincidence of George W. residing in the same generation as I do is no evidence for generalized boomer malpractice. After all, he reached down one and maybe two generations to find equally silly idiots to staff the Green Zone in Baghdad and most Federal agencies. The only generational difference is that the younger idiots don't even have the good grace to smirk (at least Bush has an inkling he is full of crap) while they are wrecking everything they touch.

I might point out too that insurance companies charge higher car insurance premiums to the generations coming up even though I still drive faster than they do.

Tell me again who is stupid? I may leave my turn signal on at all times, but what do you (whoever feels like being insulted) care, since you can't catch me anyway? Besides, leaving the turn signal on is an efficiency move --- it leaves one hand free to flip off the unwittingly hubristic.

It occurs to me, too, with all due respect, that governments know better than to ask anyone over 40 to go into battle (we're a little suspicious, not to mention better-looking), considering the vast reservoir of younger gullible innocents who are willing to bend over and get their butts shot off because they mistake blood for special effects or video game pixels.

Fair warning, too: If you can get me into the nursing home (you and what army?), no, I'm not going to turn the stereo down.

What?


Well, for more in this clotted vein, pop over to Balloon Juice and follow the link in the Jimmy Carter post to the Onion satire, which has the advantage of being true.

xeynon

I never said it was okay for male politicians to play the gender card. I think, for example, that some of the things Sarkozy and his supporters said about Segolene Royal in the French election were inexcusable.

Good (I'm sure you do think that). But 'playing the gender card' and 'making sexist comments' are not identical, men can (jes has I think been saying) 'play the gender card' almost imperceptibly.

I don't like identity politics. Period. I think they're dangerous, divisive, irresponsible, and distract from the issues.

I am not happy with identity politics either (I tend to think, I certainly tend to say) but it behoves us to remember that 'identity politics' -- in quotation marks -- is the politics of those who are not middle class non-sectarian white males. As for 'the issues', well, candidates can themselves be issues and quite legitimately so.

Was Clinton playing the gender card? Perhaps. Is it legitimate to point out that it is on the whole harder for women to run as candidates? Yes. Is it legitimate for a woman who is definitely a weaker candidate to ask for votes on a compensatory basis? No. But is it legitimate for a woman who is an equal candidate to 'play the gender card'? Hell yes.

jdkbrown: Yes, but not entirely. One of the other manifestations of the Bradley effect (why do we call it this? What an awful euphemism? let's just call it: racism in American politics) is that a lot more people report themselves as undecided when they really are not.

Well, I just wanted to let Russell know that the quote of mine (second one in his comment) he used in his 12:20am was a bit of pontificating from the boomer end of the demographic python.

Hey John, no worries. I have no problem, whatsoever, with actual boomers. Among other things, I'm married to one. She didn't make Woodstock, but she was actually at Kent State on the infamous day. Her boomer cred is pretty solid.

I've just never recognized myself in any of the descriptions of the boomer gestalt. Now that I know I'm a member of Generation Jones, I'm a much happier guy.

I'm currently on a "drive slow" kick because of the very nice state police officer who kindly requested that I "stop driving like a knucklehead" last week. What can you say in a situation like that except "Yes sir"? Give me another week or two, though, I'll be right back up there with you in the fast lane.

In any case, boomer shmoomer. We're all old gits now. It's all hearing aids, reading glasses, and colonscopies from here on out.

Just don't let the kids know, it gives them ideas.

Later -

As for immigration, we have a "Statute of Limitations" for other crimes, why not for illegal immigration? If you can show that you've lived here for, say, five years, have a public official interact with ICE to decalre the case dead (or however a crime like shoplifting is closed). It's no more "amnesty" than the SoL is for any other crime.

Barney Frank on Obama, boomers, partisanship, etc.

Via John Cole.

People have already said a lot of what I would have in reply, but just a few comments:

1.)I'm not a Republican. I think Bush is likely the worst President since Harding and I'm deeply skeptical of both parties. Obama's message appeals to me and I would certainly vote for him despite disagreeing with him on a number of issues. Hillary's does not. I was only defending Republicans because I think that some Democrats reflexively accuse them of racism because of partisan self-interest and refuse to acknowledge that the charge holds less and less truth (Bush's administration is the most racially diverse in history - a veritable rainbow coalition of incompetence). The Republicans deserve credit for moving away from a shamefully racist past. If you want to argue that they're still subtly racist in some ways, fine, but that is just as true of the Democrats - need I remind you that it was Hillary's surrogate, not the Republicans, who put the "Barack was a teenage crack dealer" meme out there? Or that there is a large segment of the Democratic electorate (namely blue collar whites) that are quite amenable to veiled racism in the form of Lou Dobbsian "they take our jobs!" restrictionism?

2.)Re: Hillary and sexism/qualifications for office. I think that personality and character are important considerations in choosing a President, and hence, raising those issues about Hillary is not necessarily sexist. With Royal, people accused her of being naive and underqualified despite 20+ years of legislative service and the fact that she had held several high government offices. It was even openly said that French women ought to be off baking brioche somewhere rather than running for President. THAT is sexism. Nobody has said that Hillary's years in the Senate don't count because she's a woman. In fact, the media has generally repeated her "35 years of service" line uncritically despite the fact that the majority of that time she wasn't in public service, and the fact that Obama has held elective office longer than she has. What Hillary has had to go through is at worst mild sexism, compared to what we saw in France. It certainly doesn't warrant making "vote for me because I am woman" appeals a regular part of her campaign.

3.)Guest-worker programs - Nate, your points are fairly taken. I don't think anyone's arguing that a world in which any immigrant who wanted to could come into the U.S., get a job, and be put on the fast track to citizenship with no consequences for our economy or welfare apparatus wouldn't be a better one. But realistically, the pie is of a finite size, and we just can't afford to be that generous. Allowing middle-aged people to immigrate, work for 15 years, and then collect full social security and Medicare benefits when they retire is a recipe for government insolvency. Given these realities, a guest worker program is far less racist than the alternative, unrestricted illegal immigration. It would give migrant workers some kind of legal status (and hence standing against exploitative employers), and would bring them into the tax structure so that they could help to pay for the government benefits they and their children receive. Many of these workers don't come here to stay, anyway - they return to Mexico when they're not following the harvest - but the program could be structured with a path to citizenship for those who did decide they wanted to stay. Those who go home would do so wealthier and more worldly and, if they did learn English during their time in the U.S., better educated, which would improve the quality of life in Mexico. Full amnesty might seem the least racist option to you, but the issue is that it will do nothing to solve the problem - it will only encourage more illegal immigration. A guest worker program, as a compromise between economic and humanitarian concerns, might.

4.)On boomer bashing - I'm not trying to start a generational war. Just sayin', us young'uns have a voice too, and we want the same chance to shape society as we see fit that other generations have had. The concerns of the "boomer generation" (whatever that term denotes) are not the only ones that matter.

One problem I see with that, Jeff, is that living here is part of the crime. It's not just crossing the border. So no matter how long you've been here, the crime is recent even if it began some time ago. Don't take that to mean that I'm some kind of immigration hard-ass, because I'm not. I say open it up and get rid of the underground, but I think the analogy you're using isn't such a good one.

f you want to argue that they're still subtly racist in some ways, fine, but that is just as true of the Democrats - need I remind you that it was Hillary's surrogate, not the Republicans, who put the "Barack was a teenage crack dealer" meme out there?

Or accused Obama of "shucking and jiving." Foot in mouth disease is, unfortunately, not confined to one side of the political spectrum.

On the other hand, even mild examples of racism and sexism in campaigning should be reproved. Not treated with a scorched earthy policy, mind you...but a few words to the wise would not be out of place....

One problem I see with that, Jeff, is that living here is part of the crime.

I see that. But it's mostly that we define it that way. If we separate the need to live "under the radar" from the initial "crime", applying a sufficiently long SoL provides a path to citizenship that has nothing to do with the dread "amnesty".

Jeff: If we separate the need to live "under the radar" from the initial "crime", applying a sufficiently long SoL provides a path to citizenship that has nothing to do with the dread "amnesty".

So to be fair, I'm sure you would not want to penalize all those waiting in line to come in legally. I just looked at the Visa bulletin the other day. They are currently processing applications from 1992 for some family-based visa categories. So you would have to at least put the SoL of over 16 years, say 20 years. Somehow this doesn't seem like much of a solution. :)

And I think it there is a fundamental difference between a citizen or PR committing a crime and a non-citizen entering illegally. Statues of Limitations exist for many reasons, one of which is the problem of PROOF where there is a constitutionally-mandated high standard. That concern does not exist in the immigration situation. Whether a person has valid legal status is very easy to verify even many years down the road. The burden on the INS is not "beyond a reasonable doubt." Nor should it be. So the SoL analogy is inapt. Except that an illegal entrant is often SOL.

Not meaning to put the fox back in the chicken coop, but this post from Washington Monthly (but not from Kevin Drum) is rather interesting. To look at it from both sides, on the one hand, you could say that HRC is playing the gender card, with all that entails, while on the other hand, you could say that this shows she is going to be able to play hardball, or at least do some big time ju-jitsu with the inevitable attacks.

Whether a person has valid legal status is very easy to verify even many years down the road.

Yes, apparently so.

Yes, apparently so.

Yeah, that's the sort of thing that pisses anyone off--and I've pointed out that this sort of dunderheadedness is rampant in INS. More importantly, it makes no difference to the targets of this dunderheadedness (I'd argue it comes from the same place, a failure to consider people as humans, worthy of respect and a little human wisdom, but I've been accused of sloppy thinking...)

A handful of facts and figures. Please forgive me if they're not completely accurate, I'm trying to pull them together from a handful of sources which aren't completely consistent with each other.

The US population is about 300 million.
The undocumented population is about 12 million.
So, undocumented folks are about 4% of the total population.

Current legal immigrants to the US, from all countries, is about 37.5 million.
That's about 12.5% percent of the US total.
That is a bit below the historical high point of about 16% of the total population being born outside the US.

About 700K to 850K illegal emigrants are expected to enter the US per year.
That's about 0.25% of the US population, per year.

As I understand it, our current policy allows for about 675,000 people to emigrate to the US legally each year.
Another source puts the legal immigration total in 2006 at about 1.2 million.
So, our policy is that the US population may grow through legal immigration by between 0.225% and 0.4% per year.

What I take away from all of this is the following:

There are a bit more legal immigrants to this country than illegal immigrants.
Illegal plus legal emigrants per year come to about 2/3 of one percent of the total US population.
There are way more legal foreign residents in this country than illegal.
Illegal plus legal residents together come to about 16% of the total population, which is about our historical high, but not beyond it.

These numbers just doesn't freak me out. Let them in. Amnesty for the folks who are already here, and an expanded cap for emigrants from Mexico and Central and South America going forward.

If we need to publish official documents in both English and Spanish, so be it. Or, just require folks to learn English. Everybody else who comes here does, more or less, they will too.

Really, what is the god-damned issue?

They're coming anyway, and you are just not going to stop them. Might as well make Americans out of them. If that's what they want to be, y'all come.

If folks who have been waiting patiently in line to get their legal paperwork processed are put out by this in any way, just let them in too. They'll get over it. If not, they'll just have to go pout in the corner. But, somehow, I think they just won't mind as long as they get theirs.

What is the freaking problem here?

Thanks -

I was born the day after Trinity, the first atomic bomb test. My first specific political memory centered around the duck-and -cover, hide-under-our-desks, exercises that were a regular feature of my early school life from age 5 on. I knew enough about nuclear war to be terrified. We lived one mile away from an air force base, and I used to go out to the backyard, look up at the planes, and try to determine if they were American or Russian. I remember getting a book out of the library on aircraft identification. When I heard Joseph Stalin died, I remember asking if that meant no one would drop atom bombs on us.

In 1954 I had a severe case of the measles and my grandmother came to help nurse me. She was listening to the Joseph McCarthy army hearings. Hatred of McCarthy's voice might have shaped my entire political development. In 1956, just turning eleven, I fell madly in love with Jack Kennedy as he made an unsuccessful bid for the vice presidential nomination. A good catholic school girl, I was initially attracted by his Catholicism; ten minutes later I was smitten by his intelligence, wit, and charm. Loving Jack Kennedy was good for me. I read about politics and history. From 1956 to 1963, I read everything I could about Kennedy, politics, American History. When I was 15 I did volunteer work for his presidential campaign and spoke for him in my high school debates.

What JFK believed in, I believed in. Gradually I moved to the left of his pragmatic liberalism. Certainly Kennedy was responsible for my decision to major in political science in college. When JFK was assassinated, I switched my allegiance to Bobby Kennedy.

I was opposed to the Vietnam War from its beginning My husband to be applied for conscientious objector status and was willing to face jail rather than be inducted. Fortunately my husband received a high number in the first draft lottery, and the spectre of several years in jail faded.

Russell-

The problem is, we just can't let any Tom, Dick, or Harry in. The vast majority of immigrants from Mexico and S. and central America are decent, hard-working people who just want their shot at the American dream. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever - that's the kind of person we want here. It's what our country's greatness is built on. But we can't be letting criminals, drugrunners, and the like in - and Latin American gangs are particularly dangerous in this regard. Some sort of regulation is necessary.

But we can't be letting criminals, drugrunners, and the like in

Why not? Do US-born criminals, drugrunners, and the like fear competition from legal immigrants that much? Surely good old American organized crime can cope with an influx of immigrant competition? Why be protectionist about the right of US criminals, drug runners, and the like to operate without competition from immigrants? Why should they and not the hard-working honest citizens receive protection against immigrants competing for the same work? Organized crime has a great immigrant tradition in the US: why, in the 15th century, a bunch of organized criminals from Europe walked in and stole everything.

"But we can't be letting criminals, drugrunners, and the like in - and Latin American gangs are particularly dangerous in this regard."

What metric and source do you have in mind to cite to demonstrate that Latin American gangs are "particularly dangerous in this regard," compared to, say, Russian gangs, Chinese gangs, Thai gangs, Congolese gangs, and so on?

I have to say I particularly like the way you use "in this regard" to specify that Latin American gangs are -- in your view -- "particularly dangerous in this regard," with "this regard" being their skills at being "criminals, drugrunners, and the like," which differentiates them from non-Latin American gangs of "criminals, drugrunners, and the like," who presumably spend their time on other, more wholesome, activities.

"But we can't be letting criminals, drugrunners, and the like in - and Latin American gangs are particularly dangerous in this regard. Some sort of regulation is necessary."

On the other aspects of this statement: what's your explanation for why it isn't necessary for, say, New York and New Jersey to take this attitude with regard to their borders, crossing them, and immigration?

Is it your argument that there aren't all that many dangerous criminals in either New York or New Jersey? Or what?

The problem is, we just can't let any Tom, Dick, or Harry in.

That should be Tomas, Ricardo y Peludo. I think.

Gary -

Latin American gangs aren't more dangerous because they're Latin American, per se. They're more dangerous because 1.)cocaine-derived products originate in Central and South America, so they have a natural monopoly on a large portion of the drug trade, 2.)drugs and other contraband are more likely to come into the U.S. across the Mexican border than through any other channel, 3.)unlike Russian, Chinese and other gangs, these gangs are geographically close to their home countries and have large populations of their countrymen in the U.S. to exploit, and 4.)civil war in Central and South America (particularly El Salvador and Columbia) have given some of these gangs a lot more training and much more of a violent bent than other organized criminal groups. I read a big article full of statistics and the like on this somewhere recently - google it and I'm sure it'll come up (I'm at work and search engines are blocked here, or I'd do it myself.)

jesurgislac - what political ideology, exactly, are you trying to make fun of? I think reducing violent crime is something we can agree is in everybody's interest (except that of the criminals).

The problem is, we just can't let any Tom, Dick, or Harry in.

Off the top of my head, my guess would be that if regular, hard-working folks could come here legally, and/or had a simple path to citizenship, it would actually be easier to weed out the criminals.

Criminal gang members come in now. Not just Latin ones. It's not like our current policies are keeping them out.

Instead, our policies make criminals of the folks who come with good intentions. What's the point of that?

Thanks -

Russell, I agree. I'm in favor of cracking down on illegal immigration, but also of increasing quotas for legal immigrants and/or a guest worker program for seasonal migrant workers.

The question:

What metric and source do you have in mind to cite to demonstrate that Latin American gangs are "particularly dangerous in this regard," compared to, say, Russian gangs, Chinese gangs, Thai gangs, Congolese gangs, and so on?
Response:
Latin American gangs aren't more dangerous because they're Latin American, per se. They're more dangerous because [...]
No metric. Color me unsurprised.

Gary, I gave you the reasons. I can't provide the numerical data to back them up because, as I explained, I'm at the office and can't google the article in which they are contained. You'll have to trust me that the analysis of the issue I read was chock full o' data that established that by any criminological metric, Latin American gangs are a major threat.

I don't think I particularly need data to support my assertion that the fact that the U.S. is geographically close to Latin America and not geographically close to Russia, China, Thailand, or Congo, and has a large population of Hispanics but does not have a large population of Russians, Chinese, Thais, or Congolese, would make gangs from the former more dangerous. Greater density and mobility of ethnic population = more gang members = more gang-related crime = greater danger. Pretty simple, regardless of what the actual numbers are.

"Gary, I gave you the reasons."

That's nice. Not what I asked you.

As a rule, no, "I read somewhere that" isn't an acceptable citation around here (or for anyone interested in useful discussion). Nothing personal.

(Also out is "I heard from my sister's boyfriend's brother that....")

"What metric and source do you have in mind to cite [...]?" was the question. It didn't require an immediate cite.

But you can't answer what metric you're using. Okay.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55419
http://www.heritage.org/Research/UrbanIssues/bg1834.cfm
http://www.mexidata.info/id1279.html

Gary, that's three articles on the topic (one a scholarly paper and two news articles) I found with a single google search. If you want metrics, they got metrics - crime rates, murder rates, arrest rates, smuggling patterns, human trafficking statistics, you name it. Since you obviously haven't researched this topic, I'm not going to do your work for you. Read up and be educated.

I’d like to throw out a general request for consideration:

To the Old Timers:
There are some new folks around here. It’s also become evident that there are now and have been a lot of lurkers around who are hesitant to actively participate for one reason or another. As long as they adhere to the posting rules, please cut them a little slack. That doesn’t mean let bad arguments stand or facts in dispute go unchallenged – but maybe instead of your sharpest rapier use the practice one with the ball on the point for a little while. It’s not realistic to expect someone new to read four years worth of archives to understand what arguments are “settled” (as if they ever are) or to get a feel for the personalities here.

To the new commenters:
Welcome! Understand that some of the regulars have been here since the beginning (not I). There are some very strong personalities here and a lot of very smart people. Understand that you’re likely to be challenged on almost anything you say. If you’re going to claim that “the sky is blue” you need to be prepared to back that up. Also understand that emotions are running a little high right now. Stick around. It’s a great place.

To the Lurkers:
Dive on in. The water is fine…

"Dive on in. The water is fine…"

Once you get used to it.

And to new commenters, even the old timers can get on each other pretty hard at times, so don't feel singled out.

No problem, OCSteve - I expect people to challenge my assertions, and welcome it (it makes me rethink my own positions and question my own assumptions, as well as sharpening my debating skills). If an argument is presented without evidence and logic to bolster it, it's not a very good argument and deserves to be challenged. I'm not at all intimidated by disagreement (or the authority of people older/better versed in the annals of this blog than myself) so there's no need to worry about bruised feelings on my part.. I also think maintaining a civil tone is important, and I've endeavored to do so despite my fondness for a sharpened-elbows style of debate (something I share with the British, I suppose). No worries...

@welfare: we don't have foodstamps but money (sent to a persons bank account, so they can use their own debit card) and yes, some people abuse their dole. It's a matter of weighing preventing abuse with the bad side-effects of the method you choose for the targetted group - and of how important/heavy the abuse is. I had a limited scholarship and I remember a freezing winter where I couldn't afford heating and had to study fully dressed under the covers of my bed. One of my friends took a pity and gave me a small sum of money (about one week of heating oil). I used the money to go out and have fun with friends and he was torn between laughing and being miffed. But it was the first time in months I actually had an evening out with friends, I thrived on it for months afterwards and I still remember how important that was for me psychologically - more than 20 years later. I wasn't frozen or starved so my needs were beyond mere survival. IMHO if you want people to become community members (and not just prevent them from being dead) you have to allow fulfullment of needs that are slightly higher in Mazlows pyramide.

If I read Jeffs description of all the factions and levels involved I also wonder about the costs of all that administration. What's worse for the taxpayer: preventing abuse or helping people? I'd rather that 70 cents per dollar went to the people who needed it and 30 cents would be abused than that 40 cents of that dollar were spent on administration and checks to prevent the abuse. It's like the discussion on universal health care where people don't know that the administrative costs in the US are about as high as the government spending in a lot of countries with universal healthcare.

I'm not taking the drug addicts into account because we have a very different approach in any case.

@immigration: I tried to look up our percentages to compare (though our problems are different because we are a densely populated small country and have a more expensive social network) and found an interesting Dutch piece about amnesty. The short version is that it won't work, but they examplify with the US Immigration Reform and Control Act from 1986 and talk about the current situation. According to them the INS doesn't check certain industries (agriculture in California, Texas and Florida / meatpackaging in Nebraska and Iowa) because of the negative economic consequenses since these industries rely on illegal immigrant workers.

@abortion: Jes and I have a very different viewpoint about some of the essential abortion issues but I have to fully agree with her here, including the phrase 'women incubators', if someone thinks it is a good idea to prevent contraception and abortions to create enough future workers. You're not pro-life, you're not pro-choice but you're pro-labour?

@Clinton: the number and content of the attacks on her make me more and more inclined to lean towards here and I don't have a boon in your elections at all. If the attacks would stick to her policies and political performance it would be more productive - also to reconciliate afterwards should she win the primaries. I read the WP article, but what it didn't mention was that the results in NH are actually the same as earlier polls predicted and it also didn't mention that the poll-predicted percentage that voted for Obama was the same, which would imply that her bouncing back might not be because she drew people away from Obama, but from somebody else.

her bouncing back might not be because she drew people away from Obama, but from somebody else.

And/or, that folks who might not otherwise have voted were inspired to come out and vote for her due to the juvenile nature of the attacks on her.

the number and content of the attacks on her make me more and more inclined to lean towards her

my fear there is that that sympathy won't hold up for 10 more months, and people will tire of feeling pity for her, come November.

dutch-

Re: welfare. Administrative costs are always a concern with any government program. It seems to me electronic banking cards would cost a bit more in that regard than simple cash transfers (though they could be reduced via smart deployment of new technology), but they'd also ensure that the money went where it's meant to go (rather than being wasted, or, worse, exacerbating social problems). I think that's a worthwhile tradeoff, though others may disagree. That's not an argument that anyone's made against them, though.

As for the Maslow pyramid point - I think it's problematic to get the government involved in that, because while everyone has the same requirements of food and shelter, different people define more cerebral needs differently, and drawing lines as to what's necessary is difficult. You might need a night on the town to unwind (costs something), person B might need a Caribbean vacation (costs a lot), and I might need a day to sit under a tree in the park and contemplate (free). I think it's best to
not to open up this can of worms.

As for the addict who "needs" that next hit of heroin - I favor using welfare only as a temporary safety net anyway, but if you do favor a more extensive use of it, how does one argue for the government subsidizing socially destructive behavior? (Remember that there's a ripple effect here also - addicts, both in the U.S. and Europe, are disproportionately likely to commit crimes, and their purchases help to bankroll vicious drug gangs which also engage in other unsavory activities).

Re: immigration. I think we're in agreement. I'd be interested to learn a bit more about the Dutch situation, since as you note the dynamics are totally different from those of the U.S.

Re: abortion. I'm pro-choice, but personally opposed to abortion. Fairly common position in the U.S., I believe. I think that's only tangentially related to the question of population replacement, though, and I don't understand why jesurgliac immediately assumed a stance of pro-choice militancy when my original point was merely that Europe's low birthrate is a very serious social problem regardless of one's stance on feminism or the right to choose.

I can see what you're saying about Clinton, though as I've already said I think many of the attacks are substantive. Note that Obama has been victimized by some of the same sorts of attacks, as well as underhanded dirty campaigning that's far more reprehensible:

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/sliming_obama.html

Why no sympathy vote for him?

The WaPa had this article that may be of interest

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- The two students walked on the same paths across campus here this week, past the dormitory where Hillary Rodham lived for four years, past two dozen framed portraits of groundbreaking women in Alumnae Hall, past the banners on the quad proclaiming "Wellesley: Women Who Will." But Katie Chanpong and Aubre Carreon Aguilar -- feminists and political activists -- arrived at contradictory conclusions.

"If you're a woman, you vote for Hillary because of what it means to women everywhere," said Chanpong, a sophomore.

Carreon Aguilar, a senior, said: "If I'm supposed to vote for Hillary just because I'm a woman, that's kind of sexist."

when my original point was merely that Europe's low birthrate is a very serious social problem

Only if you're a militant forced-pregnancy kind of person or a militant white-supremacist kind of person. Otherwise, we live in a world with 6 billion people: a low birthrate is never a "serious social problem".

Only if you're a militant forced-pregnancy kind of person or a militant white-supremacist kind of person. Otherwise, we live in a world with 6 billion people: a low birthrate is never a "serious social problem".

You imply that immigration is the magic pill to solve this problem. But it won't work as well in Europe as it does in the U.S., Canada, etc., because unlike us barbarians, the majority of you cosmpolitan European civilizations have racist laws that prevent immigrants from coming in, politically and/or culturally disenfranchise them, and make it hard for them to assimilate when they do get in, and they're pissed off as a result. Europe may not become an Arab colony, as some argue. But it is going to be a very, very different place 50 years from now - the secular, liberal western Europe that we know will likely not endure if current trends hold, the European welfare states will become increasingly unviable economically, and traditional European culture will become increasingly irrelevant to the rest of the world. But what do you care, jesurgislac? You'll be dead by the time Islamic social conservatives become a large enough voting bloc to impose any of their oppressive fascist patriarchy on your granddaughters (if you choose to endure the indignity of human incubatorhood and have any).

Oh, and thanks for yet another veiled multiple choice swipe at me as either an A.)misogynist, or B.)racist. That really makes me feel like my efforts to civilly and intelligently debate these points are appreciated. I'm starting to get the feeling that talking past you is precisely what I should be doing.

the majority of you cosmpolitan European civilizations have racist laws that prevent immigrants from coming in, politically and/or culturally disenfranchise them, and make it hard for them to assimilate when they do get in, and they're pissed off as a result.

Coming from someone making racist comments about immigrants to the US, that's almost funny. Almost.

Yes, the EU has an illegal immigrant problem, which I think we can resolve by the simple method of making it easier for people to legally immigrate. (Certainly if someone is willing to risk death to get into my country, I think we should let them in legally instead and let them become British.) We also have far more asylum-seekers and refugees than the US, and I think we deal with them very badly. We also have a great deal of labour mobility from the newer EU countries to other EU countries - where I live, three or four Polish delis have opened up in the last two years, and my bank now has information posters in Polish explaining how newcomers can open a bank account.

Low birth rate simply means: Women are getting to choose how many children we want to have, and when to have them. Only someone convinced that women are incubators could see this as a "social problem": in a world with six billion people, it will never be a significant real problem.

You accuse me of making racist comments about immigrants to the U.S.? Could you point out where I made a single racist comment about immigrants to the U.S.? You can't, because I haven't. In fact I have repeatedly denounced racism in the U.S. and elsewhere.

"Women are incubators" is your absurd formulation, not mine. But we all realize now what your definition of a substantive argument is, i.e., someone else's vapid left-wing sloganeering in 100% lockstep agreement with your own.

I can deal with the fact that other peoples' opinions differ from mine. But you calling me a racist I consider a serious personal insult, and it pisses me off. I would demand an apology if I gave a rat's *ss about maintaining a dialogue with you, but you have just become officially not worth the effort of talking to, so let's just make a truce instead - you don't respond to any of my logic, data, or sincere efforts to explore the issues, and I won't respond to any of your facile, mind-numbing agitprop. I'll even leave your little bubble of unreflective self-righteous sanctimony intact. Deal?

Only someone convinced that women are incubators could see this as a "social problem": in a world with six billion people, it will never be a significant real problem.

Even if the idea that a low birth rate is a social problem is demonstrably incorrect, I would guess there are myriad reasons, aside from being convinced that women are incubators, that one might harbor such an incorrect notion. I might be wrong about that, of course, so I wouldn't go to far out of my way to impugn someone's character based on that guess.

But we can't be letting criminals, drugrunners, and the like in - and Latin American gangs are particularly dangerous in this regard. Some sort of regulation is necessary.

Maybe this isn't a proper reading of what you meant, but since being a criminal or a drugrunner can land on in prison, I would argue that we do have "some sort of regulation" regardless of our immigration policies.

hairshirthedonist, I think we can discuss this a bit more rationally. How is the idea that a low birth rate is a social problem "demonstrably incorrect"? I'll acknowledge that it's not an INSOLUBLE problem, but absent some sort of solution (massive immigration, which entails problems of its own, or large-scale spending cuts), for a state with a massive pension apparatus and a demographic bulge approaching retirement age, it seems to me it presents an economic dilemma. Certainly the fact that the governments of countries confronted with this situation (western Europe and Japan, particularly) are frantically trying to encourage childbearing would suggest that policymakers in those countries view it as an issue.

I would guess there are myriad reasons, aside from being convinced that women are incubators, that one might harbor such an incorrect notion

Mmm. Except that of all the myriad reasons, Xey suggested that restricting women's access to abortion and contraception was a good thing, because free access, he thinks, means a low birth rate. (In point of fact, the direct correlation is: the more education women get, the fewer children they're likely to have. The lower birth rate in Europe would correlate to better education in Europe...)

Certainly the fact that the governments of countries confronted with this situation (western Europe and Japan, particularly) are frantically trying to encourage childbearing

No, they're not.

Maybe this isn't a proper reading of what you meant, but since being a criminal or a drugrunner can land on in prison, I would argue that we do have "some sort of regulation" regardless of our immigration policies.

Okay, but if we let 'em in, we have to catch and convict them for a crime committed here, and pay the costs of incarcerating them. Wouldn't it be far easier and cheaper (both socially and economically) to just regulate immigration more tightly and deny entry to known criminals at the border?

. But you calling me a racist I consider a serious personal insult, and it pisses me off.

I would say that if you are pissed off by having your racist comments picked out as racist, a better solution than getting insulted would be to refrain from making racist comments in future.

Hey, I can comment, for once.

Since this appears to be one of those epic comments-struggles, put me down as someone who disagrees with Jesurgislac's forced-gestation bit of rhetorical prestidigitation, and also disagrees that low birth rate is a big problem. Low birthrate is what we want. I'd prefer to get there by contraception rather than by abortion, but disagree with me on this issue as thoroughly as Jes normally does, I'd bet she'd have the same preference.

If there's a country that's in trouble because of low birthrate, it's going to be China. I think it'll be interesting to see what happens there, when the Mao babies begin to retire.

Wouldn't it be far easier and cheaper (both socially and economically) to just regulate immigration more tightly and deny entry to known criminals at the border?

Why, what a good idea. Suggest you write to US Immigration and tell them that you think that if someone entering the US has an unexpired conviction for a serious offense, they should be denied entrance at the border.

You'll probably get a polite letter back telling you that they already do that, and because you are a US taxpayer they will probably not add "...you idiot" to the end of each sentence.

(This is why friends who have been convicted of offenses they are not sure if US Immigration will regard as "serious", enter the US via Canada or Ireland: either way, if you're going to get rejected, you just get denied entrance while still in a civilised country, rather than locked up indefinitely without any legal rights.)

Slarti: I'd prefer to get there by contraception rather than by abortion, but disagree with me on this issue as thoroughly as Jes normally does, I'd bet she'd have the same preference.

Duh. Everyone except pro-lifers thinks it's better to provide contraception.

Okay, but if we let 'em in, we have to catch and convict them for a crime committed here, and pay the costs of incarcerating them. Wouldn't it be far easier and cheaper (both socially and economically) to just regulate immigration more tightly and deny entry to known criminals at the border?

Regulating more immigration more tightly and denying entry to known criminals are actually two separate things. The latter is not a justification for the former in that you can look for known criminals with a rather loose immigration policy. (Not to mention the fact that much of the mechanism of organized crime will be through the use of people who are UNKNOWN criminals).

Hrm. I'm starting to get deja vu flashes.

Xeynon,

Maybe I'm not clear enough in my writing. "Even if" was meant as way to assume, for the sake of argument, that a low birth rate is clearly not a social problem. (I don't know if it is or isn't, and I'm not concerned enough about it at this time to try to figure it out.) My point was simply that thinking such a thing, even if incorrect, doesn't mean that one must believe women are incubators. Just as thinking that the acceleration due to gravity at sea level on the planet Earth is 11 m/sec^2, though incorrect, doesn't mean that you hate martians.

Duh. Everyone except pro-lifers thinks it's better to provide contraception.

I consider myself pro-life, and I think it's better to provide contraception, so I think that there might be some flaws in that generalization.

Unrelated, I don't think I've done anything lately to have earned teh smack, but I might be wrong.

hair: My point was simply that thinking such a thing, even if incorrect, doesn't mean that one must believe women are incubators.

And I agree. You could think a low birth rate was a problem, and have ideas for ways to change this, if you wanted to, that would not involve regarding women as incubators. (However, thinking a low birth rate is a problem in either Europe or North America has a high and strong correlation with some form of white supremacy: the problem is not the lack of babies, but the lack of white babies. The standard code to express this is to talk about "culture" - as if a baby growing up in the UK doesn't imbibe British culture regardless of where their parents came from...)

However, anyone who suggests denying women access to contraception/abortion so that they can birth more babies for an increased labor force is thinking that women are incubators (or has unthinkingly taken the idea from someone who does think women are incubators, without examining this idea and seeing what it says about them.)

Okay, but if we let 'em in, we have to catch and convict them for a crime committed here, and pay the costs of incarcerating them. Wouldn't it be far easier and cheaper (both socially and economically) to just regulate immigration more tightly and deny entry to known criminals at the border?

Maybe or maybe not - I don't know. But comparing one form or regulation to another requires two forms of regulation, both of which must therefore be "some form of regulation."

Slarti: I consider myself pro-life, and I think it's better to provide contraception, so I think that there might be some flaws in that generalization.

Not one pro-life organization in the US thinks it's better to provide contraception, Slarti: and since providing contraception is intrinsically pro-choice, I would say that makes you pro-choice, rather than pro-life.

...how it was nothing, of course, but all-JFK for days, and how, at age 5, I actually understood that the President had been killed, and that it was terrible, and that everyone was very sad.

And I accepted that it was reasonable for there to be nothing but coverage of the death and events for the first three days.

And then on the fourth day, I finally started to get really annoyed that they hadn't brought back any cartoons, or anything, and felt this seemed like it was going on too long.

I was born in 68, and I have a very similar memory regarding Nixon's resignation, though I think I was upset about cartoons by the second day.

since providing contraception is intrinsically pro-choice

I disagree with that premise, but overall I agree with your statement given the definitions you've provided. I don't agree with the definitions, but that's another discussion entirely.

If you require that one must belong to a pro-life organization to qualify as pro-life, then I'll accept that I am not pro-life, by your definition of the term.

Concerning what Xeynon is saying re: border control, I'd interpret it as follows: we've got criminals and such crossing our borders illegally, so clamping down on the illegal immigrations would in and of itself address the crime problem. The filtering effect Jes mentions on the far side of the border only applies to legal entry.

Possibly I'm wrong in my interpretation, but that's what discussion is all about.

I see your point, and thanks for posting them here, but if she wins the nomination, will you at least agree that she is vastly better than the Republican nominees, and support Hillary then? Or are you going to go third-party and ensure a Huckabee presidency?

Jes: where I live, three or four Polish delis have opened up in the last two years . . .

You're on to something here. The problem in attracting immigrants to Britain is the FOOD. Maybe things are getting better since I was last there :)

For the first time in US history the old white male monopoly of the Presidential process has been seriously threatened. The fear is palpable as the corporate news manipulate data, impose religious belief as a test of ones qualifications to be President (against the Constitution). We have seen the talking heads and the interminable "debates" which never seem to cover what we are truly interested in.

Clinton's gender like Obama's race, has hummed in the background of every comment, remember the cleavage issue, implying that she cried, which she didn't, calling her "human" for showing a bit of emotion. Making an issue out of Obama's middle name, commenting that he wore a dark suit with a white shirt sans-tie, much like Admadijinadad, you know who I mean. Waiting with baited breath for some poor white man to make what could be construed as a racist comment, (Poor Cuomo said "shuck and jive" oohh the bigot).

But the thing that scares the old-white-mens club the most is that Obama and Clinton are the best candidates running, Edwards is no slouch either. Where as the GOP has the scariest looking bunch of characters I've ever seen. I mean Giuliani and Rommny, sheesh. If you open Rudys closet wide enough a shitload of corpses would tumble out.

I supported Clinton and even forgave her for voting for the war. I watched in horror as the American people called for Iraqi blood for 9/11, I shouted at the tv screen, "they were Saudi and Yemeni, not Iraqi!" to no avail. But she "tore her draws" with me when she lock-step voted to label the Iranian military as a terrorist organization opening the door to a 3rd front. I know she doesn't want to appear weak on the terror war, but she must have the backbone to do what the American people want.

I am concerned about the expensive war in Iraq and Afganistan, yep we are still hot on the trail of the evil Taliban/al Queda. As a veteran I am appalled at the growing death rates or civilians and military and the evil us against them hate mongering.
For every family member killed in our name a new set of enemies are created.

I am concerned about the economy and the selling of our country piecemeal to China,Russia,India,Dubai,Saudi Arabia...you get the point. This looming 1trillion dollar debt will have to be paid for this war. If any of the above countries demand payment on the T bills they hold we could be bankrupted without the ability to fight any sort of military conflict.

Immigration. I understand the Latin Americans desire for freedom to enter the country, well unlike the good old days when we were the most loved country in the World, we have killed and maimed millions of Iraqis and who knows how many Afgans, we have destablized the entire middle east. So we truly do have enemies desiring to do us harm. Latin Americans aren't the only ones coming here illegally.

As far as abortion/birth control is concerned the government has no right to dictate what a woman can do with her body. I understand on a personal level how hard a choice abortion is, and contrary to the zealots and men who would deny me the right, when they start taking all of these abandoned, abused and unwanted children languishing in foster homes or better yet help a woman for the 18 years it takes to raise a child, then maybe I'll reconsider.
How can you deny a woman the right to choose then deny public assistance if she needs it and then vilify her as a lazy piece of crap when she falls apart?

Prisons an Wal-Mart are our biggest growth industries, and I don't know if anyone noticed but, we don't make anything anymore. I dare you to find anything in you home not made in China.
We had no industry to benefit from the falling dollar, oh yeah, there was a chain-link manufacturer on CNN.

This is getting too long-I think I've made my point.

thinking a low birth rate is a problem in either Europe or North America has a high and strong correlation with some form of white supremacy

That's one of your stupider, more sexist and more racist comments, Bikeshed, and there's some competition for that claim.

Still waiting for that apology by the way.

You know, our new friend Mr. X has only argued about birth rate in re its relation to the ongoing maintenance of a viable social security and pension apparatus, and unless I'm mistaken, I don't believe he's said anything at all about what effing color the babies should be. On that basis I agree that Ms. J owes him an apology, and I also know he's never going to see it. Instead we will see 500 words about why since some people who say similar things in another context are racist that therefore blah blah blah blah blah.

Hairshirthedonist - okay, I misinterpreted what you said.

jesurgislac: I typed out a long post full of citations pretty much disproving every factual claim you made about education and birthrates in the U.S. and Europe and western European governments' programs to encourage childbirth. But the damn comment filter ate it. Suffice it to say, you are 100% incorrect factually. Women in the U.S. are more likely to attain a university degree than women in Europe, and since U.S. universities are on average of higher quality (17 of the top 20 in the world are in the U.S. - only 2 are in Europe), those degrees are on average of higher quality (American women also find it easier to find employment after graduation than European women do). On the childbirth question, France, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland all have government programs to encourage women to have more children:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4837422.stm

So does Japan, where I live.

I can also point out that I never said women should be forced to give birth, nor do I see how anyone who's read my posts carefully (which you've already admitted you don't) could infer that. Here's what I've said. A.)I am pro-choice. B.)I think that a conservative U.S. attitude towards the value of motherhood may be valuable. Not towards abortion. I haven't said it explicitly, but yes, I am very much pro-contraception as well. As a bachelor who doesn't yet wish to be a father, it's not even a question for me.

Please, better reading comprehension, better facts.

Phil, byrningman - thanks a lot for coming to my defense. I was really annoyed that the typepad filter blew away 20 minutes worth of googling references with which to make my case factually impregnable...

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