Come Down From That Ledge

How to learn to stop worrying and shrug off Amnesty.

Or Part I of This Is No Time To Go Wobbly

I’m baffled about the reactions to the amnesty bill around the web.  One side thinks it will be a good thing and that it will erase, at the stroke of a legislative pen, thousands of years of history and learned culture and make the people living in our midst and not integrating as American as Apple Pie.  They’re wrong, of course – and I’ll explain.

The other side thinks it’s the end of the US as we know it.  They are also wrong (though the end of the US as we know it right now is sort of in the cards, anyway, but that’s not the end of the US as constituted) though for reasons that are not as immediately obvious and that will take a little while to explain because the misconceptions in this case are shared by both sides (and a little funny for someone who has been alive and aware the last few years, but I guess those centuries of culture and ingrained history are hard to shrug off too, even when they’re not working as expected.)

I will concede that the amnesty bill passing, (and our betters DO seem to be determined to shove it down our throats) will hasten a collapse but it says nothing on what will come after.  And the collapse I’ve known is coming for at least two years, the only question being now or later, hard or soft landing.  Passing the amnesty will prejudice it towards near term and hard landing.  Is that worse than long term and soft?  I don’t know.  My friend Bill Reader thinks it would be best short term and hard – that the disruption will be shorter and what’s coming better – but I’m a wussy.  On the other hand, his arguments have long sounded convincing to me.  I just prefer long and soft because I’ve experienced it before and know coping strategies.

I’ll add that long term and soft might be impossible in any case, because the whole world is crashing and it all feeds on each other (and part of the reason is that the US has been propping up the tent a long time.  Our president misunderstood the resentment abroad.  He thought the prosperity of the US was holding other people down.  This is Marxism, which is a mystical religion with zero contact points with the real world.  In fact, the rest of the world resented us because we were enabling them to be semi-prosperous and not giving them the kick in the fundament they so sorely needed, and also because they knew they depended on us.  They were in fact like forty year olds (still) living in their father’s basement, and resenting the father with every fiber of their being.  Worse, I think the US is more of a mother, since we tend to be all soft and cooing and supporting.  Part of the resentment he encountered in Europe on this tour is that people are starting to realize he’s removed the pole from the tent of world economy.  They’re still not admitting to it, consciously, but subconsciously they know it.)  The hard landing might hit us anyway.

Again, erase ideas of running around cooking neighbors au gratin.  Even a hard landing is not that bad.  And even during a hard landing, some people do very well indeed, both those with the hard skills to do things that need done (maintain infrastructure, build needed stuff, even cook and clean – skills we’ve almost forgotten in our hyper-prosperous times) and people who can provide escapism: musicians, story tellers, writers, even artists, if they can pull you away from the dreary circumstances for a moment.  (I’ve mentioned before that at the hardest point of our economic life, a kid, an income that fell short a few hundred a month, no friends in town – Columbia SC – and 20k in debt, we spent what amounted to a week’s worth of grocery money to buy an illustrated book of DaVinci’s art.  The reason we did that was that leafing through it didn’t quite give me hope, but it lifted me out of the awful circumstances we were living in and improved my mood for hours.)

A collapse is bad, but it’s not Mad Max.  Envision a somewhat worse Great Depression where the government isn’t able to give you make work (which might be better in the long run.)  We’ll still have the net.  We’ll still have what infrastructure we have.  Many regions will be perfectly functional, but some will go under spectacularly.  Mostly the regions you expect:  I wouldn’t give a groat for the chances of either Detroit or New Orleans and Chicago will get “interesting.”  There you might get a sort of poor man’s Mad Max.

Yes, some people will starve.  Unfortunately a lot of those will be those who have trouble treading water in the world as is right now.  And I don’t mean just the homeless.  You live in fandom, many of you.  Look to your friends and less plugged-in-to-reality acquaintances.  Help where you can.  The water will get very choppy.  Note I’m not saying we should let them starve – those of us who can afford to help, should.  We’re trying to ensure we can survive AND help others – I think that’s everyone’s duty.

Because the crash is coming whether amnesty comes or not.  To that it’s irrelevant, save for maybe hurrying it.

Now, amnesty proper – what those (yes, even Libertarians) pushing the bill forget is double edged: first, culture is persistent.  You cannot decide to change the culture on a whim.  (That’s a progressive experiment and look how their experiments always end, because the human isn’t that plastic.)  Unlike a lot of people both on the left and right I vehemently oppose the idea that culture is genetic, but I KNOW how they got the idea. Culture is persistent.  You absorbed it from your parents, and you pass some of it on to your kids whether you mean to or not.  Culture is also community.  This means that Second, to acculturate is to die a little.  I’ve mentioned before my regrets, my soul-ache at the idea that I had to leave behind my family in Portugal and everything I shared with them.  You might not understand that this means more than just “I can’t spend much time with them.”  In a way I had to die a little.  I had to disconnect myself from the person I was, back there.  It’s now visible to me only through a veil.  I can sort of remember why I did things, but I can’t always understand them.  When I go back, the body language, the interactions, everything is strange to me, and it hurts with the duality of knowing I was once of them – I once belonged there.

When you renounce all allegiances foreign and domestic and really undertake to become American, it’s more than a legal thing.  You’re renouncing part of yourself.

I’m not lamenting.  I wanted it that badly, and always felt a little foreign in Portugal.

But there are two requirements – you have to want it badly.  You have to want to be American, and be willing to lop off parts of you that don’t fit.  This is my some number of immigrants either go back, or they come to resent the host country.  They want to do this and can’t, and blame the host country for “requiring” it.  This is a fallacy.  America doesn’t require it.  It requires it less than any other country.

And that’s problem one of the idea that legalizing illegal aliens will make them American.

Let’s start with who they are and why they’re here.  Most them are here through dire economic need (which is why I don’t hold breaking the law against them.)  And most of them came here by land, and can go home in less than a day.  Most of them have been living at the edges, viewing the US as an alien body on which they feed.

They bring their culture with them.  They come here in big groups, speak their language, behave in the ways that were appropriate back in the home country.  Have to.  Attempts at integrating and “acting American” will be punished by their community (trust me on this, this was true even among exchange students.)

“Oh, you are just saying that.  You realize that Italians, Irish, Germans, Jews, all of those also came here in big groups; many came in illegally; they lived at the margins and held the old line, but they all have integrated.”

Yes, of course.  I also realize high crime in those communities remained high for a generation or two, as the integration was taking place.  Because those people had come here not for a great love of our laws but to find streets paved with gold, it took two to three generations to integrate.

The difference is this: back then we expected immigrants to integrate.  There was no “Push one for Spanish, push two for Serb-Croat, push fifty for Cantonese.”  Because it was assumed culture was not genetic (look, it isn’t.  Truly.  If it were, you’d all be living like people in the fertile crescent.  Okay, even accounting for evolution and genetic drift, not very far off) it was not cruel to require people to learn English to transact official business.  Nor was it considered evil to say you should leave your public/political culture behind, or that frankly we don’t much care what race you think you are, you should become American now.

Also, most of those immigrants couldn’t live here and keep in complete contact with the people back home.  I have to tell you even with the best will to acculturate, I might not be able to do it now – it required a distance, an inability to keep in touch with the people at home for no cost every day.  The internet would have made that very difficult.  As I said, you have to die a little.

With people from north, central and south America, people on the same continent it’s harder.  What you get is what I saw when I was a kid in Portugal: people would go off and work in France, or Germany, or England, but they’d come “home” for every holiday, their kids would be baptized at “home”, they’d get married at “home” (and if you could at all arrange it to someone of Portuguese stock, if not someone in the mother country.)  And then the kids would either settle in Portugal or resume their back and forth ways.  Because these weren’t permanent migrants.  They worked until they could build a house back home.   Then if they found they ran into financial trouble, they went back.  In the host countries, they never integrated (though a lot became citizens, for the benefits.)  They just lived in their communities, and went back home when needed.

Getting French or German citizenship was an aim, not because they wanted to become part of those countries, whom they always viewed as alien, but because they wanted to collect pensions (being able to claim disability was a big coup) and retirement, which allowed them to live like kings at home, where life was cheaper.

Those who stayed and integrated did it because places like France have an unapologetic integrationist policy (or did.  If they still have it, it’s not working for the Muslims.)  You went to kindergarten at three, you were taught to be FRENCH.  No other languages allowed in the school (I know this because one of my little cousins grew up in France) and no nonsense about wherever you came from.  You got the history of glorious France, you were taught to sing the Marseillese, and you got told that you should WANT to be French.  Some of those kids still returned to Portugal, but about half, I’d judge, became French.

Now add to that the poisonous mix of our education– our universities and the culture-in-the-genes, race and grievance theorists in those.  Heck, even in our high schools.  Oh, forget that, even elementary, where they tried to shame me into “passing on your children’s culture” as though, you know, it were their culture when they’d spent a total of maybe a month in touch with it.  Also, of course, it was their “culture” even though his father’s family has been in the US since the first English immigrants arrived in New England.  Because foreign cultures are magic, and one drop and all that.

The second generation of these legalized illegals will not be taught that they are to be AMERICAN.  Instead, they’ll be given every incentive to identify with a mother country they don’t even know that well, to romanticize it, and, in the west, to think they have a “racial” right to these lands.

This will not end well.  There is no pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.  The only way those people assimilate is if they get put through the grinder and go through h*ll with the rest of us and have to pick sides.

Fortunately the gods of the copybook headings look about ready to administer that correction, amnesty or not.

The people who support the amnesty are either starry eyed idealists or – the majority – crooks who think they can import a new electorate.

This might have worked fine twenty years ago.  Now it won’t.  The problem is that they’re drinking their own ink.  And so is the right, for different reasons.

First – 46 million? … does anyone believe that number?  I don’t.  It might very well have been that, at the beginning of this mess, but look here, La Gran Salida is REAL.  You might not see it in your area, but I see it in mine.  Look, our local neighborhood grocery store, so small I have trouble finding anything not routine, was starting to stock magazines in Spanish in 2007.  In fact, the majority of magazines were in Spanish.  And the Walmart in the not so good part of town (yes, I shop there, deal) might as well be in Mexico.  Products, signs, magazines, people shopping.  It was easier to find stuff for quincenera parties than for prom.

Now?  Well, first the Spanish magazines receded from the local grocery, then from the larger grocery, and now Walmart is… not Spanish.  I mean, the big signs are bilingual, I think that’s company policy, but not the products or the stuff that’s pushed, and certainly not the magazines, the music or the movies.  As for the people shopping, you see the occasional Hispanic family, but more often than not the kids and I are the only ones who look it.  (The kids more than I, frankly.)

More importantly, even in the craiglist for Denver you rarely see an ad in Spanish anymore.

Yes, there was a massive tide into the US, but the tide has receded.  Look, these people come here for opportunities they don’t have in their own lands.  If the opportunities aren’t there, they go away.

The same applies to our government’s insane idea (and yes, they’re doing this.  No, I can no longer find the link) of courting people in Mexico to come here for the benefits.  Yes, this is treasonous.  Yes, this is crazy.  No, this doesn’t mean they’re winning.  When they’re courting immigrants because “we’ll give you cash and you won’t have to work” they’re admitting we’re no longer attracting immigrants for the usual reasons.

The amnesty bill and its idea they can just get a new electorate hinges on the idea the US is infinitely attractive.  Marxists believe this, because they believe that the wealth inheres on the locale and “natural resources” which is why they ruin places like Venezuela because they THINK it can’t be ruined.  And they think the US will remain “rich” no matter how they redistribute.  So they think it will always be attractive.  The rest of us think of the US as infinitely attractive because we’re mad in love with the IDEA of the US.  But it’s time to wake up.  A poor place is NOT going to attract immigrants in droves, particularly immigrants from a warmer climate, where the living is easier in pure food/residence terms.

So, the pushers of amnesty can’t get what they want, and those on the right shouldn’t think all is lost.  The wave that comes in won’t be very big.  Now, the financial drain WILL be massive.  Why?  Everyone who can afford to will come back, claim citizenship (on paper it will be a horde) then take benefits back to Mexico.

This will speed the financial crash, but it was coming anyway. I think Obamacare will do to the economy what pouring cement into an engine will do.  It could stop a healthy economy and no matter how much they lie, this one isn’t even half healthy.  To be blunt, it’s already on life support.

That means at some point there will be no mo’ benefits, not for half-baked citizens and not for others either.  As I said, prepare your landing pad, and prepare to help others whom you care for.

The other assumptions baked into this amnesty bill are that:


Things will go on as they are, more or less forever, boom or bust, the US will come through and remain the house that FDR built, giving benefits to everyone who comes in.  Built into this amnesty is the expectation of another and another and another – none of them creating citizens, but bringing in a people who are used to having an “overclass” over them.  These people who want this fancy themselves that “overclass.”


Third world immigration is infinite because their population is exploding.  Again, I can’t prove this, but I’ve been in some of these countries (I grew up in one at the edge of it) and more, I have friends who have worked in others.  Yes, on paper third world population is exploding.  In reality this doesn’t seem to be true.  Most third world countries have built in assumptions of both racial virility “look how many children we produce” and of getting money per-capita from international charities and other civic bodies.  Yes, we see a lot of immigration from Arab countries, but it’s not that their population is exploding, so much, as that they’re so extremely bad at providing for the population they have.  Look, Russians are immigrating to Portugal, and no one can claim Russians have an exploding population.  Usually buried in all of this is the statistical fact that immigrant populations behave like the native population in terms of births from the second generation on.  (Latins?  The US?  Well, Mexicans DO come over the border to give birth.  Why not?  Double the benefits.  And our law keeps accreting people to the category – takes a bow – yours truly, for instance.  And there’s benefit in claiming the exotic side of your ancestry, so children of mixed marriage are “Hispanic.”  I’m not surprised the majority of births in the US are Hispanic.  I’m surprised, given incentives to the contrary, anyone is still officially “white.”)


One third to one half of the world population is now forever unemployable and will have to be cared for by a governmental apparatus that must make sure they survive, as a sort of forever-underclass.

This is nonsense.  They came up with the same under Carter.  It’s bokum.  Until 07 our unemployment rate was miniscule.  Europe’s was massive.  Are Europeans that much dumber?  No.  Just regulated out the hair roots.  You pay for security in lack of opportunity.



They also assume tech will remain about the same.  Or at least that it won’t affect things much.  They’re insane.  They’re still in denial about what computers are doing.  It is possible there would be a big crash coming even without political shenanigans, which don’t help.  Why?  Because the changes in the way at least half (more like two thirds) of the people work that are already in the process of happening, would in the end have hit national economies hard.  I’ll explain this in other parts, but honestly, our government apparatus belongs to the early twentieth century and it works well enough for big industry, big media, big cities.  It can’t survive in a time of individual operators.  It can make everything crash.  But then the rebuilding will come.  Perhaps it’s ironical that the stripped-down principles of government laid down at our founding would work best as far as I can see.  They might force ourselves on the new world – which would prove our founders were truly ahead of their time.

What you have to think about is that in a world where you can work remote practically anywhere, the place you live in matters less; there will be movement from expensive to cheap places; we’ll also lose a lot of commercial real estate value (it’s already happening.)  You can change some of those to residential, but note that that is also not blooming.  The 2008 crash is nothing to it.  Then think of food, transportation, schooling.  All of that will change radically in ten years.

Will there be a crash?  Of course there will.  Though whether it looks like a crash or frantic rebuilding, it’s up to you to guess.

In the middle of all this trying to get a lot of third world peasants to come live in a country that is often inhospitable climate wise, for the sake of benefits soon to go away is forlorn.  You can for a while import a virtual army of citizens, who don’t really live here, pay no taxes, but collect benefits and vote the way you want them to.  It might see you through one or two election cycles.

But then things crash, as they become more and more divorced from reality and the gods of the copy book headings descend.

ALL amnesty can do is speed the crash.  Well… it’s not my favorite way to deal with the inevitable, and I’d like more time to prepare.  But we’ll have to prepare faster.

Don’t jump off the ledge, guys.  There’s work to be done.



256 thoughts on “Come Down From That Ledge

  1. The part that sticks in my craw about the impending amnesty is that apparently serial drunk drivers won’t be barred. It’s a real problem in a lot of areas with a lot of Hispanic illegals, and a lot of people have been adversely affected at least and at worst killed outright – by drunken, unlicensed and uninsured illegal alien drivers. It’s to the point when I read about some horrific drunk-driver caused crackup on the highway or on the city streets, it’s almost dead certain that the responsible driver has a Hispanic name and a history of priors.
    Gee, it’s almost as if MADD doesn’t give two s**ts any more.

    1. I know. This too is cultural. The alcohol thing only seems to stick here — other countries do drive drunk. But I don’t think they’re going to be overly careful about criminal record. See what I think they’re doing…

      1. Well the driving drunk wouldn’t be much of a problem in the USA or anywhere else … it’s when you crash horrifically into other vehicles – that’s when it becomes a Very Big Problem. Especially when the person driving drunk keeps crashing into other vehicles or individuals, time after time.

      2. It would be discriminating against other cultures to hold their scofflaw attitudes against them. They have suffered decades of government corruption (often because of interference in their countries by United States interests (like United Fruit) and so we owe it to them to not hold them to American standards. It would be oppressive and unjust.

        It all hinges on how you choose to define equality, as the NY Times notes today in an article discussing four cases to be decided by the SCOTUS this week, addressing gay marriage, affirmative action and voting rights:

        [A] tension runs through the cases, one based on different conceptions of equality. Some justices are committed to formal equality. Others say the Constitution requires a more dynamic kind of equality, one that takes account of the weight of history and of modern disparities.

        Wouldn’t such a dynamic understanding of equality require an activist role by an enlightened judiciary, one committed to detecting and prescribing cures for all inequality of any sort? Anybody think the judiciary capable of such social re-engineering could exist?

        N.B. – all italicized text in the above comment should be read as slightly whining. It occurs to me that an HTML code for whining text is needed.

    2. MADD has long been a partisan political organization whose prime focus is maintaining their influence. They really have no other purpose or goal. Their supposed goal of stiffer punishment for DUI was accomplished decades ago.

      1. MADD is a classic example of O’Sullivan’s Law: “any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.” In this case it is that any organization not expressly committed to its founding principles will become a client of the State over time.

        Because achieve its purpose will require state action, even if only the minor action of getting non-tax status, and state action means learning how to play the politics, which makes you become political and once you become political it is very very difficult to limit how politics affects your organization.

        Similarly, all volunteer organizations tend to become more extreme over time because it is the extremists who show up. All the moderates have jobs, families, lives which demand their commitment more than does the organization’s purpose.

    3. There was a more complete list of the “acceptable crimes” over at Pattericos. Among them is peonage — holding someone as a slave based on a debt.

      Wonderful new America our political class is building, isn’t it?

  2. On the culture front, reports from England are that

    Eminent figures from the Victorian era including William Gladstone, Benjamin Disraeli and Florence Nightingale are set to be removed as compulsory elements of the new history curriculum for schools after a U-turn by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary.

    ’cause none of that will help you choose a new app for yer smart phone, I guess.

    1. No doubt a certain overly influential minority finds Disraeli highly offensive.

    2. Actually, this is a smart idea. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. In England, the Victorian Era corresponds to the height of the British Empire. No wonder they want it back 😉

  3. If TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It ™ ) is inevitable, I wish it would hurry up and get here sooner rather than later, for the following reasons:
    1) Long and slow collapse seems to be the type more likely to eradicate cultures and civilizations, historically speaking. Things change incrementally until what is no longer resembles what was in any fashion, a process I believe this country has already been undergoing since at least before I was born. Insert relevant reference to Rome, ancient Israel, or other long gone, never to be seen again state here.
    2) I’m trying to cultivate skill sets useful to both near and far collapses, and it’s wearing me out. It’d be nice to have the scale tilt one way or the other so I can better focus my attention.
    3) I would rather the hard times come now, upon my generation, in the hope that we might be able to spare the next. I would rather fight this battle now when I’m young and hale, than when I’m gray and overly attached to my family.

    I apologize if I’ve gotten any of the above wrong, The arrogance of youth can lead one unto delusions of invincibility.

    1. No, I feel that way half the time. As I said, the only thing prejudicing me towards slow and long is that I’ve survived that before — OTOH as a mother I’d rather get it out of the way while I’m young enough to help the boys.

  4. I’ve quite a few permanent resident immigrant and naturalized acquaintances, and they’ve come to the US for varying reasons (one – a world class pistol shooter because Britain banned his sport). All of them are happy with their decision to immigrate here but I’ve never run into anyone with the enthusiasm for living here and being American that you have. Its always been the thing I’ve found most endearing about you – and the thing that is most uplifting to my spirits.

    1. Mr. Du Toit is *almost* as enthusiastic, except for his unfortunate anglophile streak.

  5. Yes, of course. I also realize high crime in those communities remained high for a generation or two, as the integration was taking place. Because those people had come here not for a great love of our laws but to find streets paved with gold, it took two to three generations to integrate.

    And some went back; my grandmother’s dad came over with (among others) a good friend, who ended up meeting a girl back in Scotland when he went “home” to visit, and stayed there. Some decades later, his son (grandson? I’m not sure) came to America to see if he could find that family, and showed up on Grandma’s doorstep. He “made” it before going back, but some folks just went back.

    1. The implicit social contract for a US immigrant, as I see it in hindsight, used to be that you should expect a more stressful than where you came from—but if you adapt, you’ll wind up better off. I accept and defend that contract.

      Trouble is, nowadays a meaningful fraction of people get the stress without the outcome, and they’re natural-born citizens, not newcomers.

    2. As did my paternal grandparents. They immigrated to USA separately, met there, married there and had their first kid (or kids, I know only that the uncle I never met was for sure born there) there, then came back to Finland with their savings and bought a farm. My oldest uncle was in his teens then, didn’t fit in here and went back before he turned 20. No idea if grandparents actually had become citizens before coming back, presumably my uncle was because he had been born there – how did that work a hundred years ago anyway?

      1. As it happens, I know this! My family just had our 100 year anniversary and it’s part of a family story.

        You had to eligible to enter the country (healthy, someone to take care of you if you were old, generally not going to be a burden or a risk) and have $200 (maybe $100?) in your hand as you walked through the gate.

        Story goes that there was quite a bit of “recycling” of cash back through the fence; I can’t imagine this really went unnoticed, so I suppose they figured that if someone was willing to hand their brother or cousin several hundred dollars, they were unlikely to be a bad risk. Plus, the practice of sending a couple of sons (my ancestor and his elder brother) ahead to earn money to get the rest in was a very big stabilizing influence.

        1. Wasn’t there some sort of health inspection before people could go past that fence? Okay, this is mostly something I have seen in some old movies, people lining up and getting a cursory inspection, one of those ‘now turn your head and cough’ things (what the hell was that anyway? For TB detection?), while some character is trying to hide something like a limp or suppress a coughing fit.

          1. By the way, as far as I know my father did consider immigrating during the late 50’s, and again the early 60’s, but my mother nixed the idea when she first got pregnant, and then when I had health issues as a baby.

            I wonder what I would be like if I had grown up there.

                1. Realistically thinking, though, well, besides not being overly fond of the socialist doctrine so well loved here, my major problems with my country come from SAD. If I had grown up somewhere further south – and that’s all of USA with the exception of Alaska – I would probably have been far more successful than I have been. One of my mother’s issues may have been worries about my education, whether they’d be able to pay my way there, but even without something like college being able to function well throughout the year would presumably have meant a career in something better paying than I ended up with here.

                  But it’s also of course quite possible that if I had ended up deep in debt for that college education I would have wasted years bitching about their decision to immigrate and take me away from the free education (and other frees, like health care, which is not quite as great when you have to depend on it as it may sound, but does undoubtedly sound good enough for those who don’t) offered here, not knowing that I happen to be one of those unfortunates who just can’t handle winters this far north.

                  1. Not at your age. College was cheap back then. Well, not cheap cheap, but Dan paid for it by working part time. It’s our kids who are screwed.

                    And as a fellow SADs sufferer, I feel your pain. I lived for a year in Ohio and in the winter I couldn’t function. (So it depends where you were. Ohio can be overcast six months at a time.)

                    1. That SAD is one of the things which soured me a bit towards our healthcare system. It works reasonably well when you have something immediate, like a broken leg. For something vague you need to wait months to get a doctor’s appointment, and when you get it he is not going to have lots of time for trying to figure out what it may be, so the normal result often seems to be that the patient gets told to get another appointment if the symptoms continue. A few rounds of that can easily take years (or the patient stops trying), especially when it’s not something that develops into something easy to see fast. And that is getting worse as there is less money for the system.

                      As I have said, it took me nearly a decade to even get the diagnosis, I was fairly sure myself what my problem was a long time before that. Might not have gotten it then, except I got tachycardia one night while at work and ended up in the local teaching hospital (supraventricular tachycardia, seems to be something not really serious, at least according to what I got told back then my heart is fine but there is something like an extra nerve connection there. I had it twice, and not for 13 years after the last one. I think the treatment would have been to cut that connection, if it had continued to bother me.). And in a meeting with a bunch of young doctors after that when they discussed the whole thing they also asked about everything else and since that was winter I mentioned the depression, and that got me a few appointments with one of that hospital’s experts. Many enough that spring came. 🙂 But normally you can’t get to those experts without a referral from your primary care doctor (or rather one of the doctors in your main health care facility, they change a lot, most doctors get out of those places as fast as they can). Although you can get one of those referrals from private practice – which might be a bit cheaper if they weren’t paying the high taxes which are needed for maintaining hell of a lot of other things besides the free healthcare system (which is not completely free either, in most cases the patient has to pay something, and as the money is running out those charges have been getting a bit higher, and it seems likely they will continue to do so).

                      But yes, it works well if you break your leg.

          2. “Turn your head and cough” is a check for groin hernia, IIRC.

            Immigrants would have been checked for STDs, TB and other readily communicable disease. In an era when treatments for such diseases were essentially limited to “quarantine” it made sense to erect some barriers. (It still does.)

          3. Yes, the cough thing was for TB; part of the “being a public risk” thing. Even the “have someone to take care of you if you weren’t able to care for yourself” thing was also a kindness to the immigrants, not that it’ll be sold that way these days. Out of sight is out of mind, and it’d be a lot cheaper to ship grandma over to America and hope that someone would be nice than to take care of her.

          4. The “turn your head and cough” thing is — the fingers on the taint are to check for a hernia The cough is to induce stress in the muscles, thus making a hernia stand out. The “turn your head” thing is so you don’t cough on the doctor.

            Or so a doctor told me when I asked.

            Now, ask me why hernias are a public health issue. (Hint: not a clue.)


              1. The hernia check was probably limited to those coming through as elements in mass immigrant crowds — more likely to be performed on those coming steerage than those travelling here in 1st Class accommodations.

                Such arrivals would largely be restricted to manual labor, presumably lacking the kinds of skills qualifying them for more … refined work. Any man with a herniated groin would be unlikely to be able to prosper in such a labor market.

          5. Yes, there was a health inspection – and a huge hospital area at Ellis Island for those who couldn’t pass at the moment. Those immigrants with chronic illnesses were often returned to point of origin. TB was the biggie, glaucoma, also IIRC. Curiously, First and Second Class on arriving steamships didn’t have to go through the extensive health inspection, only Third, or steerage class.
            My GG-grandfather and his wife, daughter and sister in law arrived at Ellis Island from Great Britain in the early 1920s. His surviving son had been sent ahead of the family, just before WWI. (Supposedly, GG-Grandfather Alfred saw the war coming, didn’t like the prospect, and wished to immigrate as soon as he had liquidated his property holdings, but the war interrupted.) My great aunt said they were all day going through Customs as they had brought 21 steamer trunks full of household things.

    3. Italians were famous for going to make money and then go home to like like signores. A lot of the landowners in Italy made their money in America. And they greatly enlarged the professional class by enrolling their children in schools.

      Not all of them of course. Some that came intending to stay went back; some that came intending to go back stayed; life is interesting like that.

      The steamboat made an enormous difference in immigration.

      1. A friend of mine of Greek heritage said that a lot of Greeks did that, too. He had first-hand experience, as several of his relatives did this.

  6. The real problem of the immigration reform is not what it achieves, but what it represents: a political class hopelessly corrupt and arrogant, incapable of learning from (recent) past fiascoes.

    The theatrics on this are better than Obamacare, but that is just the staging; fundamentally it represents yet another massive badly written bill passed without benefit of clear-headed examination of its consequences.

    I am going offline for the afternoon, but will be cogitating on an acronym (what is the inverse of acronym? Finding the words to compose the name) for this constitutional (and Constitutional) problem afflicting our enlightened rulers. My problem is that I start fitting words in … House Urban Blight Renewal Institutional Stupidity … but always end up in snark as contemplating the matter makes me focus on the problem.

    Maybe my time would be better spent on figuring out how best to file 23K tax returns all claiming tax refunds/credits of a couple thousand dollars …

      1. Which is not only a cool word in its own right, but is also easy to misread as “Baconrym”. Mmmmmmmm, bacon…

  7. Wassamatta here? Don’t noboby wanna make da toiteenth comment?

    With a STEM background, I understand how ridiculous it is to avoid any number in which the sequence “1,3” appears. What you should do is to avoid any integer evenly divisible by it.

      1. Piffle. Ain’t nobody scared of 7 in Base 4 … it is simply that folks sensibly recognize that 8 in Base 5 represents two cubed in Base 5: the first three non-unitary primes in sequence. That is just creepy.

          1. Probably not so much as you would hope — there seems a significant body of opinion holding we are worth less.

            I once tried to persuade folks that this lot would argue anything but nobody would agree with me on that.

            1. Something I’ve actually posted on Facebook: “Why let something as trivial as agreement stand in the way of a good argument?”

              Fortunately for me nukes tend to be a contentious bunch with a high degree of tolerance for verbal abuse.

              1. I cannot recall (and cannot trouble to look up) a character description (either historic or fictional — part of the reason I no bother oogling the person) of someone who so enjoyed a good argument that if he won agreement too easily he would switch and argue the other side just to keep the fun going (and make sure the matter was fully ventilated.)

                1. I don’t like to argue with other people, but I occasionally do something similar with myself, especially when dealing with subjects I don’t agree with. Start trying to figure what the other person is seeing, and why they think the way they think, and try to argue for both sides by myself.

                  And I do like discussing things, just dislike it when it gets heated enough that people start using insults. Or heated enough that I start to worry it might get to insults soon. The problem with internet is that since you can’t see expressions or hear the tone of voice it’s a lot easier to slide into that throwing insults stage, after which things usually seem to end up with that playground ‘you are’, ‘no you are’ type of fruitless harping.

                  I think I rather envy those people who both like to argue, do it well and are able to keep it meaningful. And I am in awe of them too.

                  1. “If you can’t argue against it, you shouldn’t argue for it.” (or the other way around)

                    One of my mom’s sayings.

                    That said, I get a lot of internet enemies because when someone on my side has a weak argument, I’ll tell them so. (Self defense; standard attack is to pick the weak argument as the ONLY one offered.)

              2. That’s satellite controllers in a nutshell. I think the most infamous argument was whether “1” is a prime number or not. Lasted a week, with occasional reprisals for the next five years.

                Entertainment (and sanity) is where you find it…

                1. How is 1 not a prime number, it’s only divisible by 1 and itself?

                  The biggest EOS argument I’ve heard of is cheesecake: Cake or Pie?

                    1. There’s nothing in the definition that says it has to be divisible by two numbers. Though later, more general, definitions specifically exclude 1. So I guess the answer to the question of if 1 is prime would be “when?”

                    2. Argumentum ad Googlum:

                      an integer that has no integral factors but itself and 1.

                      A Prime Number can be divided evenly only by 1, or itself.

                      A natural number (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.) is called a prime or a prime number if it has exactly two positive divisors,

                      A prime number is a whole number greater than 1, whose only two whole-number factors are 1 and itself.

                      any integer other than 0 or ± 1 that is not divisible without remainder by any other integers except ± 1 and</B ± the integer itself.

                      Why is the number one not a prime? – The Prime Pages
                      The number one is far more special than a prime! It is the unit (the building block) of the positive integers, hence the only integer which merits its own existence axiom in Peano’s axioms. It is the only multiplicative identity (1.a = a.1 = a for all numbers a). It is the only perfect nth power for all positive integers n. It is the only positive integer with exactly one positive divisor. But it is not a prime. So why not? Below we give four answers, each more technical than its precursor.
                      Answer One: By definition of prime!
                      Answer Two: Because of the purpose of primes.
                      Answer Three: Because one is a unit.
                      Answer Four: By the Generalized Definition of Prime.


                    3. Is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes?

                      Cheesecake represents a merger of two platonic ideals: a cake filling in a pie shell.

                    4. White with black for two reasons:
                      look at a zebra, and notice that if you were trying to recreate the stripes, it’d be smartest to use black paint because the stripes fade away on the belly
                      zebras without stripes are white; I don’t know of any black zebras.

                    5. Black with white. In Animals, white is a suppression gene. (Not in humans,we’re not bright white.) What I mean is, my spotted black white cat is really a black cat, a suppression gene just prevents the black showing everywhere.

                    6. Reducto ad absurdum, that definition would mean that a perfectly white cat was black with a white spot. (I did know a pure gray horse that was considered a paint because he had a blue, AKA “glass,” eye….)

                      Guess that’s another question to add to the “define what you mean” pile.

                    7. Yes, weirdly true. Sorry. Older son is biologist and he babbles when we walk, and I have a stainless steel lint trap mind. Sounds bizarre, but it’s “genetically” true. Of course, that’s not what it looks like or what “is” true representationaly, if that makes sense.

                      Stupid question, since you probably know more about that than I do — has anyone EVER domesticated a zebra, like a horse? I know they’re very close genetically.

                    8. Great, it depends on what the meaning of is is…..


                      *laughs* I also have the random tidbits gene– I think it’s Odd.

                      Yes, they kinda domesticated zebras; it was mentioned in my Animals! magazines when I was a kid, because they’re not built right to work like horses.

                      I don’t know if they domesticated them to the point of, say, those Russian foxes that started expressing new colors.

                    9. Poking around without bothering as to the quality of the sourcing, it looks like they aren’t as fast as horses, are hard to control, their necks are too tough to steer and they freak out really easily.

                      Crossing them with horses or donkeys makes a decent animal, though.

                    10. Don’t know about domestication, but I do know they’re more closely related to Donkeys than Horses. One of those things I read a long time ago, but if you ignore the coloring, you can see it.

                    11. I was going to write that cheesecake is usually round, but decided to use ellipsis instead.

                    12. Yes there are instances of Zebras being domesticated. I don’t recall where I read about it, but from what I remember they have short, very heavy necks, making them hard to control, and are not built correctly for carrying heavy loads (like a person) on their back for extended periods. Also they are reputed to be meaner than a snake in the blind.

            1. I’m not necessarily “broke”, but I’m so badly bent I make a pretzel jealous. Seriously, I know there’s trouble coming, and when it does hit, it’s going to come in surprising ways, from surprising directions. Since 99% of my income comes from the government (military retirement, VA disability, SS), and there’s a good chance the gubmint won’t survive the collapse, I’m trying to decide what I should do next. The house will be paid for in less than three years. If we can squeak through that, I think we can survive. Might not be fun, but we CAN survive. May need to take out a lease on a main battle tank, though…

              1. At least if the bank collapses you won’t have to pay up on the lease. (and a main battle tank could easily facilitate a collapse)

  8. This is a great post, Sarah. I’ll be linking it in various places.

    And yes, you talked me down from the ledge, at least somewhat.

  9. The missing part that really shouldn’t be left to chance is setting up competent internet “high schools”. Think Hillsdale meets Khan Academy. Where “graduation” is a series of concrete accomplishments – not “time served”. Economics, civics, and formal logic would be required classes were I running it.

    1. Statistics as well. Plus calculus for anyone planning on going to college for STEM.

      Plus some kind of shop class. Kids should know that they can build something useful with their hands.

    2. I had a dream about doing this night before last. Since then, I’ve created an outline for a couple of courses. There’s no reason the intellectual capability of this crowd couldn’t write a K-PhD lesson set in less than a year, covering more subjects than the local colleges do.

      1. If you actually did something like this, I’d be willing to contribute some computer programming knowledge. I’ve never tried to teach it, but there are some excellent books out there (I’ve recommended How to Think Like a Computer Scientist to just about anyone who asks me “How do I learn computer programming?”).

      2. I working on a non-credit English course for students coming out of the public school and cannot place on English tests in college. You probably now how bad the problem is now (students who can’t do the basics–reading, writing, and arithmetic).

        1. I forgot to mention– Daily Grammar has an excellent beginning course for English grammar. They have developed lessons and quizzes. Even better it is free.

  10. Back in 1996, my late father remarked that he expected the USA to hold together during his lifetime but wasn’t sure about his children’s. My response was that stagnation was in the cards but disintegration was highly unlikely.

    However, he lived through the collapse of Central European civilization before, during, and after WW2. I remember remembering that at the time, and it has not left my mind since.

    1. I don’t think we’ll break apart. I think it’s going to get nasty and bloody, but I don’t think we’ll break apart. The reason the USSR and all those broke apart was that they were nations of blood before being united. The same with many nations in Europe. Portugal is at least three “nations” with very little in common in blood, language or habits, and roughly divided in three regions. (Only now things are more “mixed” thanks to the highway system. BUT linguistics (!) books listed Portugal as three distinct regions. And they were right. But the US isn’t like that. And the mixing has been going on since the beginning of the century. That’s actually the issue. If we could separate cleanly, there would be less crashing. But we can’t. We’re all woven through and my guess is at the other side of this we’ll remain together. We might have lost a state or two (CA anyone?) and we might be what the left thinks we are “paternalistic, traditionalist, authoritarian” — I’d rather not, frankly. I think the new tech will do better with more individual liberty and that’s the place for the US to lead and attract CONGENIAL and skilled immigrants but it’s possibly the strongest possibility. — If I had to bet, say 40% chance, with 45% to us emerging at the end of this as a freer nation. 5% for total breakup. We just AREN’T regionally diverse enough and there’s no one to break. Even those of us who are uncomfortable in our political geographical location, don’t want to leave. We want our states back.

      1. 1. Viva La Raza? Viva Aztlan?

        I can readily imagine a Hispanic separatist movement emerging: either a perpetual aggravation like Quebec or actual secession like has happened and may happen more in Europe. I can’t see today’s squishy multicultis summoning the ruthlessness to hold the country together by force.

        I live in Central MA rather than out West so my take may be accurate only in my imagination.

        2. If I had to bet, say 40% chance, with 45% to us emerging at the end of this as a freer nation. 5% for total breakup.

        Not following your definitions here, especially of the 40%. And the probabilities don’t add to 1.

        3. If interracial marriages decline sharply, look out below.

        1. 40% chance we end up in a semi-totalitarian US. Nothing too bad. I don’t see us getting any worse than the 30s — but from the right instead of the left. I.e. “Socons resurgent”. There is a backlash building and there’s a good chance the baby will go out with the bathwater. Sadly, it’s better than a lefty paradise.

          Separatist… possibly in CA, but you have to remember the general competency of the part of “La Raza” immigrating here, and how it has declined from people who come to work to people who come to mooch. I don’t think, honestly, that defeating them would be that much more difficult than defeating the Iraqi army when we first went in. Macho bluster, imagined ability at violence, and all the organization of kindergartners on juicy fruit.
          The thing to remember is this is ALL happening by our sufferance. Sooner or later the sufferance will be withdrawn — and economic collapse makes it sooner. Unlike MingoV I think it’s collapse we’re headed for. Not Mad Max collapse, but collapse. There’s only so far you can get with our elites completely divorced from reality.

          1. If, heaven forbid, those are the only two choices, I would rather be governed by religious kooks than by enlightened providers of fairness and diversity. I really really hope there is a Door #3.

              1. On the cooks/kooks spelling distinction, now I’m trying to come up with a clever proverb variant. “Too many kooks spoil the …?” Can’t think of a word rhyming with “broth” to finish the phrase, though.

                I am quite proud of coming up with “Too many looks [at other women] spoil the troth” when I was a teen, though. (Both my sister and I insist that we were the one who came up with it. Most likely we’re both right and each came up with that one independently of each other.)

                1. Your situation calls for creative ingenuity brute-force permutation.

                  Via an online rhyming dictionary, one can separately list all the one-syllable words that respectively rhyme with ‘spoil’ and ‘broth’. If there’s a bon mot in there, it/they can be identified by inspecting the pairwise combinations of the lists.

                  If this exercise brings you fame and fortune, keep the fame but pls give me 10% of the fortune with 1% to Sarah as intermediary. 😉

              2. Whereas for at least two reasons I deliberately used the harsh “religious kooks” even though I like and usually get on well with people of faith as individuals:

                1. Afaic socon politics has been tangled into a bilious snarl of means and ends that has alienated someone like me, who was once a sympathetic ally.

                2. My distaste for what socons let their “leaders” get away with is eclipsed by my distaste for where the “progressive” Left would take us.

                1. but a lot of them aren’t religious. They’re just “we want everything in its place” type of people. There seems to be a vast contingent surfacing.

                  1. I know such people exist—my Yankee neighbors come to mind although they don’t really fit the description at second look—but I haven’t noticed too many of them (online, anyway). Will keep an eye out.

                  1. My impression is not based on the MSM; it is based on largely fruitless attempts in online forums to find common ground. I don’t believe I used the term ‘offensive’; if I did, I didn’t mean to.

                    Unfortunately it’s too late in the evening for me to pursue the matter tonight.

              3. I know what “cooks” are, but what are “moral cooks”? [Very Big Grin While Flying Away Very Very Fast]

            1. A minor quibble: ” enlightened providers of fairness and diversity” are religious kooks. They simply lack a text whose interpretation you can argue.

              1. And a Supreme Being Whose judgment they fear. That’s another weakness, human beings being what we are.

                1. Well, Bill Whittle seems to be immune to my mental commands to run for office, so I have to settle somewhat.

                    1. Sounds like he’s made for Congress. Maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll just be hanged.

                    2. Sadly, MY younger son ALSO has qualities which may lead him to Congress (or else Used Car Sales). Heaven help us if they ever team up.

              1. Well, I haven’t interacted enough with Dan to know how what kind of president he would make, so…

                What, you meant Sarah? I think you might need a refresher Constitutional course. There’s that bit about “natural-born citizen” in there, remember? 😛

                And while Sarah was a natural-born American in one sense, that’s not what the phrase means in the legal sense. So you’re safe, Sarah. Dan, OTOH…

                1. I wasn’t terribly particular about which Hoyt. Any of them would be an improvement on what we have now (I’m trying hard to think of someone that would be worse…ah yes, Pelosi). And Dan did have to good sense to marry our hostess, thus indicating he would be adequate.

                    1. Little known fact: “Pelosi” is an acceptable alternate spelling for a whole host of words that are inappropriate for this forum.

                    2. Madam! I will not sit here quietly while you insist on slandering stupid old cows in that manner!

                  1. I can think of many worse, Pelosi levels of worse. Reid, Schumer, Boxer and about 80% of the rest of Senate Dems (President Franken?). Cummings, Waters, McDermott and about 90% of the remainder of House Dems.

                    Even so, the problem is likely as much the bureaucracy as the politicians.

                    1. President Biden.

                      I’d really be ok with that since IMO it’s over anyway and I’ve got plenty of ammo. I’d just go get some popcorn and watch the fireworks.

                    1. Don’t be silly. A cat cannot be President. He would order the military to get rid of all their laser designators, and then where would we be.

                    2. So every other nation on the planet would start stockpiling a Strategic Tuna Reserve, collapsing world fisheries, devastating the sushi industry, and the smell…

                    3. yes, but think of all the things he wouldn’t be doing: no signing executive orders (can’t write.) No signing anything into law (can’t write.) No speeches (though he squeaks adorably.) No hectoring us (though the squeak can get annoying.) NO trips abroad with mega security. We could do worse.

                    4. And he’s a natural-born American citizen, so all we need is to have him survive to age 35 and he’ll be eligible.

                  2. The re-animated corpse of Barry Goldwater would be better than what we have now, as long as Disney Corp. wasn’t the one inserting the animtronics.

                    Oooh, now there’s a short story idea. President dies in bed with a young intern and a pile of coke and his administration (and wife) have him stuffed with animatronics and carry on.

                  1. I’m fairly sure Amanda’s mom is willing to swear I’m her kidnapped daughter! Home birth, you know. It’s on the family Bible! (Must be. How else can Amanda and I be twins.)

                    1. I am pretty sure not because the Social Security only changed my status to citizen less than ten years ago. (another story). I have a passport that declares I am an American and have had it since I was 21… and I was an American in the US Navy due to the passport. My parents didn’t register me with the embassy at my birth… another fact that has caused me no end of troubles. *sigh

                    2. My Grandfather was born in Canada in 1900, and his parents were naturalized American citizens. This was not a problem when he enlisted in 1918, but when he tried to get a passport after WWII it became a problem. He wound up having to find the midwife that delivered him.
                      Heh, I just had a thought, My other Grandfather lied about his age to enlist in 1917. The records got tangled after that and he had lots of trouble when he decided to retire and start drawing social security.

                2. Dan has this HORRENDOUS tendency to say exactly what he means. He’d never make it in politics. He also suffers from mathematician’s mouth. “It’s warm… it exploded.” I’m the interpreter. “What he means is that it’s warm out but not as much as it would be if the sun exploded. Pardon me, his brain is too fast for his mouth.” Younger son has the same issue and is SHOCKED when I interpret. “Twenty eight years of practice, son.”

          2. When California, New York and Illinois try to pay their aggregate debts by using the Feds to loot Texas and the Gulf states (especially if they spew nonsense about long-term reparations for Slavery and Jim Crow) we might see some rupturing — especially as Texas’s joining the Union included (IIRC) language allowing Texas to pull out.

            Remember how George W Bush’s election had the Blue states mouthing venomously about evicting those rednecks? Think a conservative resurgence might push the Pacific Coast over the edge?

            1. The whole “Texas can secede” thing is a myth. I’ve read through the annexation treaty, the closest to it is saying the US can create up to 4 states out of the territory of Texas. Plus that issue was fairly well decided around 1865.

              However, if Texas did secede because they were going to be looted to pay off the blue state debts, how many states would stay behind. Since the richest ones remaining would be on the hook for massive promises made by other politicians, I would wager not many. I think it would be less a matter of Texas et al. seceding than the blue states getting kicked out of the US, whence they would rapidly become bankrupt allowing the US to buy them back at firesale prices (and a nice long period of territory status so those poor deluded children can grow up before being allowed to decide their fate).

                1. Bonus points for the president whose unconstitutional orders cause Texas to secede being a serial-numbers-barely-filed-off version of Hillary Clinton.

                  P.S. I’m proud to report that I had to look up how she spells her name; I have a friend whose name is Hilary with one L, so I get confused.

              1. It matters not whether it’s a myth or not. What matters is whether or not the folks of Texas believe it…. A country founded on revolution can’t morally (or psychologically) make a LEGAL argument against secession. Only a forceful argument.

                1. Not against secession in general, but it can set the bar for a set of circumstances in which secession is acceptable pretty darn high. For example, seceding because your guy lost the election (mostly because your side couldn’t get all their crap in one sock) isn’t acceptable. We settled that 150 years ago. Would a special levy against the responsible to shield the irresponsible from the consequences of their choices clear the bar? Possibly.

      2. the RoT may be another we’ll lose. I’m also betting on bloodshed and atrocities galore before it happens.

  11. I tend to favor a “sooner” collapse. My main reason being that I think any collapse of the Western world will make more likely a nuclear exchange among various Middle Eastern nations, India, Pakistan, possibly China, rolling over into Taiwan and Korea. Possibly Japan.

    I figure the sooner it happens, the fewer nukes there will be in the combined arsenals of all of the above, and the more likely our Navy will still be functional and able to intimidate China into limiting their participation and minimizing the spread.

    On the other hand, maybe it’ll all just teeter along and never fall off into the pit.

    1. Japan has looked for the soul of Barrack H. Obama, and found … nothing. They’re worried, and rightly so, with a nuclear-armed China and now North Korea. Both are well within range of being able to strike any portion of Japan they may choose. We’ve provided them with the SM-3 Patriot system, but that’s purely defensive, and can be overwhelmed. Even one small strike would cause huge damage to Japan’s currently-stagnated economy. I would not be surprised one bit if Japan decided to scrap its passive Constitution, and adopt something more vibrant. At the same time, I can quite easily see them developing a nuclear arsenal within months that would be capable of striking North Korea, and possibly some of the more strategic cities of China. The kickoff will begin the first time Japan sees what to them is the beginning of a strategic collapse in the US.

        1. Draven is correct, but so is Mike – Japan has AEGIS/SM-3 with the really cool ABM missiles on very fetching new destroyers, as well as Patriot with the latest software updates and airframes based on land.

          And to Mike’s Japan-with-nukes point, Japan already has fully functional orbital launch systems, including both the liquid fueled H-IIA launcher, which most countries would count as their entire space program quite happily, but they also built a totally different solid fueled launcher system (the M-5) which looks suspiciously like a military booster, which is a gross mischaracterization of a peaceful second totally redundant space launch vehicle program, of course.

          There have been rumors for years that Japan has already finalized, purely as a theoretical exercise by some misguided out of control local low ranking ministry employees, actual newkewlar warhead designs that PURELY COINCIDENTALLY would just happen to fit the existing launch vehicle interfaces for the M-5 solid fueled launcher system; that some hardware for such warheads have actually been manufactured; and that the trickier materials and components could be whipped up at short notice, in which case, hey presto, there’s Japan with an ICBM nuclear strike capability.

          Since the M-5 launcher can put something just short of 4,000 lbs in LEO, they could even do MIRVed warheads.

          Just to add another level of fun in east Asia, I’m also certain the Chinese have penetrated Japanese industry enough to know how much of this is actually real.

          Now tell me again why I should not worry about all the huffing and puffing between China and Japan, not to mention the loons in NK.

  12. We will not have an economic crash, amnesty or not. Instead, we will have an irregular sequence of plateaus and downward slides. This will be worse than a crash: Too many people will pretend that there is not an economic crisis, and, therefore, no major changes are needed. Instead, we’ll get political dithering that does nothing but line the pockets of cronies. (That’s been happening for the past few years.)

    Blanket, complete amnesty is a bad idea. Instead, Illegal immigrants should get guest worker status. Each guest worker household must be economically self-sufficient, and guest workers and their dependents are not entitled to federal benefits. (As partial compensation, they’ll be exempt from Medicare and Social Security payroll deductions.) Those who fail to meet requirements get deported (no appeal). Those who do can switch to a citizenship track. They’ll be treated like legal immigrants, and they can become citizens after a specified time and proof of English competency (speak, read, and write at a 6th grade level).

    The above scheme accomplishes three things: It keeps the status of legal immigrants higher than that of former illegal immigrants. It denies federal benefits to former illegal immigrants and therefore does not cause increased federal spending. It helps immigrant assimilation due to the English competency requirement for citizenship. Unfortunately, nothing like this will be enacted. The democrats want blanket amnesty and another ten million voters, almost all of whom will vote democratic across the board.

  13. I started out from a knee jerk “close the damn borders” position. Then I gradually became aware that an awful lot of what I was reading that was supposed to be true about the illegal hispanics was goddamned close to swill I had read from the mid 19th century and after about the Irish.

    And I notice that we have seen mass immigration from Mexico before, and weathered it.

    I’m not convinced that ANYBODY talking about illegal aliens, or amnesty, or related matters knows what the hell they are talking about. I’m not sure that they DON’T, either.

    We might, however, want to put up signs on the border saying, “Will the last person to leave Mexico please turn off the lights and the gas and make sure that the newspaper has been stopped.”

    1. Note what I said about previous immigration waves though. Different times. NOW we’re teaching them to actively hate America. The fault is not in them but in ourselves. Also, honestly, most of them don’t WANT to say. They just want to make a living. I simply don’t think there will be a mass immigration. I think there will be mass “money taking” and no, I don’t blame them.

      1. Maybe working in the U.S., in close proximity to the people who want to preserve what America used to be (and who shop at Walmart and are usually polite) AND the people who hate the U.S. (and act like the elitist prats they are) with teach the visitors something they can take back to Mexico. Certainly if they are the source of needed hard currency, they will have an effect. And fro what I read, it would be hard to make matters worse. Not impossible. but hard.

  14. I think Amnesty is a bad idea. It didn’t work when Reagan did it; it won’t work now. On the other hand, I’d much prefer Amnesty to the “Build a Fence / Secure the Border” proposals. Why? Because I no longer trust the federal government not to use a wall to keep Americans IN if things go bad.

      1. I may be too paranoid. My change of heart on border security is fairly recent and a result of the string of scandals (IRS/AP/NSA/etc.) that make me concerned that the parties in power (both of them) really just don’t care about even the appearance of respect for the Constitution and the citizens.

        On the other hand, at least the government is famously bad at everything it tries.

        1. YouTube is full of videos showing all the crazy things Americans do when we’re bored. Now imagine what those minds would be capable of if they decided they wanted to go south. Do you really think something as trivial as a fence is going to stop them?

          1. hell the fences that ARE up and the patrols don’t really stop the mexicans and immigrants from various other south and central american coming. slow them down a little bit? maybe. the only way to really do that would be to turn the border in a no mans land where if you step out into it…you die. And while I’m angry enough to favor it..I’m also just nerdy enough to think “Helloo Skynet!”

            1. No, the fences aren’t up. That’s part of the objection to the new law– only a fraction of the fence required by the last law has been built, and the rest is merrily ignored. What on earth would make someone think the tough stuff would be any less ignored this time?

    1. If 1/4th to 1/3 of your population has ready access to firearms, some of them being military grade firearms (I’ve got 3 that are semi-auto versions of military guns, and another three that shoots military calibers, and those are just the rifles), then ain’t no *fence* keeping people in.

  15. The problem is that due to the Progressives’ push for “diversity” and “multiculturalism,” the ability of America to assimilate immigrants into a common American culture and society is at an all-time nadir.

    The Progressives have worked so hard to tear down the essence that makes America what it is, that even the native-born are turning it away and treating it as an alien – and disreputable – culture worthy of contempt.

    In essence, they are channeling Bertold Brecht’s “The Solution” and simply replacing one people (and culture) with one they greatly prefer.

  16. “The people who support the amnesty are either starry eyed idealists or – the majority – crooks who think they can import a new electorate”.

    Or both.

  17. I’m going to try again, if this Piece of Worthless Lenovo C–P will let me reply. The “crash” will not be either soft, or short. Too many depend on food every 2-3 days, from stores that have about a *36 hour supply on hand.* If the dollar collapses, there will be no Kroger/Meijer/etc. Barter cannot fill, drive, unpack and sell a semi load of food every day. Fuel (gas and diesel) will disappear, because the refineries/stations/ships to carry/process it will come to a halt.
    Most of the “Urban poor” think food comes from a can, or a plastic wrapped package. They will die from starvation, exhaustion, exposure, at the hands of others, by the _Thousands_. God “fearing” people like you and I, will have to make a hard decision. “Do I feed as many family and friends, as I can, or do I try to feed everyone, and we all die?” Food for 40 people, for 1 year (time to plant, grow and harvest food), will feed _1,000_ for _14.6_ days. After that, everybody dies of starvation. That isn’t charity, it’s defending those that God put in our care.
    Even those we do feed, will have to work or not eat. There will be too little “surplus” to feed those unwilling to be useful. Many will think that they “deserve” a continuing “free ride,” based on “Christian Charity.” They don’t understand the concept of responsibility. The poor do not have priority over your spouse or children. As a Christian, I am commanded to help them, _after_ those in my “care.” If my family has sufficient food, I am to help fed the poor. Not starve everyone.
    The “system” will crumble under the mass of urban poor, and Idiot Liberal Progressives. There will be will riots worse than the Rodney King Riots, in nearly every major city. All because the food isn’t there, and the “almighty Gov’t” can’t make it appear. Like The Black Plague, the deaths will feed on themselves, as cities collapse. Too few have any resources to fall back on at all. Crdit, checks, etc., will not exist to pay for anything.

    1. The only problem with your scenario is that I don’t see how the dollar collapses. We aren’t going to suffer inflation like Wiemar Germany did. The causes of their problem aren’t replicated here. We’ve pumped vast quantities of money into the economy of the last few years with very low inflation because that money isn’t going anywhere. It’s just sitting around padding balance sheets, that makes our inflation somewhat self-correcting. If inflation starts to get too bad the Fed can, and most certainly will, start pulling that money back out of the economy. We’re probably in for a bout of fairly severe inflation, but nothing near the level required to collapse the dollar. Zimbabwe didn’t suffer total economic collapse and mass starvation, and they don’t have the world’s reserve currency. And the Dollar will remain the world’s reserve currency simply because there isn’t any alternative. Every potential contender is even worse.

      1. The problem would be if the countries that hold the dollar as a reserve currency see the price start to make a slide and decide to divest from them for something else. Currently we print lots of dollars (and electronically create) but we don’t see inflation off of it because we have been essentially exporting our inflation since other countries are taking the money in and holding it. Like any commodity in a market, if other countries en mass decide to dump the dollar the demand and value will tank, and it won’t be slow. This is one of the nightmares of a fiat currency – the dollar is backed by the full faith and goodwill of the US Gov, not by anything real in a marketplace sense.
        If you want my nightmares, read up on the Argentine Hyperinflation. Granted, I don’t think there is any call for actually building the pig roasting pit and buying barbecue sauce for the neighbors in 55 Gallon drums, but I don’t see happy things happening.

        1. There is still the question of what these other countries would replace their dollar reserves with. There isn’t nearly enough gold, the yen is backed by even more debt and worse economic prospects, the renminbi is tied to the dollar and would be handing your economic destiny over to Beijing, same thing with the ruble, and the euro is the same as going onto the toilet paper standard.

          The other thing is that other countries dumping our currency would only affect its value with regards to international exchange. It would have little effect on the internal economy other than shifting away from importing and towards internal production. Remember, our economy is very diverse, and we produce most everything that we need. Things would get more expensive, but not to the “Do I shoot the ravening mob or starve to death?” level.

          1. Well, the classic response to a collapse of a fiat currency is to create a replacement fiat currency, that will immediately collapse in turn. Revolutionary France had the Assignats that were based on seized church properties, which were inflated to a bubble, and then were replaced by the Mandat that had the same problem. Napoleon replaced it with the Gold based Franc, and did a major devaluation of the French currency at the same time. Argentina had the Peso, then replaced it with the Austral, both of which died a whimpering death and wound up by doing a broad devaluation when they went back to the Peso, which was backed by US Dollar.
            So, yeah, eventually an internationally accepted hard currency will have to be developed (probably based on Gold is my guess – but shoot, it could be Plutonium* or dentalia shell), but first will be a series of currency replacements, devaluations, and probably piecemeal asset seizures all over the place.
            My concern is that the loss of easy external markets would result with a stagnant economy and loss of jobs in sectors that depend on external markets. There is the story about the small town where the economy was based on all the housewives washing everyone else’s laundry, and the three businessmen got rich by trading hats among themselves. In that situation, there is no external capital coming in and there is no room or basis for economic growth.

          2. I like the Plutonium based currency: think on it, it would be un-forgeable, concentrated in size, mostly imperishable, and even better, the velocity of the money will have to be very high since it is deadly poisonous and hoarding more that a critical mass is contra-indicated. (Larry Niven wrote an article on it once)

            1. Yes, but it has its own potential for forming asset bubbles. And by “bubble” I mean “fireball.”

          3. I’ve said several times (though not on Sarah’s site before now) that if the dollar collapses, I expect the international currency of choice to become the deutschmark. (Which tells you my opinion of where the euro is headed in the next 5-10 years).

            1. You realize that the German banks are still buying up old Marks, especially coins? I suspect they are socking them away, probably in salt mines in the Harz mountains, for just in case.

              1. Did not know that when I formed my opinion. Now I have even more reasons to suspect that it’s correct.

                1. I think it is scheduled to collapse in three years, seven months and … um … one week. On a Tuesday. January 31, 2017 should be far enough into the next (Republican, although probably not republican) president’s term for the debacle to be blamed on him (or her.) They can probably paper over the facts about the rotting structure until then. Look at how long we’ve gone with them having torn out the foundation without the MSM taking notice (except when they could accuse Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft/Rumsfeld of doing it.)

                  If there is enough of a GOP seizure of the Senate in 2014 they may let the collapse occur sooner, painting Obama as heroically struggling to preserve the economy in the face of far-right ideological zealots. You know the narrative, they’ve used it before.

  18. What worries me is the blithe “let’s shut down the coal-fired power plants without putting in nuclear plants first! Yay!” It’s hard to live without power and heat, and it’s hard to live without A/C in a lot of this country.

    1. Which is why, if we take back the Senate, we need a legislative rollback of all regulations after 2006. And a law forbidding the Executive Branch from writing new regulations.

      1. Why “after 2006”? There’s an ENORMOUS volume of counter-productive legislation and regulation going back up to a hundred years that should be dumped. The Industrial Age gov’t predates the schmucks Pelosi/Reid/Obama.

        1. Baby steps. Nobody seriously thinks we were dangerously under-regulated in 2006, and really it’s an initial bargaining position. If we needed to we could roll back to 2000. Eventually the plan is to unwind most of the regulatory state, but the public has been too conditioned to the myth that the Gilded Age was full of abuse rather than the most creative period in our history. The more important bit is stripping the regulatory agencies of their power to write regulations. They should enforce the regulations written and advise Congress on what regulations are needed.

          1. “The more important bit is stripping the regulatory agencies of their power to write regulations. They should enforce the regulations written and advise Congress on what regulations are needed.”

            I cannot find words to express how much I agree with that statement.

    2. One reason math (or, if you want to be senator from Massachusetts, arithmetic) is so important.

      Calculate the output of a carbon burning plant in KW per day. Now calculate how many KW days per year that represents over ten years.

      Now calculate that KW days per year for a nuclear plant.

      Now calculate that KW days per year for a windmill. Multiply the number of windmills required to meet the carbon burning energy. Calculate the acres required per windmill generated KW day. Calculate the acres required for equivalent KW day of carbon burning and nuclear plants.

      Now, let’s talk solar panels and the effect on the environment of covering square miles of land with something that reduces the solar energy received.

      1. And don’t forget the ROI for carbon that’s based on 1) every panel being functional, and 2) a functional average lifespan that’s not being supported by actual use. (Don’t have a link for that, was driving at the time the radio host was hyperventilating about the effects on the math…besides things like “hurricane bashed it” or “house caught fire.”)

        1. Windmill lifespans have proven far less than projected, with reduced output occurring sooner than predicted. And there is far too little research being done on the secondary environmental and species effects of those whirling blades.

          Solar collectors actually make sense, properly set up. Such as, an array of solar panels inside Mercury’s orbit, transmitting the collected energy as microwaves through a series of relay satellites to a point in stationary Earth orbit, thence to a collector array in the Mojave Desert … or the Alaskan wilderness, Washington DC or other designated site, whence the energy is disbursed into the electrical grid.

          1. I hear that the mills that spin on a vertical shaft, rather than a horizontal one– Jay Leno has some– are less dangerous, don’t have to be shut down at high speeds and can be placed on buildings with ease. Plus, they always turn if there’s wind, rather than needing to face the wind.

            1. over all wind power works best as a small scale set up like Leno has. The big farms are eyesores, kill birds (if any coal or nuke plant killed that many animals, especially the endangered ones they’d be shut down instantly) and the last few times I went past a large congregation of them at least a third were not working

            2. Savonius rotor windmills. Much less efficient than their bladed counterparts, but do have the advantages you mention.

          2. I really don’t think it’s necessary to put the collectors in close solar orbit. Reflecting surfaces can be built for far less power than solar cells, and those could be used to focus the intensity up to near the maximum capacity of the collectors, thus lowering the average cost significantly, without the costs of the relay stations and incident power losses.

            1. Well, yeah — but I didn’t want to sell John Ringo’s books on Sarah’s site. It might make my comment seem a Trojan Horse.

              1. Oh – I’ve only read Last Centurion, so I didn’t know there was anything about that in them. OTOH, it’s not really a new concept.

                Wait until I get a chance to draw up MY solar power system. I’m not claiming it will be better, but it’s certainly DIFFERENT!

                1. Last Centurion wasn’t one of my favorite Ringo books when I first read it, but there is something about it that draws you in, I have reread it more times than any other Ringo book.

  19. I keep hoping that Rubio is planning a political Cannae. Let Schumer and the Dems think they’re winning by getting an amnesty with imaginary security concessions, but force them to at least pay lip-service to securing the border. At the same time announce that you’re all for amnesty, but you are insisting on security provisions, and have received assurances from the Dems. This bill passes and the Dems congratulate themselves on having reshaped the electorate for the next 30 years…until the House bill passes. The one that includes a path to citizenship contingent on verified border security. Now the center stops retreating. Rubio and the other Republicans on the conference committee insist that the House security provisions are in the final bill, after all they received assurances. Now the Dems can either kill their own immigration issue or allow one of their core constituencies to undergo heightened law enforcement scrutiny.

    It’s a pretty story, and I’m almost drunk enough to believe it. Almost.

      1. If he pulls this off I’ll race him into hell carrying jerry cans of gasoline and wearing an outfit made of dryer lint.

        I’m not sure he’s smart enough for this as well. But he’s no idiot, and what he’s doing in pretty obviously idiotic. There’s no way he can think he’ll win over enough Hispanics to overcome the obvious losses he’s taking from his base. Either he’s letting his emotional connection to his immigrant parents override his reason (the most likely scenario) or he’s playing a gambit that requires him to act the fool.

        1. Never bet against the “emotion making someone stupid” scenario. I see it way too often.

          I had an example written out, but I deleted it, as I decided I didn’t want to criticize family members, even extended family, behind their backs in a public forum. I’ll just say that the person in question had a completely wrong-headed idea about that Arizona law from a few years ago.

          1. That’s why I said it was the more likely scenario. I just really hope that it isn’t the case. Not only would it be bad for the nation as a whole but it would mean terrible things for Hispanics in this country. They would lose all political power. Conservatives wouldn’t trust them to not go emotional on immigration issues and Liberals would keep them stuck on the plantation like every other minority.

            1. ???

              He’s been horrible– if you’re on the “apply the bleeping laws” side– on immigration his entire political career; not very conservative to hold it against all folks who have a somewhat similar background, although paying attention to what they’ve actually pushed for in the past would’ve avoided the whole issue… just too many folks dearly wishing for a Great Conservative Leader who are willing to white wash anything that they don’t find immensely important. Call it selective reporting…..

            2. The best example of selective reporting I can think of is some libertarian– Garry Johnson?– who was “banned from getting his name on a ballot because his paperwork was just five minutes late.” (Or something like.)

              Actual story: he lost an attempt to be a nominee, and got caught in a “spoiler” law designed to keep sore losers from dragging down the guy who beat them.

              1. It’s not so much selective reporting as recognizing that nobody will share all of your beliefs on all of the issues and so you have to prioritize those issues. Thus, most of the reporting on Rubio I’ve seen, not living in Florida, has focused on his fiscal and social stances. His immigration positions have been ignored, presumably because the sources I go to felt that immigration is a low-priority issue. If you’re correct that Rubio has been fairly consistent on the immigration issue, aside from when he was actually campaigning, then my outlook on his behavior must change. He’s returning to form, and I cannot fault him greatly for that. He may have lied during the campaign, but the voters are equally culpable for believing the lies. Show me a politician who doesn’t lie to get elected and I’ll show you a politicians with holes in their hands and feet.

                As for the libertarians, I have a couple of friends who travel in that circle. I’m pretty sure they get far more satisfaction over being a “persecuted” minority than they do over actually exercising power. Probably why they aren’t terribly effective at getting people elected.

                1. I didn’t have first hand reports of his stances, but I did hear it from several folks who live in Florida who I have no reason to distrust.

                  The Johnson– or whoever, I really can’t remember– thing stuck in my head because of how unrepentant the guy who’d brought it up was when his double-talk was uncovered.

                  1. That’s the great and terrible thing about modern communications. You can get information through all kinds of channels, not just what the gatekeepers want you to hear. The downside is that you have to separate the wheat from the chaff.

                    1. An up/down side: you are forced to pick what you’re willing to spend time chasing down, too.

                      With Rubio, I don’t much care to because I really don’t like the guy; if I ran into him on the street, I just wouldn’t trust him. It’s nothing I can explain, it’s just– I don’t like him. Contrast with, say, Paul Ryan– I know I may not agree with him on a lot, but I like him. W, on a third hand, is the only politician not related by blood that I’d trust to watch my kids. (Even though he is a posterboy for the same dumb “Reasoning” on immigration as Rubio.)

            3. Well, I’m a first generation immigrant who thinks this is an awful idea. I’m all for immigration, mind, but make it people who WANT to be Americans. Some of the illegals might, of course, but most just want to make a living. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, only… it’s not right by the cityblock full.

              1. But the circumstances of your immigration were different. Rubio’s parents were refugees. It’s probable that Rubio sees all illegal immigrants in that light. And, given the social and economic policies in Latin America, he’s not far wrong. I just think that if Rubio is truly in favor of amnesty conservatives will look at any future Hispanic candidate and think, at some level, “Remember what happened last time? How he disappointed us?” and look to someone else. It might not be terribly conservative, but it is terribly human.

                I don’t hold any personal animus to illegal immigrants. While they are breaking laws I don’t think they’re violating anybody’s rights. However, when I do start to feel some sympathy for them I remind myself of the millions of people around the world, in places far worse than Mexico, who cannot come here because the illegal immigrants are overwhelming our capacity to absorb immigrants and they weren’t lucky enough to be born within walking distance. How about we get control of our borders, streamline the immigration process so that there’s no more than a year between application and decision, and THEN we figure out what to do with those people “living in the shadows.”

                1. I don’t hold any personal animus to illegal immigrants. While they are breaking laws I don’t think they’re violating anybody’s rights.

                  Spend a week in Brewster, Washington. Your mind will most likely change.

                2. “While they are breaking laws I don’t think they’re violating anybody’s rights. ”

                  Never had your identity stolen, eh? Don’t have to compete with them for low-skilled work, either?

                  1. One Congress critter tried to get into the law that to obtain amnesty, you must honestly recount all the SS numbers you used, and any identities you had stolen.

                    Democrats voted it down.

                  2. I’m not sure how prevalent identity theft is, and I wouldn’t consider ID theft solely for employment to be a violation of anyone’s rights (running a tab on your credit score is an entirely different matter). And you certainly don’t have a right to no competition, no matter what your labor bracket.

                    1. My dad worked for the Dept. of Licensing in Washington, for several years he worked in Fraud, dealing entirely with ID theft. It is very prevalent and done at least 90% by illegal immigrants. Most do not do it simply for employment, but as an income, using multiple ID’s and running up ‘tabs.’ They see this as acceptable if they can get away with it, different culture, tribal, and the tabs they are running up aren’t being paid by their tribe.

                    2. Use your search engine of choice to look for IRS sends $45 million in tax refunds for 23,000 tax IDs to a single address in Raleigh NC.

                    3. Jeff, my dad, in his seventies, is dealing with an identity thief who used his social security number with the IRS. You want headache? That’ll give it to you right there.
                      Fortunately, the IRS understands that a retired 70 year old in Idaho is not working in the midwest. And Dad, like all years, has religiously filed his taxes. And screwed ’em up, but that’s a different story–at least the IRS is an agency that’s relatively easy to work with.

                    4. Guessing you haven’t been hit with the tax bill for people stealing your ID, either.

                      How big is it? There was a ring when I was in High School where they stole the identities of all the little kids at a hospital, and it was only discovered because the IRS came to collected on the thousands of dollars in taxes owed.

                      By a three year old.

                      And there’s stuff like this:

                    5. Plus a friend of mine, had “unpaid taxes” and “Cell phone charges” in a state he’s never even driven through. THAT kept him from getting a very good job, after his job was outsourced.

                  3. Or had a business where you could get ahead, if you were willing to hire illegals– especially for stuff that isn’t easy to spot.

  20. I’m back very briefly because my mind nags me that Sarah posted something important which I have not yet heard in the immigration debate: namely, that the ruling class has screwed America up so badly that people won’t want to come or (if they come for purely economic reasons) to become citizens.

    The more I think about that, the more sense it makes. Also, it makes sense that the corrupt, self-satisfied power elite, in its cocoon, would completely overlook it.

    I have nothing to add to the insight except to say that it deserves dissemination.

    Good night, all.

    1. So .. if the self-deportation really is taking place, and I too believe that it is, who’s sitting in all those rental units? Are they standing empty?

      While I agree that the gated-community-dwelling elite – be they in congress or trust-fund-fattened idiots or board-sitting former CEOs – are heavily cocooned, the interesting question is what the folks a tier or two down – the “petite bourgeoisie” to the elite’s “bourgeoisie”, to use my gay communist associate’s terms* – will make of this.

      They see, as part of their jobs as leaders of small firms or buyers for a region of a store chain or managers of a franchise, what the demographics look like; they know who’s buying what… and who’s *not* buying what. The Spanish-language magazines didn’t vanish for no reason, so *someone* is watching…

      I doubt the petite can penetrate the cocoon, but it will be interesting to watch more companies, not just the big newsies and the media production types (and of course academia) founder and crash because the board said to commit economic suicide, eh?

      Not sure if I’m allowed out of moderation yet, I suppose we’ll see if this posts.


      * I’m seriously considering buying him a copy of “A Few Good Men”,,,

      1. *bitter smile*
        This idiot had to pony up extra for the gated community, because our area was so “enriched” due to Seattle’s Sanctuary City status. Eventually, we got enough money and time to find a house instead of an apartment.

        A lot of the illegals are leaving, yes; but people are so desperate for rental income that they’re lowering the prices– especially in bad areas– and it’s more affordable to have several places for all your friends and family. (Especially if you can get on an assistance program or three; just need a solid identity and no on-paper income in many cases….)

        I figure it’ll vary depending on area, too; there could be things like WalMart’s money wiring service getting tighter enforcement or something.

        On moderation: if you put in a post with two or more links, they always go to moderation. Beyond that, it’s a spam filter to do.

          1. I figured, but it was too good of a launch pad to pass up.

            The keep-those-icky-normals away folks have made it so normal folks have to pony up to be in a gated community just to lower the chance of breakins– and even then there was a rash of car break-ins.

      2. Oh. DO. Exploding heads. My gay friends are mostly Libertarian (and/or Republican) and loved it, but…

        You’re out of moderation. Unless you have a history of going nuts now and then, the out of moderation pass is permanent. If you have a history of being… odd… then you’re in permanent moderation and whether I even see you is based on a wordpress algorithm that not even G-d himself gets. So appearance will be erratic. But you’re a cat, so you’re sane as a brick, and I don’t anticipate that sort of moderation 😉
        BTW I KNOW that there is a great exit. As for rental units, I’ve noticed a come down in price. I’ve also noticed the type of restaurants we frequent closing (we go to cheap places. Often we’re the only non-spanish speakers. Or were) and a lot of diners (I like diners) getting black cooks again, instead of Hispanic. That’s not as in your face as the magazines vanishing…

        BUT for the record, yep, the one thing that has made me sure there WILL be a crash is that you can’t have potemkin government forever. If you go and read the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, all the big upheavals, they’re all based on the elites trying to govern a country that NO LONGER EXISTED.

    2. Dear American Ruling Class:

      This message responds to your invitation to overrun your country. Although initially we were favorably inclined, upon fuller consideration we have decided not to proceed. We regret to inform you that, beyond our contributions to your deranged Drug War, at this time we cannot accommodate your civilizational death wish.

      We understand your intention to import unskilled aliens to displace your own citizens and we are keeping your application on file. If you ever get your act together again, we may reconsider our position.

      In the meantime, ask the Somalis.



  21. Technology sets the playing field that economics and politics are played in. I’d say the two critical factors are:

    1. It is a lot harder to assimilate immigrants.
    2. It is a lot harder to keep immigrants out.

    This means either you turn the country into a “free for all”, or base citizenship on something other than location. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Starship Troopers system in my lifetime.

    1. Yes — as I said tech is going to whack our assumptions of “what is a country” all to heck. OTOH the important part is 1. When people say “they said the same of the Irish and the Italian and…” they’re right, but the tech of the 19th and even 20th century called for MORE muscle power, not more education. Immigrants WERE a net gain.
      That was what called them in. What calls them in now is economics. We mandate the minimum wage, which causes us to be unable to hire people LEGALLY. therefore we create a market.
      The tech doesn’t make it impossible to keep people out, what it does is distribute the work that can be done throughout the world. This means a lot of economic migrants don’t need to come here. Which means the ones who come come for the benefits accruing to living here (which are mostly of the welfare variety from what our government is advertising abroad.) This is many levels of wrong.
      Fix the attractive nuisance our economics create, and the rest will take care of itself.
      Well, except for the economic revolution created by distance-work. For that — hold on to the sides of the boat, the waters will get choppy.

      1. Technology is making it easy for immigrants to masquerade as tourists, because it makes tourism affordable to poor people. This is how you get illegal immigrants from Israel, for example.

  22. My problems with all of this(some of which Sarah mentions):

    1) If you are calling it an Amnesty Bill then you are already in the wrong frame of mind. For one you are admitting you are allowing something ILLEGAL to happen. You are creating a precedent of inequality between the people who did come her LEGALLY and had to fight one way or another to come here and be a part of this nation. And precedent for the continuation of this illegal activity because it has a lot of loop holes that would potentially allow future amnesties.

    2) English is not required before citizenship. I have a big problem with this one. Some people have been yelling it isn’t “fair”. I don’t care if it is or isn’t. it shows a willingness to BECOME an American citizen rather than just a visitor. People appreciate what they have to work for far more than what they get for free. Sadly some US citizens need this lesson as well.

    3) Taxes. The bill as I understand it has some fairly big holes when it comes to back taxes and future taxes until they receive citizenship. I understand it is economically impossible to expect someone to come up with all back taxes at once, but citizenship shouldn’t be granted until their obligations are met.

    4) It allows amnesty in spite of a great many illegal activities. This is a huge wrong on a level of magnitude that is just mind boggling. This should have every citizen yelling out “NO!”. The crimes don’t even have to be related just to coming here illegally. Drugs, Violence, etc, etc can all be ignored and number of offenses in most cases is ignored for others it only matters how many of the SAME offence you have a record for. It also ignores most offenses you may have committed in your own country.

    And it goes on and on. The bill itself is the most legal illegal thing I think our nation has seen in the over 200 years of existence. Its disgusting. I have no problem with immigrants. I’m not as stupid as some people that say we should stop all immigrants. I may be several generations removed, but I know where my family came from and like most it wasn’t here. My being here doesn’t invalidate that they were immigrants or give me and my family some special status for coming before others. They came here like many others for a better opportunity. The difference is that they did so legally.

    Drop “Amnesty” from the name and get in the right frame of mind. The line is already drawn on immigration and shouldn’t be crossed for simple expedience. It shouldn’t allow just anyone, but continue to allow those that will contribute to American and what that is supposed to mean.

    Here is a list of some of the problems with the bill as it stands right now:

  23. No I think we’re gonna bounce hard and ugly. and since we prop up a goodly portion if not most of the world…I think a good chunk of it is gonna burn….literally.

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