42 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-8-17

  1. Senators Cotton and Perdue introduced their immigration bill yesterday. But it only deals with legal immigrants, not the border jumpers. Still, a good start.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/02/sen-cottons-immigration-bill.php

    “Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. David Perdue have introduced a bill that would cut legal immigration to the U.S. in half. The legislation is called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act. Its goal is to restore historical levels of immigration in order to give working Americans a fair shot at wealth creation.

    The current system fails to do this. Rather, as Sen. Cotton argues, by accepting an average of one million immigrants annually, the vast majority of whom are either low-skilled or unskilled, we create intense downward pressure on the wages of working Americans. (Ironically, the wages of recent immigrants are the hardest hit).

    According to the Senator, wages for Americans with only a high school diploma have declined by two percent since the late 1970s. Wages for those who didn’t finish high school have declined by nearly 20 percent. Wage pressure due to immigration doesn’t explain all of this decrease, but I believe it has been a significant contributor.

    This collapse in wages threatens to create a near permanent underclass for whom the American Dream is always out of reach.

    The RAISE Act would help raise American workers’ wages by reducing overall immigration by half and rebalancing the system toward nuclear family household reunification. Thus, it would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent legal residents. But it would eliminate preferences for the following:

    • Adult parents of U.S. citizens
    • Adult siblings of U.S. citizens
    • Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens
    • Married adult children of U.S. citizens
    • Unmarried adult children of legal permanent residents.

    To me, this makes perfect sense. I see no reason for preferring such immigrants other than, perhaps, in cases where elderly parents need to be cared for in the United States. In these cases, the legislation creates a renewable temporary visa on the condition that the parents are not permitted to work, cannot access public benefits, and must be guaranteed support and health insurance by their sponsoring children.”
    ———————————

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  2. I am glad to see you back Ricky. I was afraid that my comment Monday about telling my own personal Trump Hater to SHUT UP had somehow been taken personally by you.

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  3. More stats. Draw your own conclusions.

    I don’t care who lives next door to me but I will never forget the terror in the London innkeeper’s face when I asked where I could buy a burka. I was curious to see what it would feel like to wear one but did not want to use a credit card to purchase one over the Internet. I figured I could pay cash in London and not be traceable.

    The innkeeper begged me not to, refused to tell me where to go, and said it wasn’t safe. We were staying near Marble Arch, right on the edge of the Muslim neighborhoods. I was not to walk any further west on my own–only ride in a taxi.

    I figured she knew more about it than I did and still do not own a burka.

    https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/what-do-europeans-think-about-muslim-immigration

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  4. My wife is Mexican-American, but she has round Moroccan eyes. Whenever she is in London, the native Brits are not friendly to her until they hear her speak. Then their attitude instantly changes and they will even tell each other, “It’s alright. She is an American.”

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  5. Reminds me of living in Italy, near the Muslim neighborhood. I had no idea it was the Muslim neighborhood, but rarely walked there as I never saw anybody outside. Did not appear to be a safe area. The biggest clue should probably have been the police presence always at the Jewish Synagogue with the War memorial plaque on the front, which was tucked just on the edge of the neighborhood. Every time I went there, there would be at least two polizei cars with four officers in front,

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  6. I have heard that many, many of the people in some of these countries are very afraid of the Muslims around them. I have heard that from those who love them and do ministry to reach them.

    I am sad that those who have family members would not be able to get them into our country. I cannot blame people for emigrating for the good of their families. I cannot blame them for wanting to help the rest of their family and wanting them to live here. Immigrates have always come here after one or more family member came and then gave the others a place to stay and the help they needed. I know the attitudes of many coming have changed since then, though.

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  7. AJ – Re: your last comment last night, about Trudeau’s remarks – We knew he was talking about Trump, but didn’t think that his words reached the level of “bashing”. People can express a negative opinion without outright bashing.

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  8. Yeah, I do think that adult children of productive citizens could be given an advantage. Let families stay together, especially when that is culturally appropriate. Why needlessly separate citizens from their children and grandchildren and from care in their old age?

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  9. Cheryl,

    “Why needlessly separate citizens from their children and grandchildren and from care in their old age?”

    This isn’t saying they can’t come, only that they no longer receive preference over others already in line. That’s it. They can still apply, and if accepted, come. But they must wait like everyone else.

    And it specifically covers your concerns with regard to care in old age.

    From the link…..

    “I see no reason for preferring such immigrants other than, perhaps, in cases where elderly parents need to be cared for in the United States. In these cases, the legislation creates a renewable temporary visa on the condition that the parents are not permitted to work, cannot access public benefits, and must be guaranteed support and health insurance by their sponsoring children.””

    That seems pretty reasonable, at least to me.

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  10. Why would the parents not be permitted to work? Or does it mean that the parents are beyond working age? No one should be allowed into this country with the stipulation that they cannot work while here.

    My point is that it is perfectly reasonable if a family group wants to immigrate together. I don’t think that needs to include siblings of adults moving here, but the idea of family being only “nuclear family” is a white American one. In most cultures, children have responsibilities toward their parents as they age, and likewise the parents have responsibilities to their parents and grandchildren. To discourage that by only allowing the couple to come here seems counterproductive. We’d never say, “Come, but leave your five-year-old.” Many other countries (and cultural groups) can’t conceive of “Come, but leave your 30-year-old.” If the children are living their own lives and don’t wish to come along, that is one thing. But to deny them precedence doesn’t make sense to me. Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to me that immigration makes it difficult for my brother to bring his wife here. (He has to establish a certain income level before he applies, never mind that my family can live on next to nothing and some of my siblings are debating whether they will even apply for Social Security benefits when they get old enough because my family is so adamant about not taking funds from government.) Bringing in families as groups and allowing them to establish family businesses makes more sense than bringing in disconnected individuals.

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  11. I’m currently editing a book I wrote about my grandfather 27 years ago when we celebrated his 100th birthday. It’s been interesting to remember how he lived apart from my grandmother for five years while he earned enough money to bring the whole family to America. It was a sacrifice and fraught with challenges, but the family wanted a new life in America.

    He earned his citizenship by serving as a soldier in WWI. He went back to Italy, with savings in the bank, after the war. He met and married my grandmother, fathered my aunt and then couldn’t find work. He then returned to NYC where he worked in construction.

    All the relatives in Sicily tried to borrow or get money from my grandmother–Grandpa finally had to move his banking to the US to protect his seed corn.

    After five years, he returned to the nice apartment on the Mediterranean Sea which my grandmother had beautifully decorated. He stayed long enough for her to get pregnant twice, and returned to California by himself to buy land and begin a chicken farm.

    My grandmother packed up the two kids, 9, 13 months and six weeks and traveled across the ocean to meet him. I’m not sure what she dreamed of an American life, but I’m pretty sure the hard work of setting a chicken ranch in an isolated part of Southern California was not it.

    Still, they worked hard and persevered and my siblings, cousins and I all benefitted from their sacrifice.

    I wrote about it here: http://www.michelleule.com/2016/01/19/an-italian-immigrant-story/

    Hard working immigrants who want to and can contribute should always be welcome.

    As a first generation American, I still think that’s important.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. How are you disconnected when spouses and minor children are still given preference, as well as special visas for parents under your care?

    Adult children, same with adult siblings, whether married or not, can still apply on their own because they’re adults, and that’s how it’s supposed to work.

    What you’re proposing allows for an infinite number of family members to jump on because all those adult children that are married, same for married siblings will then get preference for their families, and so on, and so on. That’s what we have now. That’s how we got to Obama’s historic levels. This proposal brings those numbers more in line with prior presidents’ levels.

    And what of those who are bumped for such preferences? Should those individuals be punished for being single? Because when you give preference to some, others are forced to wait longer. This levels the playing field somewhat, and gives everyone an equal opportunity, while still allowing families to be together. You just can’t bring your entire family.

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  13. Cheryl,

    After rereading your post, I shouldn’t have included married siblings since you aren’t saying you support that.

    ” I don’t think that needs to include siblings of adults moving here, but the idea of family being only “nuclear family” is a white American one. In most cultures, children have responsibilities toward their parents as they age, and likewise the parents have responsibilities to their parents and grandchildren. To discourage that by only allowing the couple to come here seems counterproductive. To discourage that by only allowing the couple to come here seems counterproductive. We’d never say, “Come, but leave your five-year-old.” Many other countries (and cultural groups) can’t conceive of “Come, but leave your 30-year-old.””

    Well the last point I will point out that 30 is an adult capable of self-support. If for some reason they can’t, medical, mental, whatever, there are exemptions just like with aging parents.

    And this last one may not be popular, but if you’re coming here, it’s time to leave your old ways behind and assimilate into your new home. This is best for all, especially this country, and historically, that’s why this country work so well, the willingness of newcomers to do so.

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  14. Oh no, Ricky. Isn’t this one of your favorite movies?

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/02/memo-to-hollywood-please-dont-do-this.php

    __________________________________________________________

    MEMO TO HOLLYWOOD: PLEASE DON’T DO THIS

    Last week in class I offered a reflection on how the rule of law often requires determined—nay, strictly speaking even extra-legal—displays of force to establish or vindicate the rule of law. The Declaration of Independence alone did not suffice to establish the United States: It took Washington’s army in the field—an extra-legal act of rebellion—to successfully vindicate the natural rights of man for self-rule that the Declaration proclaims. It then required the Union army in the 1860s to repeat the process. I added, since popular culture is often a good way to get through to students, that this lesson is perhaps dramatized best in the classic film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. (Yes, I know: very few of today’s students will have ever seen that film, but some of them now will see it, and take the right lesson from it.)

    … So it is a matter of some dismay I just now caught up with the news that Hollywood is thinking of remaking Liberty Valance. No. Please. Just say no. …
    ________________________________________________________________

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  15. AJ, of course 30 is old enough to be self-supporting. That isn’t my point. My point is that we think of “family” as being mother, father, and children within the household. As Americans, if my husband and I were to move, our adult married daughter wouldn’t go with us. Our adult single daughter (who still lives with us) would probably not go with us, either. But for people in other cultures, those would be family, too, and part of your basic support network. You have great responsibility to one another. To just say “Oh well, come and be Americans, and don’t worry about your children” isn’t very welcoming.

    I’m not saying that such adult family should be brought to the front of the list and therefore have others bumped off the list. This isn’t like a kidney transplant list where if one person gets the kidney, everyone else is out of luck. You can bring the adult family members and still bring others who qualify.

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  16. DJ: from your quote in 4:13:

    “It took Washington’s army in the field—an extra-legal act of rebellion—to successfully vindicate the natural rights of man for self-rule that the Declaration proclaims. It then required the Union army in the 1860s to repeat the process.” Um, wait. Actually, the Union army was on the other side of this question! It was the Confederates who could be compared with the Americans seeking self-rule from the British!! That’s actually a pretty startling misrepresentation, an amazing lack of historical awareness. Now, in one way it is correct, because the Confederates had the law behind them (the legal right to secede) and the Union forces did not, as the Americans leaving the British rule were technically breaking the law. The Confederates had far more legal rights to secede than the colonies ever did. But to compare the Union side with the Americans seeking independence is a startlingly bad look at history.

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  17. The colonists in 1776, the Texans in 1836 and the Confederates from 1861-1865 all sought independence. King George, Santa Anna and Lincoln all promised freedom to slaves who would fight against their rebel masters. A little known fact is that King George insisted in the peace treaty that ex-slaves who had fought with the British against the “patriots” be given free passage to Canada.

    Cheryl is right about the relative legalities of the rebellions. Before 1776, judges, the clergy and other societal leaders all over the world did not recognize the legal right to conduct a revolution. The legality of Southern secession was, as Cheryl said, much more defensible. In fact, the Ys did not try Jeff Davis for treason in part because they feared their own Supreme Court would rule that he acted legally. Davis desperately wanted to be tried, so he could argue this point.

    Texas was a unique case. Some of our ancestors came legally to Texas when it was part of Spain and then Mexico, and some of them were illegal immigrants. Those early white Texans were brought in to do a job that no Mexicans wanted to do: exterminate or subdue the Comanche and other bands of hostile Indians who constantly terrorized Northern Mexico. Santa Anna was as offensive to Texans as King George was to the colonists or Lincoln was to Southerners, so we rebelled and when we captured Santa Anna at San Jacinto we were free.

    Three revolutions, two wins and one loss.

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  18. DJ, I would put The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance among my top ten all time films even though it was released in 1962 (two years after the cutoff). It was John Ford’s last great movie. I consider it John Wayne’s last great movie, as I don’t really like True Grit that much. It is perhaps Woody Strode’s finest performance, and that is saying something. I really can’t remember a better performance by Jimmy Stewart and that forces me to think about Harvey, It’s a Wonderful Life, Winchester ’73, Rear Window, Vertigo, Bend of the River, The Naked Spur, Rope, etc. Lee Marvin is as good as he was in Cat Ballou three years later, but as Liberty Valance he is pure menace; there are no laughs.

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  19. I do want to support President Trump’s attack on Nordstrom.

    I have heard that place is very expensive and should be avoided by Republican women. Walmart sells clothes.

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  20. I was going to say it might have been a bit too recent for you. 🙂

    Excellent quote from a journalist spotted in a transcript discussing the premise that journalism needs to return to its blue collar roots.

    “… I actually think that what we’re seeing right now is a collapse of empathy in journalism. I feel as though journalism has become a highly elite profession that feels extremely distant from the experiences of the people that we write about. There was a lot of handwringing after the election about, did we do enough to cover the sentiments that were leading people to vote for Trump. I feel like I read so much of that coverage.

    “The problem wasn’t that we didn’t write about them, it’s that we didn’t write for them. There are so many journalistic products that are aimed at highly educated, affluent people. I spent almost 15 years working at The New York Times, which produces the most marvelous journalistic product I think the world has ever known. But it’s speaking to a particular audience and I think that what it fundamentally comes down to is this question of audience and who you’re speaking to. …”

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  21. Print is dying, our biggest audiences now are online by far (and it’s a larger readership than before, frankly, but lacking the ad dollars that were so profitable in print)

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  22. Unfortunately, we all got trapped into giving away our content for free online, not being able to see into the future and how that would completely backfire. 😦

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  23. The word “assimilation” came up in a Facebook discussion with Kyle a while back. He made the point, & I agree, that we shouldn’t necessarily push immigrants to assimilate (assuming that by that word we mean “become just like us”) but to adapt. To adapt would be to learn American ways, & be able to move successfully within them, without losing ethnic identity & culture.

    But maybe that’s what most people already mean when they use the word “assimilate”. That’s how I used to understand the word.

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  24. Cheryl – I very much agree with you about the importance of family. I think we have lost something important by our focus on the nuclear family. Of course, with my daughter & grandson living in our house, I may be biased. 🙂

    A friend of mine & her husband are very involved grandparents living in Massachusetts. Their SIL recently learned he is being transferred to Ohio. My friend & her husband are now making plans to move to Ohio, too. (Their daughter is very much in favor of it, asking them to come along. But Friend wants to give them time to settle in before she & her husband follow.)

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  25. Romans 13 is often referenced here, in referring to obeying governing authorities. In light of that precept, some Christians think the American Revolution was wrong. (I’m sure you’ve all heard that before.) Anyone want to say anything about that?

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  26. Kizzie, I have thought about that question a great deal. I don’t think “taxation without representation” is grounds to ignore Romans 13. My father’s research indicated that all of my ancestors fought on the rebel side, but I have questioned if I might have been a Tory. The Texas Revolution, like The American Revolution was probably also theologically indefensible.

    The South could make a better theological argument. First, as Cheryl noted it was very unclear that The South had consented to be a permanent part of the Union. Therefore, there was a question of whether Lincoln had been placed by God as a ruler of The South. Also, there was an element of self-defense. John Brown’s Raid was funded by some of the leading citizens of Boston and cheered by millions in the North. Imagine if the 9/11 attacks had been funded by the leading citizens of Houston and cheered by millions in the South.

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  27. Ah, yes. One of my professors once used that word in a history class, and a Hispanic kid bristled, and he said that he and other immigrants thought that to be a racially insensitive idea, that many of them came to America because of work and so forth but they hated America and would rather not be here. (This was 25 + years ago, and I don’t remember the specifics, except that it definitely included overt hostility to his host country. I have no idea where he was born or whether he was a citizen.) The professor very calmly said if you don’t like it here, then don’t live here; you have a choice in the matter.

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