This is no time to get wobbly

Today I have an eye appointment and yes will report the results to those of you who are bugging me about it (sheesh) and I’m probably going to put up a BPF later, but I’ve seen such rending of garments and beating of chests over Obama’s amnesty order that I thought I’d dash off a post to level set things.

First, yes, it is bad.  And a sign democrats either can’t learn or don’t have our best interests at heart.  I hear them brandish “Reagan did it” as an excuse.  But Reagan doing it is the reason we don’t want it. Because we saw it did nothing, but encourage a flood over the border.

I didn’t have much time last night — family issues kept me out till ten and then there were things to do (a reason a post wasn’t written) — but checking face book I saw people accused of being haters and racist for being anti-executive-amnesty.  Let’s dispose of that nonsense right now, shall we?

It is not hate to wish your countries borders to be secure.  I’ve said before I come from a country of emigrants, many of them illegal to other countries in Europe. I saw what drove people from their home, often leaving children behind, to rush to other countries to work for ridiculously low wages and send every penny home.

You can’t hate people like that — they’re simply trying to survive.

But then there’s the other side of it.  Those Portuguese immigrants were helping war-devasted European (and other) countries rebuild.  Their labor was desperately needed. Also, those countries economies were hiring all comers, because they had to.

Our work force is neither deficient in labor nor is our economy overheated.  What is worse, this is arguably caused by our minimum wage laws and by many people (not all of them left) refusing to understand the economy is not a wishing well.  You can’t say “I want everyone to have — what is it now? — $15 minimum wage” and magically have it happen.  If it were like that, why not give everyone one million dollars?

The minimum wage is felt to be needed mostly by people who have no understanding of business or of balancing the books.  They imagine all business men to be villains, twirling their mustaches while plotting how little to pay factory workers.  This is mostly because the history books have lied to them about the Industrial Revolution and they’re too stupid to see similar things happening now in other countries and realize the history books lied.  Or sorry, perhaps not stupid, comfortable and full of their own opinions so they never consider what they were taught was wrong.  Let’s call it establishment privilege.

These people full of establishment privilege look at the appalling conditions at the start of the industrial revolution (and they were appalling, though would be reformers also exaggerated them) and think “Aah without minimum wage, we’ll have China where employees get paid a penny a day and allowed to sleep under their machines.”

Sigh. This is not true, of course.  You see back then employees were treated like that because it was — wait for it — a vast improvement on their living conditions back in the home farm.

Only idiots establishment privileged people don’t see that.  They’ve made up all these cute stories about how the enclosure of the commons drove the poor to the cities to be exploited.  (Did they?  Well, from the enclosures in Shakespeare’s time, no.  Yes, there were injustices, but it wasn’t that black and white.) But if you look at India and China, and other places where industrialization is happening now, you discover the rural poor flock to the city, because despite the idealized view of agriculture of the EPP, it is still more brutal and less rewarding than their miserable factory jobs.

In the US too, during industrialization, another layer was added. A lot of the people coming here to work for miserable wages couldn’t speak the language and left kith and kin and everyone who could help them, (if they said bugger off and walked out) thousands of miles and months of travel away.  So you saw some horrible stuff.  More on this later, because it’s pertinent.

But these days none of that applies — except for the more on that later — and keeping raising the minimum wage with no reference to the economy or the need for workers (or indeed at all) by fiat only drives illegal immigration.  I know the people who hiss and boo at “crooked employers” hiring illegals imagine the monopoly figure with the top hat.  Reality is not like that.  The economy is bad (whatever the cooked books say) and all of the hospitality businesses run on a very thin margin, as do small farms and a dozen other small to medium concerns.

Faced with going under or hiring illegals, they hire illegals.  It’s the same as the immigrants coming here illegally.

The minimum wage (and regulation of labor) laws are driving illegal immigration.  Stop that motor (and there are ways of doing it that are politically feasible and don’t involve distorting the market, like income assist.  Note I’m not for them and think the Federal government has no constitutional authority to do any of it but they are preferable to what we have) and illegal immigration stops cold.

Continue in the path we’ve been, and — for those of us accusing us of not being compassionate — the vulnerable and less employable Americans suffer, while this nation of laws and beliefs imports a larger and larger majority of people who not only do not believe in our laws and beliefs (trust me.  As someone who comes from a Latin country, the indoctrination to respecting your betters runs very deep and makes it hard to acquire the American “I have no betters” attitude.  Impossible, no.  but difficult.  Which means the majority will never get it) but who don’t really want to be American.  The majority of them, like my neighbors in Portugal in the sixties and seventies, want to make money and go home.  And while the Italians and Poles and Germans of the past might have intended the same, they had more incentive to adapt in that they couldn’t just DRIVE home.  Or visit often enough to stay attached to the homeland.  (Trust me, even now, it’s not easy for an immigrant of middle income from Europe to visit often enough.  We simply can’t afford to go more than once every three to five years, which in turn means that you have more time to adapt to your adopted culture, and you do whether you wish to or not (I wish Kate Paulk who is more recent to this process would write me a post about this process.  Maybe I’ll bug her.))

Worse, and far more damning to the compassionate souls Establishment Privilege People who scream that we should let them all in, we create a vast class of native unemployables, to which the children of these compassionately let in immigrants will belong if they stay in country. Because they will be American citizens and subjected to minimum wage laws, instead of whatever pittance their parents are paid under the table, but they won’t have markedly more skills (for the vast majority) or be educated to integrate and speak the language (must respect multiculti donchaknow?)  The end game of this is a small English speaking upper class and a vast Spanish speaking, unemployable government dependent under class.  Which I think is what people like Nancy Pelosi envision.  Madame Pelosi LIKES her privilege and she means to keep her privilege.  (Sometime look up how much the woman drinks on the public dime.  A lot of her utterances will make a lot more sense.)

But the end game can’t be reached, because the state can’t expand forever.  Again, if you’re an EPP you might not realize this, but money’s value refers to value in society that might be purchased with that money.  I.e. the idea Obama believed at least briefly, that we can print a trillion dollar bill and pay all our debts is about as sane as thinking you can levitate by pulling your feet up with your hands.  Like gravity, economy is a force to be reckoned with and you can’t wish it away.  So long before we reach that end game, the economy collapses, the immigrants rush back home (they’ve been doing it anyway and more on that later too) and the natives who are near-unemployable because minimum wage has kept them from developing skills to be employed, starve.

That is the end game of your “compassionate” and “let them all in” hearts.  A particularly funny critter was advocating for “Children growing up in horrible conditions.  How can you say no.”  I’d like to point out to Mr. Bleeding Heart that a) we’re not the orphanage of the world, nor is America’s wealth somehow baked in the cake.  We do (I don’t think my family is alone in this) support any number of children around the world as we can, but bringing them all here is insane. For one most of them would prefer to stay home with their family/tribe/culture.  b)There are children not only in appalling conditions here but in conditions that doom them to generational poverty. By pricing their parents out of employment you’re dooming these children to growing up with no structure, no skills and probably, if statistics can be trusted, drug addicted and likely to embark upon a life of crime. c) why would you deny other countries their chance to have their youth grow and improve them?  It’s bad enough for a country like Japan to be senescent (from an economic stand point.)  In a country like Kenya it would be fatal to have fewer young people than elderly. d) again wealth is not a finite pie.  We didn’t steal it.  We (and previous Americans) created it.  Bringing in a vast wave of children who cannot be integrated into the culture (because multiculti and our horrible schools) does nothing but bringing third world conditions here in one generation.  (One is tempted to think that’s what the president wants, but one MUST remember he’s economically maleducated which is worse than being ignorant.)

Anyway, having disposed of all that — This morning I’ve already seen the rending of garments, mourning at the invasion, throwing fits, giving up…

Yesterday before going to bed I read what Mister Obama actually said. Now granted this might change in application because the way you know he’s lying is that his lips are moving, but what he actually said is neither alarming nor nearly as “good” as all those celebrating on the other side think.

Correct me if I’m wrong, since I skimmed the stuff last night, as I was falling asleep:

-This amnesty is not an amnesty as it provides no “path to citizenship” but merely allows for TEMPORARY visas.

– It only allows temporary visas to people who have children (or presumably parents) who have visas or are citizens.

– You have to have been crime free while in the US, except for the crime of entering illegally.

-You have to have been employed

– You have to pay a substantial fine.

Look, the number of people this provides for, particularly considering #2 is not nearly “all of those who are celebrating” because they just heard “amnesty.” It certainly isn’t the invasion of welfare recipients that Mister Obama has been inviting.

On top of that, these people HAVE to ask themselves: come out of the shadows and be “registered’ which suddenly does make their deportation and tracking possible when the political tides change as they seem to be in the process of changing (and when most people in this country are against their staying) or stay in the shadows and ignore President false promises?  I’m going to guess the sensible ones will opt for “stay in shadows” and I knew a lot of Portuguese who emigrated illegally to other countries, and heard them discuss this sort of thing.

Another reason not to panic is that our economy still sucks.  No, seriously.  Yes, I know the cooked numbers.  But all of you who are in business for yourselves know I’m speaking the truth.  We’re getting pravda from our media, but the truth is the economy sucks and will only get worse when the full obamacare goes into action.

I don’t see how this would do any less than any other contraction (or is it a depression now, beneath the cooked numbers?) in history.  Which means all the stores in my neighborhood who in anticipation of the proclamation of amnesty stocked Spanish magazines are going to be heart broken again.

There aren’t that many minimum age jobs around or even jobs for people willing to work under the table.  And there are fewer and fewer people legitimately employed and paying benefits.  The economy is a zombie boosted by false Wall Street crony capitalism returns.

That is a problem, but not one immigration does much to.  Except for one thing, and the real reason Mister Obama did this and put the conditions he did (except maybe, who knows, this is also his plan to provide for the vast number of children his father sired, and whom he won’t help from his own purse.)

You see, the people who fit this and qualify for a “temporary visa” are, I would bet, overwhelmingly, employed in the computer industry.

These are the new immigrants, many of them from India and China, who are being exploited by employees who cow them with threats of deportation which is what firing essentially means.  I can’t find the article, but I’m sure one of you can post it in comments, explaining how recently several silicon valley firms were found to be paying such workers less than a dollar an hour.

This is what the president hoped to enable, because these people can rush to have a child who will be a citizen/be promised the company will pay their fine if they work another year/ etc. etc.

Mister Obama is not a good politician, in the sense that he doesn’t stay bought, as the Unions and other working class lobbies are finding out.  BUT he has a sort of decadent upper class loyalty to his own: the people who went to the right colleges, make the right noises and whom he’d like to invite to his parties.  Those are the people he is favoring with this “proclamation” just like he favored all his cronies with money for “green energy” (Solyndra) and government contracts (Obamacare website) and other such boondoogles.  He’s really a French Aristo, out of time, and trying to be good to the people like him, who know what fork to use to spear the middle class with.

So, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be mad.  There’s tons of reason to be mad.  There’s even some reason to panic, as I think IT jobs are going to be hit and hit hard by this, and they haven’t been doing well for fifteen years now.

But the vast number of central and South (and North — Mexico) Americans who are now celebrating and the number of Americans mourning the invasion are both being fooled by the man who never tells a truth if he can tell a lie.  When they wake up and read the fine print, they’ll find none of this is was they think.  It’s just President Goldman Sachs favoring his cronies again.

There will be a clean up.  There has to be a clean up because economics is a harsh and unforgiving mistress.  Our job is to stay focused on what is real, not on the aristos’ sleight of hand.  Because we’re going to have a heck of time preventing our government defaulting to historically probably “strong man” when the crash comes.  Until then, keep your mind sharp, stop panicking and remember: In the end we win, they lose.  It must be so for the sake of our children.

Be not afraid.

PS -And lest you think I’m unwarrantably rosy in this, Jerry Pournelle agrees with me (save that he seems to believe the amnesty far more general and likely to be taken.  And he might be right, but I think not.  As I said, I’ve seen this from the other side.  Leaving the shadows at this time is going to scare them, once they see the fine print.)  And then there’s this.

Be not afraid.  There’s a massive amount of work to be done (isn’t there always) to restore our republic, which has been slipping away from us for a hundred years or so, but this is not the final blow.  Nowhere near.  Take heart. The government as always speaks with a forked tongue.  The other side doesn’t have much reason to rejoice and we don’t have much reason to lament.  Let them play their empty piping and keep your eye on what’s real.

299 responses to “This is no time to get wobbly

  1. Sarah guess what got released yesterday. The emails were some of the more than 10,000 that the Justice Department released to Judicial Watch on Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

  2. One problem I see with your assumption that returning to home is as viable an option for Latin Americans as it was for Portuguese is that I gather that much of the former is far worse in comparison.

    You’ve mentioned some very dicey protesting you did in your misspent youth and how obviously could have been killed (and against capital C Communists the miracle is that Portugal itself vs. the real colonial targets didn’t end up with killing fields). Compare to the wife of a Mayor, sister of two drug lords, having 42 students massacred because of their potential for embarrassing her. Which is a particularly notorious story, but casual/omnipresent murder and mass murder is, I gather, a lot worse in Mexico at least than it was in Portugal.

    What about formal plumbing? One thing we’ve been reading WRT to diseases about the “child” immigrants from Central America is that a lot of them are completely unfamiliar with toilets. Plenty of them don’t speak Spanish, but a wild variety of native languages.

    • Oh, bobbles.
      Look, that massacre was of “communist-sympathizing” students. Horrible, yes, but that’s why it’s getting play and also why we can’t be sure of everything you hear about it.
      And if you’re going to talk about the conditions in the Portugal of my youth… by and large, yep like Mexico now. Yep, they want to return anyway and usually the aim is to “build the largest house in the village.” This has been going on since Rome. It’s not the economics/safety, it’s the culture.
      Yes, sure, a lot of the places are too unsafe to return to, and from our pov a lot of their states are failed. BUT THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN. they’re only being talked up now and the horrors pumped up because it gives an excuse for “let them all in.”
      As for plumbing in the Portugal of my youth… sigh. Our family was “rich” — we had a bathroom outside the back door. Some houses had no bathrooms (of any kind) at all. Going out back in the woods was not unusual. When I entered high school and went to the city of Porto to a MAGNET school int he “rich area” a lot of the apartments had either no bathroom arrangements or a shared bathroom. What this meant, in practicality, is that people used chamberpots and threw ALL effluvia out of the window. Walking to school from the train station (in an affluent area) was not only a mine field, if you weren’t careful, and looking up, you could get stuff dumped on you. IF you were lucky it would bath water.
      You don’t know about this, because Europe and no one talked about it because it didn’t favor the “let them all in anyway” lobby. But conditions were NOT that different.

      • But, but… Europe! Home of all that is good, right, and socialist! It has to be a wonderful, advanced place where all the best people of the world live, doesn’t it?

        Wait, what? We’ve been lied to again? That’s so… unexpected.

      • The Other Sean

        So the affluent area was also an effluent area?

      • “Yep, they want to return anyway and usually the aim is to “build the largest house in the village.” This has been going on since Rome. It’s not the economics/safety, it’s the culture.”

        Exactly. I’ve seen it time and time again with the places I’ve lived. The goal is to be the Big Man in the village/neighborhood. Just some do it by going outside the country and returning (with the added patina of “more sophisticated”) and other by pursuing ill-gotten gains in their own backyard. You should see the houses of some of the government officials in developing countries.

    • Oh, and in the seventies, yes, you could get killed and stowed in a mass grave BUT the manual laborers who crossed the border in the sixties and seventies were sort of infra-politics. They wanted enough food. They wanted their kids to be comfortable. And they wanted the biggest house in the village. Basic stuff. They weren’t at risk of getting killed for their politics in the sixties OR seventies. They were at risk of their children dying of malnutrition.
      BTW when I applied to be an exchange student in 1980 some things alarmed the consulate which completely surprised us, like the fact that I’d had intestinal worms and lice several times. Both were endemic in Portugal, in all classes. We couldn’t understand why the consulate lady was freaking. And we had cholera epidemics every summer. and, and, and.

      • as an aside I don’t think people realize how much of this sort of thing (especially minimal plumbing/out side “conveniences”, as well as less than efficient heating) there was in the US not that far back generationally espicaly in the right (rural) places.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I’m 60 now and I remember using the outside John while visiting Grand-da and Grand-ma Huggins. Now this was rural not in-town.

          • I live in the second largest city in my state (~80-100,000 people) and I know quite a few people who have no running water, just an outhouse.

            • I live in a samll town and know quite a few people with no running water and an outhouse. No electricity or TV’s either. But we call them Amish, not poor.

              Just had to throw that in.

          • I’m almost 40, my great aunt had an outhouse, and a hand crank pump installed where the kitchen sink would be. No electricity, but they did have a generator… and a bike with which to power a battery array to make the TV work. Still, probably better conditions than what Sarah had. They were quite healthy, ran an “organic” farm (we called it Mennonite style in those days– pig flesh by that name made a premium for a long time) They had dead electric sockets, but oil lamps to light the rooms. It seemed perfectly cozy to me as a kid. But then, I didn’t have to use the toilet in the winter time. I never really thought of them as poor, as their accommodations were comfortable and they had modern conveniences.

          • I’m 58, and I remember trying to “hold it” as long as I could, because the outhouse was full of wasps in the summer. (Looking back, I suspect they were a stingless variety, but at four I was less discriminating.)

            The well was clean, though. And fun to crank. A neighbor had an electric motor on his, and I thought that was *so cool.* Faucets were boring…

        • The wife of a friend grew up on a farm in Missouri. Which had only an outhouse until she and her sister left for college in the early ’90s. (She was a bit miffed that Dad waited until they left to add indoor plumbing at home…)

          Dad is about 90, still working the farm, and just sold off all the cattle thereon two years ago, as they were becoming a bit much for him to handle alone.

        • My mother, now in her 70s, was born in and grew up in a house that had no indoor plumbing. They finally turned a bedroom into a bathroom after a few kids had left home. The general area of the property where the outhouse was located is STILL unusually verdant.

          • The room I was born in was made into a bathroom by the new owners. (Makes sense, interior room, no windows.) Of course they’ll have to put it back when they make it a museum and all. (RUNS. FAST.)

            • It’s a cool museum. ‘Course, they had to move it Mars base to slow down all the groupies…

              Wait. Which timeline is this? Am I early again?!

              Blast it, who reset the timestream coordinates while I was getting coffee? Whaddya MEAN one of the groupies got in?!!?

              *muttering fades*

              • Ask Jeff. I was up in the observatory when whatever will happen happened.

              • Well, the local groupies are worse than the pilgrims on their once-in-a-lifetime visit from the really far colony worlds just because of the groupies familiarity and their ability to make multiple visits, but the pilgrims are all revved up on the no-undeserved-respect-for-authority thing, so they have to work through that vs. the politeness directive right on the spot.

        • I’m 57 and we had an outhouse when I was little; no running water and no electricity. But we lived on a homestead in Alaska until I was ten (the last few years we were there, we had a generator for electricity, and we did have running water and a flush toilet — when the generator was running.)

          Years later, when my own children were young, we were back in Alaska, and again, outhouse, no running water (except what we ran down the road to my Dad’s place for) and no electricity. I’ve never considered it such a bad way to live — IF you are prepared and set up for it. Laundry was our biggest issue, because we weren’t set up for it. We took a mountain of dirty clothes to town to the laundromat once a month.

          • Laundry in Portugal was fine, and in fact something I miss. you have this massive stone tank (or in mom’s house cement block, with tiles inside) and a sculpted stone “rubbing stone” (with ridges.) It’s usually sunny enough once a week to dry stuff — though sometimes in Winter mom hung the clothes criss crossing the kitchen.
            As a young adult, I enjoyed taking out my spleen on clothes and beating the living day light out of them, after soaping them. It was good exercise too. After we move if we end up, as planned, somewhat more rural, or at least with a bigger backyard, I intend to have Dan build me a wash tank 😉 I’ll look like an eco freak, but I don’t care.
            Toilet indoors though is a make or break thing. I don’t even go camping because I don’t like outdoor, communal toilets.

            • Outdoor, communal toilets… yech. I’ll rather take a walk in the forest by myself, and use some convenient bush for cover.

              Which actually is what I have to use at work if I have to go before getting back home since we don’t have restrooms… one of the bigger minuses with paper routes (or any other jobs where you work in times and places when there aren’t any open facilities nearby). At least mine are now well in the rural area, lots of forest around. Do not ask what the carriers in the city and suburbs use (when they don’t have anything like an all night service station near… and this is a small place, there are less than ten I know of), you do not want to know.

    • Harold,
      I worked with a number of illegals when I was younger, who either a) were sending all the money they could spare home to their family or b) saving their money and talking about what they were going to do and what all they could buy with that money when they went home. Several of them got the idea from others in their community who had come to the states and ‘made their fortune’ and now were ‘big’ people in their home community.

      • if you grow up with lack of conveniences, you can go back to them easily after a decade or two. I couldn’t, because my parents built a proper house when I was seven, with indoor bathrooms and all. BUT I could, and do, go back to no heating and outdoor hand-washing. Doesn’t bother me in the least. Well, the no heat does, but only because I’m getting older.

      • Yeah, this is one of the reasons why I can’t actually live in the Philippines myself. I didn’t grow up there, I grew up in the West. My mannerisms and ‘things I’m used to’ aren’t what they’re used to.

        What they usually do is establish a nest egg with the intent to solidify their family’s fortune perhaps for a generation or two, giving their offspring, grand-children, and nephews and nieces at a chance for a better life. Well, if they themselves aren’t slackers and have a work ethic instilled in them.

        For the most part, that’s true. I had a classmate who was the eldest of either 6 or 11 children. Her father had died in a work-related accident, her mother had just given birth to the youngest. The mother was a nurse. Within a few months of the death, the mother left her children to work as a nurse in Australia (Perth, I think? Or South Australia) to provide for her children. From listening to my classmate, she hasn’t taken a break outside of weekends or come to visit in all those years, till my classmate graduated from college. Last I heard that classmate was a certified translator in Japanese now, and was earning a lot of money, and helping the rest of her family through school.

        I used to recount this story to a number of folks, and while some understood, a good number would be surprised that the eldest child and the other children were even doing that for the rest of their family. “They’re not the parents. That’s not their responsibility. They should be looking to their own future.”

  3. C4C

  4. Thank you for reading it, Sarah, I couldn’t stand to. And I’ve avoided all discussions.

    Call me cynical, but I read the phrase “you have to pay a substantial fine” and thought, “what do you know, another revenue stream.” Pay to stay, a lovely recurring fee paid by people unlikely to challenge it in court.

    • I looked at the “have to have been employed” thing and go “Ah, that is who they’re going to go after for the fine.”

      No evidence, of course, required to prove that you were employed by that company.

      And there’s no way we’re going to get the EITC that some illegals have been getting in their tax returns, on kids that probably don’t exist.

  5. So President Obama laid out the conditions for his deal. What happens to those who do not accept?

  6. I’m not getting wobbly; I’m getting dizzy. I’m tired of every political fight I get into devolving from a battle into a melée, where I have to spend as much time parrying my “own” side from stabbing me in the back as I do my opponents from stabbing me in the front.

    I EXPECT the Democrats to push amnesty, seeking as they do a docile lifetime voting base to replace the dwindling and decayed African-American community, an expensive constituency that generally underperforms at the polling station, devoid as they are of any love for country…or for that matter, any sense of right and wrong.

    I RESENT turning to confront them and having the Chamber of Commerce coming up behind my back and demanding amnesty to provide a continuing pool of cheap labor (for the factories we no longer have?) and dollar-an-hour “tech workers” for Silicon Valley. I RESENT a purported heir-apparent of “my” party, Jeb Bush, demanding that Congress pass an Amnesty act to gloss over Obama’s illegality, or John Boehner saying we have to fix immigration “properly” when the laws we do have haven’t been enforced in years.

    There’s an ancient Greek saying, “Even Hercules can’t fight two.” And I ain’t Hercules.

  7. I wonder if the president believes that by doing this he can 1) divide the Republicans, 2) tempt them to try to impeach him (thus gain a chance to play the martyr), or 3) Tempt them to shut down the government so he can turn that against him.
    Really when you look at the speech it really is a sham, it was structured to make supporters of amnesty feel good without doing much at all.

    • Same as everything he does, right?

      • We have a president who despises his country. A constitutional “scholar” who hates the constitution, and a person who tells lies wrapped in lies.
        Pease G_d look after us.

    • and
      4) Another precedent erasing the barriers between the functions of the legislature and the functions of the administration (awfully hard for his successor to rebuild those, quickly, as they’re based on the trust that government will at least try to look like it works the way its supposed to) and
      5) another Cloward-Piven attack on the viability of our welfare system, breaking it by overloading it, and
      6) if he’s thinking that far ahead, the fomenting of street violence (as unemployed blacks attack unemployable immigrants, each blaming the other) to justify greater centralization and activation of police authority.

    • Obama is the best thing that can happen to Republican politicians for the next two years. If anyone’s going to try to impeach him, it’ll start with the Democrats.

      • Yup.

        I think the chances of impeachment in 2016 are pretty high. And that this will in fact be the result of politicians listening to the overwhelming popular demand for it.

        I don’t know what the One will do next but I’m sure there will be something

        • I’m not so certain. The Repubs might do better to stay away from impeachment (at least on this issue as it stands at the moment) and let all the problems come to roost on the Dems.

          • No my hypothesis is that he’ll be/do something so outrageous that Dems in certain places will be calling for it because they know that if they don’t they’ll be voted out of office

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              I can’t see the Democrats in Congress taking that step.

              Yes, they may be “scared” enough to start speaking out against Obama but pushing for his impeachment would be a “step too far” for them.

              On the other hand, they might help over-ride his vetoes.

          • Remember what a disaster the government shutdown was going to be for the Republicans?

            Notice that the election to punish them — the first election since that — was the one we just had.

      • If anyone’s going to impeach him- it will have to start with the Democrats. In fact, if I were Boehner I would have ALL Republicans in the House and Senate sign a letter and pay to publish it in the remaining MSM, full page.Very simple letter. Stating- President Oboama has vilated teh Constitution and assumed powers he doesn’t have. Until our Democrat colleagues decide to stand up for the Constitution and the Nation instead of their party, there is nothing we can do.

        Force the issue. And he could add- the Republicans forced Nixon out. If the Republicans had stood united, because they placed party loyalty above country, Nixon would have finished his term.

        • Remember the Clinton Impeachment? Recall what the Dems called an appropriate response?

          Congress should open its new session with a Vote of Censure. There is no legal effect and it puts EVERYBODY in Congress on record opposing or endorsing a policy widely opposed by the electorate. Congress can spend a week on speeches pro and con on the Censure vote. Get LOTS of soundbites on record for 2016. Make his party OWN this action.

          Then we can let it play out and see who “comes out of the shadows.” Remember: none of them can vote; those who can vote will see whose mess this is.

          It would also demonstrate that the 1998 proposal for censure was feckless.

          Then vote to eliminate all funds for flying in AF1. Let Obama apply for air-travel funding on a case-by-case basis, justifying the value of each flight. (Yes, that means a future Democrat Congress could use this as a precedent for punishing a Republican president; so what? Do you think they need a precedent?)

  8. Based on what was actually said, sure, it might not seem so terribly unreasonable. But these are unreasonable people who are doing the proposing.

    Even if I had an ironclad guarantee that all that would happen was what was outlined, I would be against doing it in this manner – by imperial fiat – rather than through the legislature. And I would be more strongly in favor of different measures designed to encourage legal immigration and citizenship, rather than this mishmash of vote-pandering and underclass creation. (All that’s missing is a cloud city where the citizens can live in indolent leisure upon the labors of the cave-dwelling miners.)

    But such a guarantee is impossible. These are shameless liars. It will not end with the proposal as given – that is merely the launch point. It’s as if a gas station took our “fill her up” as an invitation to haul the car into the bay for a tune up, oil change, shocks and struts, and four new tires (all flat). Ever wonder why progressives will never say what the goal is? It’s so you can never protest that the goal has been reached and the work can stop.

    • It is useful to properly apprehend what the purpose of Progressive solutions is, which — first of all — is not correction of the problem.

      See William Voegeli’s new book* (or reviews thereof) for in depth analysis, but take away the idea that all Progressive solutions (should probably have put that in scare quotes) is to make Progressives look noble, compassionate and caring. Their solutions are NEVER about actually treating the problem.

      *November 18, 2014 — Scott Johnson
      CRB: I feel your pain
      … “Since compassion is so central to contemporary liberalism, The Pity Party is less a critique of an aspect of liberalism than of liberalism itself.” Voegeli begins by tracing the genesis of a government that “feels our pain.” The guiding principle of compassion rushed to fill the void left by modernity’s destruction of shared standards of virtue and vice, flourishing and debasement.

      Compassion is the liberal’s answer to the question of the best life and the best society. Compassion is the last pillar on which liberals can build a political community, because it doesn’t require any shared notions or beliefs: “They rely on what they take to be our natural empathy to forge a togetherness. This dispensation doesn’t depend on any grand theory, and liberals reject both premodern and totalitarian versions of philosophical unity. They notionally reject certainty itself,” though do so with an alarmingly high degree of certitude.


      [T]he core of liberal bullshit is the fact that the same people who care so much about social programs—don’t seem to care whether they work or not. Social programs never end, and only extremely rarely are they significantly reformed. Even if programs like Head Start are proven to be ineffectual, they are still defended as totems of compassion. The answer is always more spending, and more programs, regardless of how much government has already grown. This gets to the central dynamic of liberal compassion. To wit, “the liberals who create, perpetuate, defend, and expand social welfare programs are devoted to them less because they care about helping than because they care about caring,” as Voegeli puts it. It is this flaw, he writes, that “connects the theory of liberalism to the malpractice of liberalism,” to its toleration of waste and failure.”

      Caring about caring is both “corrosive of our constitutional system,” and “inherent to democracy,” writes Lowry. Inherent—but deeply harmful: “The pity party’s impatience for action and willingness to trample procedural constraints to get it are corrosive of our constitutional system. Its programs erode the mores upon which self-government depends. Compassion, in short, can’t be the basis of a worthy democratic politics.”

      • I was thinking more of Lewis’ idea that a tyranny proposed for our own good will never stop, ever, but I’ll have to look up the Voegeli, thanks.

  9. Small prob there, Sarah; as you have already pointed out, the lying Kenyan lies. So why would you think that anything he said about visas and crime free and fines and blah, blah, blah will have bearing on what he tells his DOJ/IRS/HSA/ICE or whatever agencies to actually do?
    balloon – pop.

    • Yes, but that’s no worse than we were — he’s been doing this ANYWAY. And by giving a speech he called attention to it. People will be watching more closely.
      This is no time to get wobbly. It’s time to stay alert. This is not the beginning of the end, though it might be the end of the beginning.

  10. Hope you are doing okay with your eye– As for the rest, I think the President is actually heading as fast as he can to his demise as a power. It will be hard on us, of course.

  11. I hear them brandish “Reagan did it” as an excuse.

    (I’ve only gotten that far in reading the post so far. I may have more to say later.)

    Reagan had the “first time” excuse. When it hasn’t been done before, “we’re so deep that maybe we should just clear the decks by regularizing the people who’ve been here for a long time and haven’t been causing any trouble, then vigorously enforce immigration law going forward” makes a certain amount of sense. Might have been a good idea, too.

    But the final part “vigorously enforce immigration law going forward” never happened.

    Then the same thing was proposed some years later, with the same results.

    I didn’t buy it that time–“Fool me once…”–but I wasn’t consulted and, so, it went forward again with the same result.

    So this is just the latest iteration of repeating the same thing while expecting a different result.

    • As with so much else they say, this is false, a lie, a contortion of truth far beyond all reasonable extent.

      Reagan (and George H. W. Bush) used authority contained within Congressionally passed legislation to define coverage of the prior amnesty.

      I gather Rush Limbaugh has plowed this ground extensively the last few days, so you can probably find explanation on his site, but here is something sourced a little less provocatively (i.e., someplace the Left can’t automatically dismiss) — The Atlantic:

      Reagan and Bush Offer No Precedent for Obama’s Amnesty Order

      Not only were past executive actions smaller, they didn’t work.
      DAVID FRUMNOV 18 2014, 5:26 PM ET
      1) Reagan and Bush acted in conjunction with Congress and in furtherance of a congressional purpose. In 1986, Congress passed a full-blown amnesty, the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, conferring residency rights on some 3 million people. Simpson-Mazzoli was sold as a “once and for all” solution to the illegal immigration problem: amnesty now, to be followed by strict enforcement in future. Precisely because of their ambition, the statute’s authors were confounded when their broad law generated some unanticipated hard cases. The hardest were those in which some members of a single family qualified for amnesty, while others did not. Nobody wanted to deport the still-illegal husband of a newly legalized wife. Reagan’s (relatively small) and Bush’s (rather larger) executive actions tidied up these anomalies. Although Simpson-Mazzoli itself had been controversial, neither of these follow-ups was.
      2) Reagan and Bush legalized much smaller numbers of people than Obama is said to have in mind. While today’s advocates cite a figure of 1.5 million people among those potentially affected by Bush’s order, only about 140,000 people ultimately gained legal status this way, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data as reviewed by Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies. (Updated: Krikorian reconsidered the numbers and now concludes the true figure is even lower—less than 50,000.) Obama’s June 2012 grant of residency to the so-called “Dreamers”, people who were brought to the United States illegally as children, could potentially reach 1.4 million people. His next round of amnesty, which is advertised as benefiting the parents of the Dreamers and other illegal-alien parents of U.S. resident children, could reach as many as 5 million people.
      3) The Reagan-Bush examples are not positive ones. The 1986 amnesty did not work as promised. It was riddled with fraud. The enforcement provisions were ignored or circumvented. Illegal immigration actually increased in the years after the amnesty. The supposed “once and for all” solution almost immediately gave rise to an even larger version of the original problem.
      4) The invocation of the Reagan and Bush cases exemplifies the bad tendency of political discussion to degenerate into an exchange of scripted talking points. “Oh yeah? Well, this guy you liked also did this thing you don’t like!” Is that really supposed to convince anybody? What we have here is not a validation of the correctness of President Obama’s action. It’s the shaking of a fetish, an effort to curtail argument rather than enlighten it.

      • There are two separate but related questions:
        – Is granting amnesty to illegals a good or bad idea?
        – Is the President’s unilaterally acting by EO good or bad.

        I was addressing the first. I have been opposed to amnesty every time since Reagan that it has been brought up (but Congress keeps insisting on not consulting me on the matter). I was of mixed feelings in Reagan’s time because, taken in total there was a certain sense to it (sometimes it is best to just wipe the board clean and start over, not always, but sometimes).

        The second, IMO, is indefensible.

      • Oh, and the people who think telling me “Bush (or Reagan) did it so you must think it’s a good idea” amuse me.

        “Why, no. I do not, in fact, simply agree with whatever politicians that I favor (at least over their primary opponents) espouse. Why would you think that? Oh, that’s right, it’s because that’s what you (not, you RES, the hypothetical ‘you’ I am addressing here) do with your favored politicians.”

  12. Reagan signed a LAW, passed by both houses of Congress. He NEVER “imposed” an amnesty as Obama proposes to do.

    • Yes, of course but after the imperial extensions on Obamacare, this is nothing new. Terrible, not new, though. And read Jerry’s opinion. He thinks it’s no worse than five million pardons.

    • Bingo. I’ve said this elsewhere and I stand by it. In today’s case, the content is not all that objectionable in comparison to the Reagan-era bill, or the (foundered) Bush-era bill. Indeed, it’s a rather reasonable first step to sorting out the chaos of our illegal immigrant situation.

      It’s not so much what is being done as it is how the admin is doing it — unilaterally, asserting a far over-reaching executive authority, stretching and twisting and even breaking both the rule of law and the social compact represented by the Constitution’s checks and balances. That how is very disturbing. The what is not (in my view) all that unreasonable.

      • Yes, but he’s been doing that with everything. Look, we have to work to get the republic back. If we’re lucky, it won’t be physical, there won’t be flags and music, and all we get is to slowly, over 100 years, we, our kids, our grandkids, reestablish rule of law and separation of powers. Nothing new. It’s been getting taken away since early twentieth century, and Jerry says this is nothing FDR didn’t do/wouldn’t do.

        • The problem is, the rest of the world is looking at the dollar with a certain amount of concern. If they can get off the dollar before we return the GDP-to-debt ratio to sane levels, they’ll let our currency crash and crash hard. At that point the lotus eater riots become inevitable.

          • At which point, we’ll no doubt be glad we invested in precious metals.

          • I am no defender of the current management of the dollar, but the fact remains that there is no viable alternative. The Chinese and Russians are reportedly conspiring to offer up a replacement international currency, but who’d be crazy enough to trust their accounting? The Euro is a bet gone bust. As badly managed as the dollar is it is still the world’s financial haven.

            Which is about as damning a statement as can be made.

            • The Chinese and the Russians have been conspiring about this for a long time. A few years back (I want to say four…) the President of Kazakhstan floated a trial balloon of introducing a new international currency, like…the Ruble! Of course, he’s not cozy with the Russians or the Chinese at all…

            • Oh, I don’t think it’ll happen easily – like you say, _no one_ trusts Russia or China to be the 800-pound gorilla in any international currency. But nations will keep trying to find something viable, and the worse the American debt ratio gets, the lower the bar for “something viable”.

              And while a lone country acting on its own would be cutting its own economic throat, the country that _starts_ the collapse by getting off the dollar will benefit from not having to ride the dollar down like everyone else.

          • The money guys I listen to on the radio some evenings disagree with you. They watch this kind of thing, and have concluded that, no matter that our credit rating has been dropped, worldwide, people still trust the dollar to be more stable than any other currency.

            Basically, if people didn’t trust the dollar, they would not be investing in US securities in the volumes they still are.

            • The point of my original comment, perhaps badly made, was NOT that the dollar is a good investment, well-managed and stable. It is that the dollar is the least bad monetary investment. Its strength is a reflection of the paucity of good alternative rather than any inherent virtue in the buck.

              People invest in the dollar mainly because it is safest, not because it is safe.

              The dollar investors’ logic is the same as that expressed in the above clip.

              • It is that the dollar is the least bad monetary investment.

                As I recall someone putting it once either quoting or paraphrasing a broker: “I’ve got twelve million in investment dollars to place. It’s got to go somewhere.”

                As with many things in life, sometimes all the options suck. But it’s got to go somewhere, so you pick the least sucky place to put it and hope.

  13. I have some issues with the whole immigration mess that I wish I saw being discussed;

    1) Mexico has never, in all of its know history, been decently governed. By “decently” I mean in a manner at least as respectful of the needs and wants of the common man as, say, a machine controlled town in norther New Jersey.

    2) The Mexican economy has been in the crapper for pretty much my entire lifetime. Hell, the last time I heard the government owed oil monopoly was LOSING MONEY. The second (or possibly third, depending on your source) biggest revenue stream for the Mexican economy is money being sent home by illegals in the U.S..

    3) Absent that money, Mexico is going to dissolve into chaos. It may anyway. If it does, that will be chaos with which we share a 1900 mile border. There may be nothing we can do to prevent the chaos, but cutting of the money being sent home certainly isn’t going to help and might make things much worse very fast indeed.

    4) The logical thing to do, frankly, would be too invade Mexico, send in the worst highbinders and pocket-livers from places like New Jersey (I used to live there, can you tell?) to run the place (thereby improving the governance of both areas), and fortify Mexico’s souther border, which is only 541 miles long.

    5) We won’t do 4, because for some reason the Liberal Intellectual Establishment, despite having a desperate craving to tell other people how to live, is against colonialism. Go figure.

    6) I expect Obama to actually do what we says we will do, and refrain from doing something else under cover of the MSM, when it can be reliably determined that Lucifer, son of the mooring, has ordered several billon pairs of ice skates. This has nothing to do with Obama’s “race”, and very little to do with his party. The man is incapable of telling the truth, sticking to a plan, or not fiddling.

    • Number 4 is what I wanted to tell idiots flapping about “think of the children” yesterday. the only thing we can do is sort of a super American state as Heinlein envisioned in say Starship Troopers. Invade them, clean them, impose our ways on them. It would also be the most merciful thing, mind. It MIGHT be beyond our money ability, particularly now that other nuclear powers can challenge our intimidation factor. AND it causes bad feels which is the deciding factor.
      You know, in Portugal we used to DREAM of being invaded by America.

      • Sending large boulders from space might help.

      • I have a background element in the (@&$%) WIP working off a variation of this idea.

        Military administration zone, buffer. Quality of life and prosperity of those in the zone skyrocket…

      • So The Mouse That Roared” was based on Portugal?

      • Trouble is, #4 makes me want to say “the pursuit of Pancho Villa, much?” – not sure the Mexican people want to be invaded by the US, at least as long as they can be wooed by revolutionary talk or intimidated by the cartels.

      • Hell, they almost invaded us, just before World War One. The Zimmerman Telegram, the shipment of arms to Veracruz, the Germans might have talked the Mexicans into staging a Red Dawn invasion of Texas if Zimmerman hadn’t used that obsolete Playfair cypher.

      • “The Mouse That Roared”: The movie about just that!
        And those EPPs? Nary a one has ever worked for a business, let alone owned one.

        • If you only know the movie, do yourself the pleasure of looking up the books by Leonard Wibberly.

          • Seconding that recommendation. Insightful, acidic, hilarious and just plain good reads.

            Samples of the author’s perspective:

            From Oxford Sir Roger had taken away only two pieces of learning, acquired out of his own observations. The first was that while the pen might be mightier than the sword, the sword spoke louder, clearer and more effectively at any given moment. The second was that “Aye” might be turned into “Nay” and vice versa if a sufficient quantity of wordage was applied to the problem.
            Beware of the Mouse, Leonard Wibberly

            “… the world is not a place for timid men, nor is liberty a birthright of those who fear to fight and speak for it come what may.”
            Beware of the Mouse, Leonard Wibberly

            “It is fear that enslaves men and costs them their liberty. Doubt before battle is more powerful than any cannon, and terror has destroyed more armies than all the weapons in the world.”
            Beware of the Mouse, Leonard Wibberly

            • +1

              [ Note this not directed at you RES, but riffing on some of the themes presented by Leonard Wibberly in his books.]

              I would rather the Republic fall tomorrow and have to fight back to sanity; then to live for any length of time under the current soft despotism that we have. It is a fear of the future that keeps us compromising. We tell ourselves, “It could be worse.” Instead of, “It can be better.”

              Because if we don’t the parties are just going to keep putting in candidates just slightly better than their opponents. They do this because they know we will compromise and vote for the lesser of two evils.

              Have you ever noticed the left never compromises or settles for second be. That if anyone is to do so let it be those on the right. This has been why for the last hundred years they have been moving towards goals.

              We are not ever going to get what we want if we are always settling for settling for second best.

              This why I say we should be nice but uncompromising!

              • Have you ever noticed the left never compromises or settles for second be …

                Did this nation elect Jerry Brown or Howard Dean (or even Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis) as president and I miss it?

                It is not that the Left doesn’t compromise it is that the MSM doesn’t report how extreme their Left is. When the likes of the Occutards are reported as a grass roots movement and the T.E.A. Party are far right racist radicals the nation’s perceived center is badly off the level.

    • Number 4 would turn into a bleeding ulcer that would make Iraq look like a vacation at a resort.

      Due to US mucking around in the ’50s and ’60s, Central and South America have a perpetual fear of the US getting involved in the local affairs. That’s starting to die down to a certain extent in some of the countries. But going into Mexico guns blazing would instantly revive those old fears, and send a lot of support to the Chavistas (who essentially use those old fears of the USA as their bogeyman). And attempting to govern Mexico after invading it would likely be a very big and bloody mess.

      • Nolo contendere. We don’t have the personnel or money for it, but again “only way to really help the children.”

      • Not If we had the right frame of mind for it, which we don’t. If we went in with a real 19th Century attitude about the whole thing, and acted like the Victorian British (or even the Victorian Americans) I think we would quite seriously be welcomed as liberators. Y’see the Victorians didn’t say one thing on Monday and then implement the exact opposite policy on Thursday. Which just about every frickin’ government on earth does, these days.

        Hell, Iraq could have been a vacation at a resort if we were willing to conduct ourselves alike The Raj.

        We aren’t and I don’t really want to watch us try. Not without a major attitude adjustment, in a style I consider highly unlikely. Mind you, I fully expect to be a Citizen (whatever that means by then) of Imperial America by the time I’m in my 70’s. I’ll probably be comfortable as can be – I’m white, male, and comparatively wealthy; the rot won’t reach my level of society until I’m long gone. But it won’t be a good thing, and a lot of people who spend a lot of time whining about America’s imperialism are going to be wondering how the hell they could mistake what we deal with now for the real thing. And they’ll wonder from prison, right next to their ACLU lawyers.

        and they’ll deserve to be there because their idiocy is going to be hat brought it about, one way or another.

    • The Other Sean

      Sending New Jersey politicians to run Mexico would improve both New Jersey and Mexico. Talk about a win-win!

  14. I hope, hope, that indeed, the executive action will be restricted to what the POTUS outlined. I’m concerned with 1) the precedent of executive fiat creep, 2) stories I’m hearing that one felony (vehicular manslaughter in one case) is not enough to earn deportation and 3) the assumption that those offered the opportunity to remain will work and pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. *shrug* I’m staying out of it otherwise.

    • Oh, number 2 has been true a long time. He’s NOT enforcing our laws, period.

      • Not against foreign citizens, at least.

        • actually I should have said “he’s only enforcing the laws he wants to enforce” — but that means he’s NOT enforcing our laws but his will.

          • Which summs up the Libereal style in a nutshell; aState awash with laws governed by The Right People, who know when to make exceptions.

            In short, just about everything good men have fought against since the rise of Imperial Rome, if not before.

            Thos is something I despair of getting my Liberal in-laws to see; that the State should be relatively powerless not because I expeect the free market to be rational and just (I don’t even expect it to be sane), but because a State powerful enought to really matter in day-to-day life is a perpetual target for takever by exactly the kind of unsavory jackass that shouldn’t be allwed power in the first place.

  15. Off topic: If anyone near Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL, Dr John Brandenburg will present his theory that an ancient civilisation on Mars was wiped out by a nuclear attack from another alien race.

  16. The problem as I see it, rests on two legs.
    1) This does nothing to stem the tide of additional bodies flowing over the border. Notice that the president mentioned specifically that this is slowing down – I suspect as a means of heading off those who would notice this point. The tide has slowed, yes. For now. It hasn’t stopped.
    2) What he said is one thing. What it means, in practice, is another thing. What people currently south of the border *hear* is yet another. What they are likely to *hear* is “come on up, we’ll let you stay.”
    Add points 1 and 2 together, and this program — whatever it does or doesn’t do for the illegal immigrants currently in our borders — will generate more and more of them in the future. Still illegal, still undocumented, and not paying into any revenue streams.

    • You can’t say “Nothing he says can be trusted” then get in a lather over what he SAID.
      Look, he’s looking for two things: adulation and making Republicans look racist. Okay, three things, and helping his cronies. (Should I come in again.)
      Yes, the situation sucks, but it has sucked for a couple of years. Yes, it will have to be dealt with, but the bad economy IS dealing with a lot of it (La grande salida) and the new entrants tend to be from further afield than Mexico because THOSE news spread slowly. Take a deep breath. It’s a mess. We’ll deal with it. It’s NOT the end of the world. (And if Jerry thinks this, and he’s far more pessimistic than I am, normally, you can believe it.)

      • You know the one about dropping a frog in a pot of cold water sitting on a fire, right?

        Incrementalism is what has been killing us. At some point there is either a line, or there’s a reset. The latter will not be fun. The former isn’t either, but it’s a but less not fun.

        I see last night as more than another inch in the wrong direction. Not the immigration thing, the executive fiat thing.

        • Know that one– also know that it’s false.

          A frog in a pot of water that is slowly getting warmer will get out of the pot of water.

          The only way to boil it is to drop it into the boiling water right away.

          I think the factually accurate version is more accurate in reality, too. People aren’t magically unable to tell when things have gotten too hot, just because they didn’t notice each degree as it increased.

          • However, consider.

            My wife is Japanese. Now, in Japan, they have a penchant for scalding hot baths. Before my first visit to Japan, I made a point of acclimating to the baths I would be expected to take. The procedure was to get into a tub with water as hot as I could stand. Then, in increments, add more hot water, gradually raising the temperature. In this way I could go much farther before finally being forced to stop than I would have otherwise.

            So there is a kernel of truth to the point of the adage and I think we get the same thing societally. While I expect there is a “jump out of the water” point, that point is a lot higher when the changes are small and incremental, with people given time to adjust to them and to start thinking of them as “normal” before the next increment is made.

            • Problem: you didn’t die from that water; it didn’t make it so you were saying in to your death, it made it so you were able to stand higher temps.

              IE, the frog gets tougher.

              Exactly the opposite lesson as the frog– I’ve even heard that the frog CAN stay in water that, if it was dropped in quickly, would kill it from shock.

              The “frog” is tougher than people think.

              • You’re missing my point, I think. It’s not a matter of the frog dying, but how far things go before the frog gets out. (Yes, in my case I’m deliberately exposing myself to the increased heat to be able to deal with it elsewhere–it’s not a perfect metaphor.)

                Had all the restrictions, taxes, and other government intrusions been dumped on us all at once we would have been in armed revolt. We (meaning at least some fractions of the American People–see the Whiskey Rebellion as just one case) have been in armed revolt over far less. But because the steps have been relatively small, with time for people to get used to them and start to consider the results “normal”, we’ve gone a lot farther without driving people into active armed rebellion.

                Case in point: background checks for firearms purchases. That’s only been a requirement since 1994 for handguns and 1998 for long guns, historically barely an eyeblink. Yet today most people cannot imagine not having one. It’s “normal” for them and only a lunatic would suggest not having to ask the government for permission to purchase a firearm (at least from a dealer).

                We may actually be nearing the flash point of a backlash against these restrictions and intrusions, but it’s taken a lot longer than many people would have thought.

                • , I think. It’s not a matter of the frog dying, but how far things go before the frog gets out.

                  Doesn’t matter. The point of the “frog in hot water” metaphor is that, if you turn the water up slowly, he dies rather than getting out.

                  It gets things exactly backwards, and the truthful example is actually closer to what you theorize we’re getting close to. “People thought it would happen faster” is hardly news– nor the ability to kill off the group when a dangerous level is inflicted all at once.

                  Even in Washington State, with a massive amount of money spent, tons of lies told and a school shooting blamed on the lack of universal background checks and a notoriously lax voting system, they could barely manage “most” of those voting on the subject to say that you should get a background check for buying a gun. (The way they spun the “transfer” definition.)
                  Given that, I greatly doubt that most people think background requirements for all guns, or even all handguns, are a good idea.

                  • As I said, it’s not a perfect metaphor. But here’s the thing. In Japan, with people who grew up with the hot baths they are accustomed to taking, there are occasional cases of people passing out in the bath. On occasion, one will even drown as a result.

                    That frog does die.

                    And as far as the “hot water” is a metaphor for tyranny, we’re already living in a society that the folk who wrote the Constitution would almost certainly consider tyrannical. The “frog” (“living as a free people”) is already dead. The question is whether we can resurrect it.

                    • People pass out in the bath in the US, too, without a tradition of hot baths. (I know, I did it– what, did you think the traditions about checking on people when they’re taking a bath was JUST mothers being fussy? I was a perfectly healthy 12 year old, and nothing similar happened before that point.)
                      The temperature of the bath doesn’t really have much to do with it, as long as it raises the body temp, as best we can guess.

                      I am aware of what the metaphor tries to prove– and what it actually does is illustrate a presumption on behalf of the Founders that they did not display. Much like the incorrect claim about what actually happens with frogs and hot water displays a “but it should happen this way to support my desired course of action” presumption of knowledge. It assumes the conclusion.

                      If they’d consider this tyranny or not doesn’t matter– they built a system that, if used correctly, with the right people, can prevent actual tyranny.

                      Good heavens, they had stuff that we would consider unacceptable tyranny– you want an example, point out the assumptions they had about traditional Christian morality as a baseline of behavior.

                    • if used correctly, with the right people

                      Well that’s the real trick, isn’t it. It hasn’t been “used correctly, with the right people.” And “with the right people”? I am reminded of the tale of a cab driver in the former Soviet Union. “Democracy? Yes, I think it is a good system, and will work very well once the right people get in charge at the top.”

                      My income puts me roughly into “upper middle class”. I pay more than a third of my income in taxes.
                      The law is so convoluted, gargantuan, and self contradictory that it is said with some justification that the average person commits three felonies a day. “Name the person and I’ll name the crime” is actually a “thing.”
                      A rapper in California is being prosecuted, with a potential life sentence, for an album cover. Even if he wins he’s out the cost of defending himself (although maybe in his case the “cred” of having a record will work out to his advantage).
                      Police break into people’s houses terrorize them, kill their pets, destroy their property on no more basis than “some criminal said with the implication that he’ll get a lighter sentence, if not walk away entirely, if he fingers somebody” (another expression “he not only sings, but composes.”)
                      Every time I’ve flown in the last few years (I have to occasionally on business and it’s really hard to introduce my daughter to her grandparents who live in Washington without flying) I’ve gotten to add “nude model” to my resume.
                      Then there’s the time I had to explain the slide-rule that was in my carry on. Nice to know that we’re being protected by weapons of math instruction.
                      Yes, I can still buy a gun, but I have to ask permission of the government first.
                      Yes, I can carry a gun, but again, I have to ask permission first.
                      I will give Indiana this, I can now pick up my daughter from daycare after work and go inside to get her without the choice of being disarmed from the time I leave house to go to work in the morning until the time I get home after dropping her at daycare or committing a class D felony. But this is a recent development. And how many people aren’t that lucky?
                      And so on and so on.

                      Alexander Hamilton, in The Federalist Papers said that it would be obvious that in Article One the powers of Congress that were listed after the “taxes…for the general welfare” clause defined what is meant by “general welfare” and it was absurd to think that anyone would misconstrue it. Yet look at what’s happened. Anything that can be called “general welfare” automatically becomes a power of Congress. And the courts allow it.

                      Madison, also in The Federalist Papers, said that it was absurd that the militia of one State would be used to trample on the rights of the citizens of another State. Yet that’s exactly what happened after Katrina.

                      If there’s one thing I could fault the Founders for it’s their incredible lack of imagination as to how the system they put in place would be twisted and abused over time.

                      How hot does the water have to get? If the frog hasn’t jumped out by now, what makes you think it will at some future point? For that matter what evidence that any movement we see in the frog is any more than the twitching observed by Galvani and that the frog isn’t already dead?

                      The recent election? Maybe a good sign. But that’s what a lot of people thought in ’94 with Gingrich and the “Contract with America”. How long did that last? I’d like to think that this time is different but historically the voters have had a very short attention span and quite soon “goodies that other people pay for” and “that thing I don’t like should be illegal” return to being the watchwords.

                      Look, I’m not a quitter. I’m not giving up so long as there’s the smallest spark of hope left. And even when the last spark of hope is gone? Well, going down fighting is not without its own appeal. But I’m not going to pretend that the situation isn’t damn dire, with powerful forces arrayed against us and a whole lot of “support” on our side that is quite ephemeral.

                    • Yes! This!

                      We need to stop making exceptions to our principles for things we want, or understand that compromising by voting for the lesser of two evils is still going to lead to a slow slide into tyranny. That at some point you have to stop and hold the line. And then move to push that line back to where we want it.

                      All we have been doing is fighting delaying action expecting to win.

                    • or understand that compromising by voting for the lesser of two evils is still going to lead to a slow slide into tyranny

                      The flip side is that voting for the “perfect” (from my perspective–I expect yours would be somewhat different) candidate when that candidate can’t even get the support of 2% of the voters is a quicker slide into tyranny.

                      I like the metaphor that Neil Gaiman used for his career. It’s like a mountain in the distance. And as long as I can keep moving toward that mountain I’ll eventually get there. Don’t try to do it all at once. That will fail.

                      By this chart (let’s see if this works)–

                      And if it didn’t, here’s a simple link:

                      –I’m a pretty much a Paelo-Conservative/Classical Liberal. Some infrastructure things (roads on the chart) I think are appropriate for government, others not. On the flip side I’m of mixed feelings about education so between them I figure it’s pretty much a wash and the “Paleo-Conservative” label fits fairly well. Add in that with “health care” and that things like with infectious diseases other folks actions, or inaction, threaten me and it gets a bit complicated. But still, Paleo-Conservative is probably pretty close.

                      But look at where we are now. We’re so far from that “goal” that the Hubble couldn’t see it. If I had a true Paleo-Conservative candidate to run for office, it’s extremely unlikely he could win (even in a fair election, never mind when the other side(s) cheats). And if, by some miracle, he (or she) did win, there is simply no way I’d get a paleo-conservative Congress to go along.

                      But I might get somebody a little bit closer than we are now. And if I can get that, then the next cycle, maybe I can get somebody a little bit closer than that. And a little bit closer the next time. And the same shifting “Overton Window” works here. As government becomes less intrusive, less restrictive, less all-encompassing, why people can get used to that too, just as they have motion the other way.

                      People tell me “compromise doesn’t work.” Actually, the cases they site are excellent examples of how very well it does work. It’s just that it’s been a weapon used against us. Conservative/libertarian types are like folk sticking to single shot rifles to “not waste ammo” while the other side has been using repeating rifles and machine guns. Win small concessions, then use that new position as a springboard to win more. Repeat until you’re where you want to be. It’s a tactic that works. So far, it’s worked for our enemies. Maybe it’s time for it to work for us.

                      So look at that mountain. What can we get that moves us closer to the mountain, even if only a little bit? Get it. And then keep the pressure on.

                      The mills of the gods grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.

                    • If we we moving toward the mountain that would be one thing, but we are driving toward a cliff in the opposite direction fighting over how fast the car is going. The only way we are going to do this is by voting, our convictions and not settling for forth third or even second best. They have us so convinced that we must compromise our beliefs to win that we do it without even thinking.

                    • The problem is too many “freedom loving” voters judge candidates based not on where we are now but on where they want to be. Instead of looking where we are and choosing the candidate that has the best chance of moving us a bit closer to the mountain, they choose the candidate that promises the mountain right now. But we’re not going to get the mountain right now. It’s not going to happen. And so instead of votes for moving toward the mountain they are effective abstentions no better than the folk who recognize that “Mr. Mountain right now” candidate has no chance and so they stay home.

                      Those two groups are often enough to swing the election if they had been placed on Candidate “Mr. Move just a little bit closer to the Mountain than we are right now.”

                      For example, Mitt Romney is probably 70-80% “the same as Barack Obama” and another 10-15% “just as bad but in a different way” (all IMO). But we already had Barack Obama. So that 5-20% (depending on how they stack) difference? That’s movement toward the mountain. From. Where. We. Were. At. The. Time.

                      Romney would have needed to increase his support by about 4% (less if the support were distributed right, but let’s just consider a general across the board increase). Gary Johnson, the preferred candidate of most of the people I’ve encountered who make the “just the same” claim, would have needed to increase his support more than three thousand percent. (Both figures relative to their existing support at the time of the election with Johnson’s figures based on the “best case” where he takes his support more or less equally from both the major candidates.)

                      I didn’t like Romney. I thought he sucked as a choice. But he sucked a little bit less than the current occupant of the White House. And, unlike other candidates who might suck even less, he was within shooting distance of being able to win. (Personally, I liked Cain, well, disliked him less than others. If he had just had half of Newt Gingrich’s fighting spirit–the way Gingrich came out swinging when a “moderator” tried to bring up Gingrich’s infidelities in one of the Rep. Candidate debates–he might well have stolen the nomination from Romney and we’d now be looking at how a competent executive handles the White House.)

                    • Mit Romney & Paul Ryan’s plan wasn’t going to shrink government. At best their plan was to just slow down the car (Rate of growth.)

                      All I was hearing was we needed to return to Bush levels of spending. Just because the window has slid so far to the left doesn’t mean Bush was doing a good job economically.

                    • Can’t reverse course without first slowing down.

                      Just sayin’.

                    • Well, you can, but it gets really messy.

                    • Can’t reverse course without first slowing down.

                      For that matter, from where we are now, from where we were in 2012 even, “Bush era spending” would be reversing course.

                      The mountain is over there. To get there you have to start from where you are right now. A step, any step, closer to the mountain is closer to the mountain. And the next step after that. And the next.

                      That’s the big advantage the Left has had over us. They’ve been willing to take the long view and go for the incremental moves toward their desired end game. Too many conservative and libertarian types want it now.

                    • No !!!

                      Reversing course would actually entail shrinking government. Not just slowing the rate of growth.


                      We need to bootleg this b*tch around and start heading toward the mountain and away from the cliff.

                      Overton Window.

                    • Reversing course would actually entail shrinking government. Not just slowing the rate of growth.

                      “Bush era spending” (your words, I remind you, which you raised as a criticism of Romney/Ryan), is “shrinking government” from. where. we. are. now. Or from where we were in 2012 which is a bit more relevant.

                      Why is that so difficult?

                    • Augh!!!!

                      Because just returning to Bush levels of spending doesn’t shirk government. We would still be spending more than we take in.

                      To shrink government we would have to spend less than we take in, and apply any windfalls to reducing our debt.

                      Just because Obama makes Bush look fiscally responsible doesn’t mean he was.

                      This the Overton Window effect we shifted the window so far out of wack that Bush’s deficits spending seems sane.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Josh, nobody here thinks the Bush level of spending was good or should be a good “stopping point”.

                      What it would be is a “start in the correct direction”.

                      There’s no way to “magically” get the level of Federal Government Spending down to a level that you or the rest of us think is a Good Level.

                      What we should be doing is slowing down the rate of increase in general, cutting what we can where we have strong popular support and convincing the general public that cutting the level of Federal Government Spending is necessary & good.

                      We need to get public support first for chance and to be blunt you’re dreaming if you think any elected government can just “cut everything” you dislike without public support.

                    • Because just returning to Bush levels of spending doesn’t shirk government. We would still be spending more than we take in.

                      Don’t conflate “national debt” with “size of government.” The debt isn’t the government. Spending less than we are now is a matter of shrinking government even if not debt. Government is what we buy, whether on credit or not. Yes, debt is still going up. But government would be shrinking because we would be spending. less. than. we. are. now.

                      As for the debt, if we could simply freeze spending combined with a reduction of hamstringing regulation and simply let economic growth over years to come fix it.

                      I did the numbers. Take, say, the budget in 2004. Adjust it for inflation since (nope, not giving them any more than they claim the inflation has been) and for population increase. So the same “per capita” spending in constant dollars. We’d be running pretty close to balanced today.

                      But wanting it all now just ensures the worst of all possible outcomes. Think, instead, of Aesop’s crow and the pitcher.

                    • Here’s what we’re up against, on the front page of today’s Washington Post: Wage disparity a drag on economy

                      That kind of stupidity on the Front Effin’ Page of the nation’s preeminent newspaper is why we can’t have nice things like Josh wants. We’re a republic sliding toward mobocracy and only a tyrant can turn it around quickly. Anybody who wants a tyrant should just admit as much.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Yep, it’d take a tyrant to “turn it around quickly” and unless there’s a change in general public opinion, once the tyrant is gone, things would go back to the way they were before the tyrant took over.

                      IMO it would take several generations under the tyrant/tyrants to make the changes somewhat permanent.

                      Of course, none of us may like the US that resulted.

                      In addition, once we have tyrants of the “Right” why won’t we get tyrants of the “Left”?

                    • wage disparity is not a drag on anything. REGULATIONS are a drag on the economy.

                    • Wage disparity, in the proper cultural light, is a spur for the economy!

                      “I don’t like being broke. That dude ain’t broke. How’d he get not broke? I’m gonna do that (only better)!”

                    • Hunh. Why would the writers, editors, and readers of the Washington Post not see that?

                    • Democrat operatives with bylines.

                    • Overton Window? Boy, you’re on the far right side of that window banging your head against the wall. Cain’t move that window that way.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      “Too many conservative and libertarian types want it now”

                      Agree and since the Left has been working so long there is a certain degree of public support for some of the things we dislike and/or think are unconstitutional.

                      Tom Kratman commented that if the Supreme Court ruled now that Social Security was unconstitutional, there would be popular support for an Amendment to the Constitution to allow Social Security.

                      We to work at slowing the pace of Leftward movement, exposing the idiocy of the Lefties, educating the public on History, etc.

                      Some of that involves voting for Republicans who “aren’t perfect” but are better than the Left’s “favorites”.

                    • Paul,

                      It’s not enough to slow the pace, but we need to be make strides toward our own goals.

                      Right now we are fighting holding actions if not in slow retreat.

                      Not saying we can get everything we want tomorrow, but we need to pushback and pushback hard. Yes, there is some risk in this, but life is risk, and we can not let the fear of failure keep us from trying.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      It’s been said that politics is the “art of the possible” and if the only thing possible *now* is a holding action, then that’s what we must do while working to convince the general public that true cutting back is a Good Idea.

                      You said here that you not saying we can it tomorrow, but unfortunately that’s how you have come across too many times.

                      Yes, I agree that “pushing back” is a good idea but we must be realistic on how and where we can push back.

                      Again, we need to first convince the general public that cutting back is a Good Idea.

                      Yes, there will always be “risk involved” but to get things done we can’t ignore the fact that we need public support.

                      Sadly IMO, you are talking like “not doing what *you* want” is “doing nothing” or “not trying”.

                    • Amen, brother! Did I live in New Hampshire Scott Brown is almost as far from Right as Jeanne Shaheen, but you better believe I would have voted for Brown 2014! Had I been voting in Kentucky I would have held my nose and voted McConnell rather than Grimes any day of the year.

                      As I said elsewhere this place: you can’t order what ain’t on the menu. If they don’t serve the wheat toast a la carte then order the chicken salad sandwich, hold the chicken salad.

                    • Tom Kratman commented that if the Supreme Court ruled now that Social Security was unconstitutional, there would be popular support for an Amendment to the Constitution to allow Social Security.

                      Of course. Bush wasn’t able to even get a beginning of a turn towards a new system, due to the backlash created by the propaganda from the Left and the useful idiots in the AARP.

                    • You give AARP too much credit; if only “useful idiots” is what they were. Instead their entire business model is built upon exploiting the weaknesses and fallacies inherent in the present system — selling supplemental insurance to cover over the problems whose treatment they oppose.

                    • Erm, I was referring to the members, not the corporate shills.

                    • Oh.

                      Never mind.

                    • Despite the fact that bush was nowhere near being a fiscal conservative, the deficit was going down the entire time of his term, until the Democrats took control of the House and Senate and pushed through increases in spending, plus the bursting of the housing bubble, which Bush, as well as McCain, had attempted to make changes to at least mitigate, if not prevent, but which the committee chair denied was a problem.

                      On top of that, in the last half of his term, gas prices were sucking almost a billion dollars more per day from the public than the first half, since we weren’t allowed to do anything to increase production significantly on federal lands. What I’m worried about now is that the Dems will use the recent reductions as “proof” that their policies are helping the economy, when the increased production has been almost all on State lands, not federal.

                    • I remember in 2001 when Bush wanted to open ANWAR for oil exploration and development. The cries of “it will take ten years to get anything” were rife in the land.

                      It has been ten years and then some and how many dollars have we sent overseas in the meantime, and it would still take ten years to get that oil.

                      Plus, had we developed ANWAR it is likely the infrastructure for the Keystone pipeline would be in place, giving the US a virtually uninterruptible oil supply.

                      Oh heck … looking around at the map of the Middle East … why would we want that.

                    • Romney didn’t HATE us. Just on that, he was a better choice.

                    • Obama doesn’t hate us. President Obama LOVES us like a daddy loves his children, and it saddens him to see so many of us making poor choices. He ONLY wants what is best for us and deeply regrets our insistence on clinging to our guns and religion (especially those racist mean-spirited USAian Constitution-thumpers.)

                      Shucks, Obama loves us as surely as any jihadi loves his daughters.

                    • I already am.

                      Sick is a synonym for “ill”, right?

                      More seriously, let’s stipulate that domestically Romney would be equivalent to Obama (absurd, but let’s so stipulate.)

                      Think Romney would be pursuing so feckless a foreign policy? Think Romney would be begging the Iranians to take his lunch money? Think Romney would be ignoring the slaughter in Syria and Western Iraq? Think Romney would be shrugging off Putin’s Great Adventures?

                      Now, can anybody here say Romney’s appointments to the Judiciary and Regulatory agencies would be no better than Obama has given us? Think a Romney IRS would have taken this long to “find” those 30K of Lois Lerner e-mails?

                      Assuming there is a SCOTUS retirement before 2016, does anybody want to argue that Romney’s choice for that replacement would be indistinguishable than Obama’s?

                    • RES,

                      Would Romney have shrunk government or would he have just grown government in those areas that Conservatives find “necessary?”

                    • Was anybody who might shrink government even on the menu?

                      When you’re eating at Canton Tofu Palace there is little point ordering Szechuan Chicken — it ain’t available and if it were it probably isn’t what you would want to try to digest. The question at hand is what available entree will do least damage.

                      Is growing the government in those areas conservatives deem necessary not better than growing it in the areas deemed necessary by the Elizabeth Warrens and Jon Grubers and Katrina vanden Heuvels of this nation?

                      When did Ron Paul or Harry Edson Browne ever have as much as 5% voter support? Holding out for your ideal means you get nothing.

                    • RES,

                      Yes their was, and I voted for him. As a Governor of NM he has the record of doing so.

                    • Johnson was not on the menu. They only pretended he was. He had less chance of winning the nomination than did Ron Paul.

                    • Ah….

                      We do get the government that we deserve.

                      And why is this because those on the right talk a good game, because when it is time to put up or shut up we punk out and vote for the guy that “everyone” says can win. A self fulfilling prophesy.

                      The only vote I can be sure of is my own.

                    • A self fulfilling prophesy.

                      And if everyone who thought that Gary Johnson were actually the better candidate had voted for him instead of someone who they thought had a chance?

                      He might have gotten 2% of the vote instead of less than 1% and still won zero States.

                      While I know it’s popular in Libertarian circles to blame all sorts of things, particularly skulduggery by the two main parties, for why Libertarians haven’t won a single electoral vote since the founding of the party, the simple truth is that the voter support just isn’t there at this time.

                      Pointing that out is not “self fulfilling prophecy.”

                    • TWIB,

                      My Goal is to elect people that will shrink government but I can’t vote for them because I must vote for the lesser of two evils because “They can win!”

                      Politicians are just a reflection of ourselves.

                      If we are willing to compromise our beliefs for the win, why should we then not be surprised when our politicians do the same.

                      We only vote for people that “can win” then only those that “can win” can win.

                      Self fulfilling.

                      If everyone that says we need and smaller shrinking government actually vote that way we would have a shrinking government. But very few do. So we don’t.


                    • My Goal is to elect people that will shrink government but I can’t vote for them because I must vote for the lesser of two evils because “They can win!”

                      So instead one votes for the lesser of three evils? Or four? Or five? Or however many candidates there are?

                      You talk about “shrink government” but don’t give any consideration to where we are now. A vote Romney _was_ a vote to shrink government from where it was at the time. Instead, to a large extent because of “I don’t want to compromise my principles” people who voted for “no chance at all” people, we ended up with the greater evil.

                      In the interest of “not compromising your principles” you’re throwing them away entirely.

                      Using loaded terms like “compromise your principles” is part of the problem. Unless your real “principle” is feeling good about yourself without regard to results (in which case knock yourself out–but then you have no legitimate justification for complaint about the actual results) then you have to consider what can actually be done.

                      Look at that mountain. Look at where you want to be. Now look at what can actually get you closer to that mountain, even a little bit. And sometimes you can’t get closer. You can, at least, try to keep from getting farther.

                      That’s not “compromising your principles”. That’s working diligently to achieve those principles.

                      The other way does not and cannot work. It does no good to rail about the electorate. That’s what you have to work with. And it’s been a problem for a long time. When Eisenhower spoke of the political disaster that would follow if Washington were to eliminate Social Security, he wasn’t endorsing it. He was pointing out the political reality that the electorate was so addicted to it that they would politically destroy anybody who attempted to eliminate it.

                      When the Founders created this nation, there were some who were opposed to slavery. Had they really pressed that issue it would have torn the country apart and the new nation would have died aborning, easy prey for the old powers in Europe. It took four score and some years before it could finally be eliminated.

                      But entirely too many people want their change now. And we pay a heavy price in that, a price in even further growth of government because by couching things in terms of “the lesser of two evils is still evil” rather than “the best we can actually get is the best we can get” they ensure not the “lesser evil” but the greater.

                      We have met the enemy and he is us.

                    • Look to the recent senatorial race in Virginia to see the effects of such purist thinking. Had even half of those lodging protest votes for the Libertarian (Sarvis) then Mark Warner would be planning his retirement and Ed Gillespie would be one additional vote to reduce the rate of growth in the federal government.

                      Perhaps reducing the speed at which we rush toward the impending cliff is not backing away, but it is at least preferable to flooring the gas pedal. You can’t back up without first slowing down.

                    • TWIB,

                      “That’s not “compromising your principles”. That’s working diligently to achieve those principles.”


                      I’ve heard the you must vote the lesser of two evils most of my life. Honestly, how has this been working out?

                      “But entirely too many people want their change now.”

                      I do not want my change now, but I would at least like to be moving toward the mountain instead of just slowing down or speeding up on our march toward the abyss.

                      Answer this demographically the right leaning candidates should never loose; why do they?

                      Some thoughts :

                      In stead holding our politicians to a higher standard; we vote the middling of the pack. This tells them that they don’t have to be accountable to us they just have to be slightly better than there opponents.

                      When did it become ok to be ok with second best? To not strive for perfection? How will we ever turn around if we will settle for just slowing down?

                      Is this: getting any smaller?

                      We need to stop focusing on not loosing and start focusing on winning.

                      Have we beat this topic into submission yet?


                    • I’ve heard the you must vote the lesser of two evils most of my life. Honestly, how has this been working out?

                      My approach got Reagan. Kept Mondale, Gore, and Kerry out of the White House. Hasn’t always worked but, tell me, how what has voting for candidates like Johnson for President been working for you.

                      You want to talk about “How this has been working out”?
                      The Libertarian party was founded in 1976. In all that time, how many electoral college votes have they received? Or put another way, how many States have they won?

                      I would at least like to be moving toward the mountain

                      And you seem to be completely incapable of considering a move from where we are.

                      “Bush era spending” is “closer to the mountain” than we are now. Instead you want to go back, in one fell swoop, to, well, when was the last time we, honestly (never mind the accounting tricks used to pretend during Clinton’s presidency) had a balanced budget? You have to go back to the 60’s at least.

                      And you still don’t seem to grok that spending less is spending less, even if part of that spending is still “on credit.” And spending less, pretty much by definition means smaller government.

                      Spending less.
                      Smaller government.

                      That’s the direction I would like to go, even if it’s not as far as I would like. Yes, the spending is still “on credit” (deficit spending) but if it’s less than it was before, it’s still a net move toward the mountain. The government that amount of spending buys is smaller than the larger spending. That, too, is a net move toward the mountain.

                      This tells them that they don’t have to be accountable to us

                      So long as doing what it would take to get your vote would lose them more votes elsewhere, they will never be accountable to you.

                      How will we ever turn around if we will settle for just slowing down?

                      How will we ever turn around if you keep insisting on the impossible? Flap your arms all you want; you’re not going to fly that way.

                      We need to stop focusing on not loosing and start focusing on winning.

                      Insisting on Candidates that cannot get even one percent of the vote is not “focusing on winning”.

                    • Are We Freer than we were 10, 20, 30… 224 yrs a go?

                      No we are not. Why, because the right want actually vote for candidates that will do what we need done, done. Because we have bought into the lefts narrative that we must govern from the middle that we must compromise. Left never cares if it compromises because they never intend to keep up their side of the agreement. So, every time we compromise on anything it’s a net gain for them.

                    • Why, because the right want actually vote for candidates that will do what we need done, done.

                      Since the majority of voters won’t do that, you have to figure that into your tactics. If your tactics don’t deal with where we are now then they are bad tactics.

                      The problem isn’t people who “believe” in liberty, who welcome the idea of personal responsibility (and the risk it entails), the folk who are wiling to let others live their lives however they see fit so long as they do not forcibly infringe on the same right in someone else. There aren’t enough of those people. Oh, a lot of people pay lip service to that, but when you start talking about individual policies you start finding out just how much they’re wedded to “goodies that other people pay for” and “that thing I don’t like should be banned.”

                      The simple truth is that we’ve raised a society where people are afraid of liberty. They are simply not going to vote for it. They might, if pushed, vote for a little less restriction than we have now. Indeed, a candidate who billed himself as a little less restrictive came within 2% of winning. That’s within shooting distance of being able to win. Less than 1% of the votes isn’t.

                      If you don’t have the votes for a real liberty to win, what are you supposed to do? Impose libertarianism by force? If so, change the name to the Iron party. (One who commits felony is a felon, so one who commits…)

                      You’ve got to deal with the electorate you have, not the one you wish you had.

                      Are We Freer than we were 10, 20, 30… 224 yrs a go?

                      I ask again, how is voting for people who absolutely cannot win going to help?

                      The real problem is that the folk who do favor liberty either ignore gains made (pretending that a gain was a loss simply because it wasn’t as big as you might like does not help cases) or think “well, we’re done” and stop. It happened after Reagan. It happened after the “Gingrich Revolution”.

                      The Left is willing to play the long game. They’re willing to go for the small gain, wherever they can, then hold onto that gain like grim death. When they have setbacks (despite claims otherwise) they re-trench and launch a new assault later.

                      The right/libertarian sides aren’t willing to do that. And so we lose.

                    • Keep in mind Milton Friedman’s advice:

                      “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or it they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

                      Not quite the quote used in that clip, but it sometimes helps to make the same point twice.

                    • It happened after the “Gingrich Revolution”.

                      Yeah. That one was the first one I really paid attention to. “They said they were going to do , and they didn’t do it!”

                      No, they said they would bring it to the floor. They did. They were unable to get it to pass, because they didn’t have a big enough majority. But did any of the people complaining understand that? No. They just said, “Well, that didn’t work, I’m not going to fall for that again.” And instead of electing more of those who would fight for the right to backpedal, they went off and either didn’t vote, or threw their votes away on people promising to Do It All Right Now. Which wasn’t going to happen. So the beginning of what could have been a good turn in the political landscape got chopped off before it had time to fully sprout.

                    • Ronald Reagan: “Die-hard conservatives thought that if I couldn’t get everything I asked for, I should jump off the cliff with the flag flying-go down in flames. No, if I can get 70 or 80 percent of what it is I’m trying to get … I’ll take that and then continue to try to get the rest in the future.”

                    • RES,

                      How do you get the 80% of what you want.

                      What you don’t do is only ask for the 80% that you think you can get.

                      What you do is demand 100 to 120% (Why not ask for stuff you know will never fly this way when you give them up you are not giving up stuff you really want.) and come down to 80% leaving them filling like they accomplished something.

                      And when you get down to that 80% mark you have got to be will to walk away, and they have to know it.

                      What we have been doing is only asking for the 80% that we think we can get then negotiate down from there. In the spirit of fairness and give and take we will capitulate on half of what we asked for gaining only 40% of what we want then scratch our heads asking why we keep sliding into tyranny.

                    • No, Josh, you demand nothing, you negotiate. You build coalitions and persuade others that your agenda is in their interest. Demanding only works when you have a majority, something your advocates have never approached having. Demanding 120% entails demanding more that you are entitled to, as well, violating the rights of others and becoming the tyrant you decry.

                      Your reading comprehension is as lacking as your understanding of History if you think Reagan only asked for 80% — what he was talking about was accepting partial victories rather than blowing a negotiation and getting nothing.

                    • RES,


                      I was pointing out the difference between what Reagan new and what we do.

                      From an idol of Reagan’s:

                      It’s called shoot for the moon, there is no downside. Often you will be surprised at how far you get. But if you limit yourself and only go after what you think is possible then that will be all that is possible. Not because you could not achieve more but that you did not even try; A self-limiting self-fulfilling prophecy.

                      We have a saying in Texas, “Go Big, or Go Home.” And the flip side…

                      There is this belief that it is better to do some thing than nothing, but some times it is better to do nothing than something badly that hurts your position in the long term. So in this rush to appear to be accomplishing some thing we end up hurting our long term goals.

                      So in the immortal words of the Gambler, “You got to know when to hold them. You got to know when to hold them. You got to know when to walk away and when to run….”


                    • Words the Gambler neglected to tell you: if you’re not at the table you can’t win a thing.

                    • RES,

                      That’s because it implied. Hold them = Stay in the game. meaning you had to sit down at the table to begin with.

                      You got to know when to walk away from a loosing game though, you have to fight that impulse that just one more had and I’ll win it all back. You got to learn when to cut (bait) your loses.

                    • As has been pointed out, the people advocating the “principled positions” you support are not at the table, are not in the front row of spectators and are, for the most part, not so much in the room as standing in the doorway craning their necks.

                      I’m not much interested in taking strategic advice from folks who can’t even strategize their way into the game.

                    • RES,

                      Fair enough. CD/DR and all that.


                    • Damn it.

                      *”… fold them.”

                    • TWIB,

                      “The Left is willing to play the long game. They’re willing to go for the small gain, wherever they can, then hold onto that gain like grim death. When they have setbacks (despite claims otherwise) they re-trench and launch a new assault later.”

                      This strategy works because we compromise just that little bit. You can not give them an inch or they will take a mile.

                      Good discussion.


                    • This strategy works because we compromise just that little bit.

                      And how has “no compromise” been working? We’ve had the “no compromise” Libertarian party since 1976. How many electoral votes have they won total in all that time?

                      Can you at least show me that the fraction of the popular vote that they’ve been gaining has been trending upward? They’ve been over 1% once, 1980 with Ed Clark and David Koch. BTW, I plotted the trend and projected forward, it would take about 8000 years for support to reach 50% of the voters. Of course, over those time scales it’s meaningless, but I thought it was amusing

                      So please tell me what the plan is for increasing support by thirty to fifty times as much as it currently is. Because without such a plan it’s nothing but wishful thinking and some other strategy has to be applied if one is to have any chance at all.

                      So what’s the plan? Now, some folk apparently have the “plan” of insulting the ethics and morals of people who agree on the basic concept but disagree on the best way to get there. Well, fine (and no harm to me as one of the insulted–an insult is like a drink, it affects one only if accepted), but that strikes me as a rather counterproductive strategy. So what’s the plan?

                      And if you do have a plan to turn this around then what, pray tell, are you waiting for?

                    • TWIB,

                      I’m not “No Compromise!” I’m “Only compromise if I gain more than I give up.”

                      (You don’t let those you are negotiating with no where your lines are, and thus can come off as no Compromise Ever!!!)

                      You keep bring this back to Libertarian Party. I could care less about the LP. I didn’t vote for Johnson because he was the LP candidate. (If I was classify my self as a libertarian it would be of the small L variety. I vote out of self-defense not to impose my will on anyone.) I voted for Johnson because of the debate shenanigans and because of the RNC 2012 rule changes. I was planning on supporting R nomination up until then. RNC doesn’t support Tea-Party or Liberty minded candidates, and they get away with this because they expect us to blindly vote R instead of D.

                      “What is the Plan?”

                      The plan requires that we realize, as RES point out that Friedman pointed out, that this is not going to be settled politicly. To change the climate we needed to support building Self-Reliance and taking Personal Responsibility for ones actions.

                      Sorry, I do not mean to make this personal, I tried to only discus this as to the correctness of our action, not on the personal motivation and character of those taking them. I can also be overly dramatic in my rhetoric.


                    • I’m not “No Compromise!” I’m “Only compromise if I gain more than I give up.”

                      Um, that’s what I’ve been saying all along. Gain where you can, minimize losses where you must (the other side’s fighting too, they’re deeply entrenched, and you won’t always win). And in all cases your starting position is where you are right this minute.

                      I think a big part of where we diverged was I was like “spending less than where we are now is a win, albeit a small one” and you were like “but it’s still not a balanced budget.” And that’s where the “no compromise” inference came in.

                    • Josh,
                      I think we’re all in agreement on the goal and just arguing over the means.

                      One side thinks there are several bridges which have been … ummmm … interrupted along one route to that destination.

                      The other side thinks that the other route wanders too much and risks getting lost in the woods so that we never reach our destination for all the detours.

                      We might benefit from a shorthand for ending this type of unresolvable acknowledged difference of opinion. CD/DR — Common Destination, Different Routes — to limit Blue On Blue combat?

                    • Fair enough!

                      CD/DR — Common Destination, Different Routes it is.

                      Sorry. It’s just that I feel we keep making the same mistakes, and I get this bad feeling like we are just treading water circling the drain.


                    • As I’ve pointed out in various places numerous times: You can’t get anywhere by starting out focusing on the top slot. You have to build up a broad base first, and help elect the least bad of the other candidates in the meantime.

                    • It hasn’t been “used correctly, with the right people.”

                      You are welcome to your opinion, just as you are welcome to claim that your notion of what the Founders would think is the world’s last word on all things in all times.

                      I’m not going to spend time arguing on if John Adams was wrong about our Constitution being good only for a moral and religious people, and utterly inadequate for the government of any other.

                    • +1

                • Overton Window and things becoming the new normal.

                • Take a movie like The Manchurian Candidate (the original, not the butchery called by the same title) and observe what constitutes the Secret Service’s security perimeter fifty years ago.

                  Or heck, watch any movie from before 1970 and count the number of cigarette smokers (and whether their “hats” are white or black.)

                  It is quite possible to chart significant societal changes from such indicia.

          • Of course, neither is the ostrich with its head in the sand true. . . its immortality is assured by its usefulness as a metaphor.

            I must observe, however, that in human life, it can happen. Austrian Jews were more likely to survive the Holocaust than German ones; hit with all the anti-Semitic laws at once, they were more likely to flee.

            • I find the body’s reaction to nasty stuff to work a bit better– if it’s nasty enough, you’ll bring it, er, right back up. If it’s subtle enough to get in and grow, it’ll kill you.

        • To an extent, except if you go and read the thing (yes, I know) Jerry is right, it’s more like issuing five million pardons, or more likely five million stays. I mean, he’s not even promising them legal residence, just a stay from deportation.
          Again, if they take it, they’re dumb. I wouldn’t in their place. This is not what it’s being reported as, but the actual “amnesty” is a nothing burger that he was very careful to not push so far as to start all out war. I think the dems he met with went “you want to do what?” and hence the nothing burger.
          Now is he hoping this allows them more creep? Sure. This is a way come election, to say “don’t want your parents/children deported? Then vote democrat.” But I think it will blow up in their faces. Because of how it’s being reported it’s going to get a lot of people panicking, and more people are against it than for.

        • +1

  17. Except for one thing, and the real reason Mister Obama did this and put the conditions he did …

    You see, the people who fit this and qualify for a “temporary visa” are, I would bet, overwhelmingly, employed in the computer industry.

    This is what the president hoped to enable, because these people can rush to have a child who will be a citizen/be promised the company will pay their fine if they work another year/ etc. etc.

    That’s an interesting viewpoint. Yet I note that from what I’m reading. The O did not expand the various guest worker programs (H1B etc,) which he could have also done and which he actually has a completely legal right to do.

    If he’s making it so that you have to produce a child born in the US and that if you do so then you too can become a citizen then actually he’s totally screwing the H1B vias hirers because once Rajiv is a citizen he isn’t stuck working at ExploitationCo and can move. And demand to get paid a decent salaray when he does so. Oh and Rajiv and his Chinese buddy Wang and all the other immigrants of that sort are going to raise holy hell in a few years if the “liberal” universities continue to discriminate against their children. This could be fun to watch. Silicone Valley could turn republican

    • I didn’t say he was SMART. The left sees that. I’ve not seen any evidence.

      • “Smart” is a different word from “clever” or “sneaky”.

        • He’s not that either. Too echo-chambered for that. He THINKS he is.

          • Darned if I can estimate his IQ, I know he isn’t the smartest person in the world, which is what the media has been pushing for years, and I don’t think he’s anywhere near as smart as Gore or Kerry or Bush, who I think are about average for current politicians. ten or fifteen point below Mensa. I think he would have been a good movie actor, I’m not a president, but I play one on TV. All he has is that ability to mimic leftist leaders, and a horrendous ego.

          • Eh. Give me fifteen minutes with him and an old-fashioned teacher’s wooden pointer and I’ll make him so smart he can eat standing up for a week.

          • Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius.

    • The problem with hoping they go Republican is that both the Hindu and Chinese cultures are firmly in the “Government exists to give orders” camp. Oh, they may differ from the Liberal Intellectuals on one thing or another, but at base if there is a problem, they expect the King to fix it.

      So they either won’t go Republican, or if the do it will be because the Republican party has been corrupted beyond retrieve by buttinskiism.

    • Francis, was thinking about this while at eye doctor — yes, fine, need to be careful another couple of weeks, but the violent pulling away of the vitreous has settled and it looks like it didn’t take the retina with it. Still can’t focus on that eye, but hence, a couple more weeks — and what is being promised is NOT a path to citizenship. Just “not deported right now” I presume that techy companies can take care of the other requirements not for HB1 visas but for outright illegals they’ve been importing (see story about $1 an hour pay) or have overstayed visa (look, Kate’s former employer played games when her visa needed renewing so she would be technically illegal for a week.) It occurs to me “we pay for the say of deportation and then we own you” is pretty d*mn close tot he company store, and what I’ve come to expect from the people Mr. Obama favors.

    • …once Rajiv is a citizen…

      Obviously Sara and the other transplanted-American Huns know this, as do those of us who worked inside hight tech over the last 20 years, but just to be clear based on direct observation from here in Silicon Valley, the ‘slavery’ period is when Rajiv is working doing here under his H1B Visa work permit before he gets his Green Card (i.e. Permanent Resident Status). That’s the time period when he has to find another job lickety-split or go home if he gets laid off.

      During that period Rajiv has to do any and everything to keep his employer, to whom his H1B Visa is tied, happy, and this is regularly abused by managers and executives.

      If Rajiv gets riffed and does land another job before he has to move back to Hyderabad, his new employer has to file for a new H1B for Rajiv, and I’m not certain, but I believe Rajiv’s clock resets and starts all over again counting down to when he can get his Green Card.

      Once he’s got his Green Card, Rajiv can stay here as long as he wants to be here. A lot of Green Card folks never go on to become US Citizens, though I’ve known some who didn’t bother until they decided to move home, then making sure they did so before they left, planning on running dual citizenship once their home country allowed that (The US officially doesn’t allow dual citizenship but practically wink-wink-nudge-nudge looks the other way; I believe India in the past few years changed from outlawing dual citizenship to allowing it, supposedly due to pressure from Indian emigrants).

  18. Unrelated:
    I might be offline until Sunday after this; won’t know until either Saturday or Sunday. Is not bad stuff. 😀

    • Um… is it good stuff? Stuff that needs blankets? If it’s stuff that needs blankets, you need to email me, woman.

      • *Laughs* Not yet, no; I’ll be in full “I am a blimp” mode for a few months before I’d need to leave for a week for that. 😀

        It’s “just” family and all the complicated dancing involved there. Last year there was internet, year before there wasn’t, and I’m honestly not sure which I’m hoping for.

  19. What Obama said sounds reasonable. I’d expect it to. It will also look nothing like the actual implementation. The devil will be in the details, and the Chicago Machine will arrange those. You will have to have been here for 5 years, or be willing to lie to a clerk that you have and give them a forged utility bill you paid $10 for behind the LULAC offices.

    Why don’t we just official change our immigration policy to ‘no honest people wanted, liars and crooks and cheats go to the head of the line.’. It’s the American way! Post transformation anyway.

  20. My experience has been that the great builk of illegal immigrants prefer living underground. They don’t take advantage of legalization programs until in custody and threatened with deportation. Only a small fraction consist of peope attempting to make a permanent, open life in the US.

    • And why would they not prefer to live underground; they have never lived under a government that could be trusted to leave productive, moderately honest people alone. Nobody in their family’s history has lived under such a government.

      It isn’t GOOD for them to live underground; it allows swine to take advantage of them. But it’s pretty much what they are used to,and furthermore they are used to what I suspect WE will be getting used to; a system in which one does better to deal with the local unofficial government than with the official one, because the unofficial one is still somewhat responsive to public opinion.

      • And they don’t get full protection of the police and courts. The only time I collided with another car and it was my fault, rear-ended a minivan, the driver was a lady who could not speak English. I called the police for her, the cops talked to her for a few minutes, then a policeman said to me, “Go.”
        “Drive away. We aren’t recording your ID. She’s illegal. We aren’t dealing with this, Hell no.” He even gave me a card, and said,
        “I know the laws for driving away from an accident, but tell em it’s me if they ask. And they won’t. This is the end of it for you and us, the illegals’ problem how they fix the van. they don’t have insurance.”

  21. I came to pretty similar conclusions. If I were an illegal immigrant who picked up under the table jobs here and there, I’d really worry about what would happen when the ‘temporary’ deferral ran out. Also, the economy sucks. If you look around and see that your legal friends and family are having a hard time finding work, it’s a real gamble to give the government all of your information and get registered when a new president in two years might undo all of it.

    I have mixed feelings about the computer professionals work permits. My son just graduated from college and has a number of college graduate friends who are foreigners, some of whom have lived in this country since they were very small, who now can’t get a work visa. I haven’t had a hard time getting programming jobs in the last few years, but I know that every segment is different. However, flooding the market with a lot more workers will certainly make getting work more competitive and probably lower the pay. Who benefits: Google and other high-tech firms. I’m guessing it’s a sop for Democrat donors.

    • All I know is that the company I work for just had a fairly hefty RIF (Oct 6), including people who were working on active projects, which has always been a pretty good shield before. Frankly, I’m not sure how they missed me. I’m 53, not in the best of health, so even though I’ve been roughly 100% utilized for the last 16 years, I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, I have skills, but I’m not sure that matters much.

      Oh, well.

  22. Our community occasionally baffles me. We can blithely contemplate, poke, prod and solve the difficulties of conquering our solar system (long term project), but we get a little squishy when the emperor on a 2-year countdown makes mouth noises?

    There’s nothing good about the amnesty blather, from the idea to the executive power grab. But it’s not the final straw.

    Besides, I ain’t a camel, I’m an American. You’re gonna need a bigger straw(pile).

    • It probably wasn’ intended to, but your comment resonated with my resemtment of the Liberal argument “How can we solve the problems with going to the moon, and still have homeless in the streets?”

      Oh, my, can I answer THAT one!

      “Because you and your airhead liberal friemds didn’t require us to try to get to the moon with methods KNOWN to not work.”

      “Because getting to the moon is a,technical problem, and homelessness is a social one.”

      To aswer your connundrum; dealing with Obama is a lot ,ore,complex. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Neither he nor his supporters recognize any necessity to lay by rules. Gong afte them, as we will someday have to, is,going to involve throwing the rules overboard and hoping we cam pick them up again later. We might – MIGHT – be able,to avoid that if we slowly take back the institutions these swine have corrupted, and reestablshed that lying like a rug is not acceptable, even if you ARE a Liberal Progressive Democrat. That would be one long, tiresome, nasty fight. Or we hae a short, brutal, nasty fight and probably end up with an Imperium.

      In a weird way, I’m kimda looking forward to it, whichever way it goes. But I’m a Crank.

      • “to lay by rules.”
        How did we get onto the topic of sex on campus?

      • I don’t deny the difference in nature of the problems. Socio-cultural problems are all kinds of crazy, no argument.

        But the spirit that says “we can face that” applies to both. Or should.

        At the moment we’re facing less of a socio-cultural problem than a constitutional one. It’s less necessary to solve the culture (short term) than it is to address executive over-reach. This can be done.

        Beyond this, I didn’t get the impression Sarah was saying there was nothing to get angry over, or nothing to stand against and fight (Actually, trying to imagine Sarah saying such. It hurts mah brain.), I read her post as seeing people giving up/bemoaning the end/throwing their hands up in despair and she declaring the end is not nigh.

        This, too, can be fought. This, too, we will fight.


        • You read me correctly Eamon. I’m not telling anyone not to be angry. Why would I? I’m all levels of furious. I’m just saying, THIS IS NO TIME TO GO WOBBLY. We will fight. In the long room, tech dooms them. The fields they spent decades “getting”: education, news, entertainment are becoming less valuable by the minute. Or did you think Amazon-hate was just a coincidence? They will get more vicious, because they see power running away. BUT that’s no reason for us to give up or play into their hands. This is no time to get wobbly. Ignore the banshee screams, and keep taking their control away. Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell.

          • It seems apropos that I just finished reading The Big Ship and the Wise Old Owl, when you’re talking about how these people act when they see their power going away.

          • Keep in mind that, for the most part, these people are O-L-D*. They can snow the kids for a little while, but their tree bears bitter fruit.

            Not just physically — they haven’t had a new idea in decades, merely new ways of packaging the old lemons.

        • Sounds like we need another “Despair is a Sin” post.

          It is no moral failing to feel discouraged. That’s a natural reaction to seeing this latest injury to our Republic and usurpation of the rights and privileges of a co-equal branch of government. Outrage at the outright failure of our top executive to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, surely. And righteous indignation at the very idea that we require a new nobility to decide what we are allowed, because “the stupidity of the American voter,” that is each of us, precludes us exercising the rights and responsibilities free men have made use of for over two hundred years.

          To despair is to give up. To refuse to allow the suggestion that things could get any better. Worse still, it is to give up before even trying. There is no virtue in bemoaning “this is the last day of the Republic!” This “amnesty” as Sarah represents it meets with my reading of it, as well. It’s not as bad as it could be, nor as good as we could hope for.

          What we *can* do is look carefully at what is actually being done. What the boy-king says is often not what he actually does. We can continue to let the folks we voted into office know what we think about that, too. And we can, as our host keeps reminding us, “dig under.” Be prepared when the economy starts to slide (further, faster).

          Attitude matters. We’re Americans. We build. In the end, that means we win.

          • Dan, I see you’ve got your thesis worked out. How’s the rest of the post coming?

            I’d be happy to look it over when you’re done…


    • Science is easy. We know people aren’t easy. And he cheats. Science can’t cheat.

  23. i had a high school teacher that thought -exactish- quote “the rural workers went to the city’s following the lure* of easy money in the new factories and were trapped there”.
    *it may have been “were lured to”

    • Lots of Progressive Historians ™ have believed that and tried to demonstrate it. They keep running into the inconvenient facts;

      Industrial workers ate better, were better educated, lived longer, had more,surviving children, according t almost all available records.

      They weren’t WELL fed, WELL educated, etc. Just better.


      • They try to extrapolate medieval and Early Modern city life (free-er to an extent but often short because of disease and warfare) and read that into the 1800s in London, New Lanark, Lowell, or Hamburg.

        • The attempts can be roughly divided into two classes;

          The ones done by people who know enough historiography that they do the research right, come to the “wrong” conclusions, and either bury the whole thing deep, or man (or woman) up and publish the damn thing.


          The ones who’s historiography is a sloppy as their other thinking, who generally end up publishing something that reads like Dickens on a bad acid trip. Can be hysterical, if your sense of humor os black as pitch.

  24. So now that Silicone Valley is getting the slaves they’ve always wanted do you suppose Apple will start bringing their manufacturing back to the US?

    • Silicone Valley? Ah…
      That boat sailed a *very* long time ago. Unless someone can set up mass manufacturing with very small staff support, it’s not going to happen. Not Apple, not any other consumer-sector manufacturer can afford American labor costs. (I worked in high-tech engineering development groups for 30+ years, we looked *hard* for ways to avoid offshoring manufacturing and all the complications that follow in its train. And that included setting up our own factories, contract manufacturing, robot manufacturing, …)

      It doesn’t help that, for example, Chinese contract manufacturers like Foxconn can bring up large numbers of competent engineers to troubleshoot manufacturing issues, solve the problem/s, and get the line back in operation probably faster than we could do over here.

      I’d love to see manufacturing come back home, but Detroit-style assembly line, or even ’70s-’80s type rapid line change or Japanese-style robotic manufacturing don’t look to be options, at least not for the near term.

      • The problem is that they are stuck on short term thinking. Which is forced upon them by the way we treat financials. We’ve been selling out for so long that we’ve forgotten how to get things done. And the tax policies have made everything so expensive that failure is no longer an option. So only things that are easy to make or have such high values, scientific instruments are made here anymore. I’ve watched this happening for the last thirty years and to and to a large extent have been a victim of it, but I can’t seem to tell people that they are doing the wrong thing whenever a new tax or regulation is proposed.

    • The word around here is that those discussions, specifically touching on the extra costs, exposure to hardware piracyand overproduction and quality problems unless production is very closely supervised, extra costs for frigging bodyguard teams and kidnap insurance policies for travelling US empoyees, and political and business payoffs required to do business in the Middle Kingdom Peoples Republic, have been actively under way in executive conference rooms at One Infinite Loop, and that some internal Powerpoint slide decks have shown that probably an iMac, and maybe an iPad, but likely not an iPhone assembled in Texas could be competitive with the current over-there production model.

  25. The big problem many of the garment-rending people have with this is not the subject (illegal immigration) but the manner in which it was done (executive order). Coming very soon after an election in which the President’s party lost a lot of power, it makes just about everybody who’s paying attention to it think that this is definitely not an attempt to govern, but to rule. If allowed to proceed, it sets a precedent for future Presidents to impose their will on government as much as possible, and changes the federal government into a vehicle for massive personal power. It makes the U.S. a few small steps away from becoming Venezuela.

  26. Via the Washington Examiner’s Byron York:
    The Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, released Wednesday, asked respondents, “Do you approve or disapprove of the president taking executive action on immigration, or do you not know enough to have an opinion at this time?” Overall, 48 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of Obama’s action, versus 38 percent who said they approve and 13 percent who said they didn’t have an opinion or weren’t sure.

    • Oops – clipped a paragraph too soon:
      Among Latinos, more approve than disapprove, but not by a terribly large margin. According to a breakdown provided by the pollsters, 43 percent of Latino respondents said they approved of the president’s actions, versus 37 percent who disapproved and 20 percent who said they didn’t have an opinion or weren’t sure.

  27. Thank you for this. My admittedly brief skim indicated that the action isn’t nearly as sweeping as had been played up pre-announcement (well, and post-announcement in some quarters).

    It will be interesting to see if DHS can actually implement this. I almost hate to stick up for them, but part of why our immigration laws go largely unenforced is the agency is woefully under-resourced (human capital and intelligence as much as anything).

    • I’ve read reports that there was pressure in meetings to go a lot further, and in reponse TheOne whined that he really wanted to, but couldn’t convince his legal advisors to let him do that.

  28. Simple Summary for those with little time to waste on the President’s compilation of cliches, false choices, lies, prevarications, misdirections and nostrums erroneously billed as a speech:

    Barack Obama has decided that the immigration pig needs lipstick.

  29. -This amnesty is not an amnesty as it provides no “path to citizenship” but merely allows for TEMPORARY visas.

    – It only allows temporary visas to people who have children (or presumably parents) who have visas or are citizens.

    – You have to have been crime free while in the US, except for the crime of entering illegally.

    -You have to have been employed

    – You have to pay a substantial fine.

    Hmm. I don’t disagree, but I would like to reply to some of your points:

    #1: There is no way that this remains temporary. He’ll extend if indefinitely and if a Dem wins in 2016, the extension will essentially become permanent.
    #2: It’s simply too harsh to not extend this to people who just want to make a better life for themselves. (argument to repeated ad nauseum)
    #3:Yeah, no. They’re not even sending back most illegals who are felons today. I don’t see that changing.
    #4: Does standing on the corner near Home Depot even once count? Then this will apply to everyone.
    #5:This will be waived. No way that it isn’t. The argument will be that it’s simply Not Fair ™ for someone of meager means to be forced to pay a fine.

    No idea how this works out in the long run. On the plus side, it will likely lost the Dems a host of middle class voters. However, they will likely be replaced by the wave of illegals who will be granted voting rights. I guess we’ll find out.

    • Yes, of course, but this is a way to try to win in 16. It made public what he was already doing covertly. Nothing really happened except he came out of the Imperial closet. I bet you this hurts him more than helps.

      • And the way to fight back is to say “Obamacare was passed over our objections in 2010. by 2014 it was a notorious legal and social mess, just like we said it would be. In 2014 Obama used questionable executive authority to put in place an immigration plan that he has been trying to shield from the public ever since. Wanna bet he did any better in 2014 than he did in 2010? Then vote Democrat.”

    • For concision sake, addressing only topic #1, elimination of which makes remainder moot:

      This is WHY EVERY candidate for the presidency in 2016 must — M-U-S-T — be forced to answer, at length, the question of whether they endorse this policy AND/OR this method of imposing it. EVERY. SINGLE. CANDIDATE.

      Nobody should be accredited a viable candidate for the presidency without explaining, at length, their position of separation of powers, executive authority and the limits thereof, and proper restrictions on presidential power.

      Remember all the Democrat Hoo-Ha over George W Bush’s “Imperial Presidency” and the “Unitary Executive” (which they carefully misunderstood and misrepresented)?

      THAT is a sandwich every presidential candidate must be fed in 2016, 2020, 2024 and beyond.

    • Your #4 sounds like a massive catch 22 to me (unless they count working under the table as working). Any job I’ve gotten in the last 10 has required I show proof of citizenship in the form of a certified birth certificate Same for either of my daughter. I also had to provide an SSN or employee identification number. If an illegal (pardon me undocumented alien, sounds like Spock without papers) did this those documents were forged or involved identity theft. That is NOT a misdemeanor, so under Obama’s statement they would be ineligible.

      Truth be told if you were in a country against its laws and came from a place where the only police you could trust were those that you’d bribed (and often not even then) would you voluntarily provide information to the governemnt? Especially since it might change radically in early 2017 and change its mind? Yeah Me neither. I don’t forsee alot of folks doing this for the paltry return promised. The whole thing is purely a show to try to keep the democrat base united for a bit longer.

  30. A quick OT: Like Foxfier I’ll be scarce this coming week due to minimal ‘net access while visiting relatives.

  31. “but they won’t have markedly more skills (for the vast majority) or be educated to integrate and speak the language (must respect multiculti donchaknow?)”

    I’m an American, when I call an American company I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH!

  32. Having read through all this, losing rights and having regulations imposed slowly so each one seems not too bad is a problem. And I think not nearly enough law gets challenged under Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Take smoking. I hate tobacco use in my immediate vicinity. My wife and I used to rarely go out to even classy restaurants becasue- they were smoke filled. So, I kind of like the fact they aren’t now, and we go out a lot. But- non-smoking is enforced by the heavy hand of law, and that I don’t like. The right for a restaurant, inn, or bar to allow patrons to smoke pre-exists any laws banning smoking in public places. If it it was allowed at the time of the signing of the Constitution- it is an unwritten right. If a bar decided to take the anti-smoking laws to court on Ninth Amendment grounds, I would applaud them. And would wish them well in their endeavor. And if they won, I would never frequent places that allowed smoking.

    I’m not a big fan of drug use. But again, marijuana and opium use used to be legal. A ninth amendment challenge to anti-marijuana, in fact, anti-hemp laws in general, should be a no brainer. George Washington grew hemp. Made pretty good rope. Got better stuff today. But still, growing hemp was once perfectly legal, and is therefore, a pre-existing right of the people.

    Local laws could still ban use of any particular substance. Because, local laws always did. There are still dry counties and towns. But for the feds to ban alcohol- an amendment was required.

    Actually, I’m thinking of getting together with friends, and wearing a sword and scabbard out in a city that bans them. And I’m going to use every anti-gun argument ever made to get the ban overturned. Becasue they all start with- “‘Well, you know the 2nd amendment really only protects those weapons in common use at the time the Constitution was adopted…” Which would be- swords, dirks, cutlass…. and black powder weapons.

  33. I think what TWANLOC really need to start worrying about is the time when the Saxon awakens; and I ‘spect that time is soon coming.

  34. A commenter — an immigration attorney — writing to the bloggers at Powerline points out:

    The proposed executive action on immigration (or whatever name you want to give it) will allow [illegal aliens] who have US citizen or green-card children and who have been here for five years to apply for some kind of quasi-status and open market work authorization. That would allow them to work for a period of time at any employer, the authorization presumably renewable until they decide to leave or have an option for US permanent resident status (green card status). This, the administration tells us, is fair and just and Biblical – yada/yada.

    But this option is explicitly NOT available to those in the US in a valid legal status. There are millions of people in the US who have temporary status – as students or temporary workers or researchers or as investors (lots of Koreans own businesses with E-2 investor visas, for example). These people – many of them have US citizen children and have been here five years. These people who have been here legally and not violated their immigration status – these people are explicitly NOT eligible for open market work authorization, renewable indefinitely.

    You must be in violation of the law to benefit from this provision.

    If Republicans want to begin to push back on this issue, to turn the tables, I believe this is the question that needs to be raised again and again – why is the administration offering something to lawbreakers that is specifically prohibited for those who comply with the law?

    There is no answer – I guarantee it. And when this point is circulated broadly, including broadly among immigrant and naturalized citizens, there will be resentment.

    I realize there are a lot of angles to this issue but I haven’t seen anyone cover the above and I think it is one of the strongest points. Obama can fool people on the legal analysis and role of the executive but people know on a basic fundamental level that you should not be offering something to lawbreakers that is not available to the law-abiding.

    Of course, the Progs’ answer will probably be to drop any and all barriers to immigration, period.

    But it will be fun to charge them with discrimination.

    • Additional observations, same source:

      … there is already discussion in the immigration bar that if you are not currently eligible because you don’t have a kid, you better get going on that! Perhaps we will see a baby boom in 10 months….

      In the high skill area – where I know the most – there is a lot of back story about Silicon Valley lobbying. It is clear from those of us “in the weeds” that the Zuckerberg crowd “had its way.” They even got a guy named Bill Carlson canned. He was the head of the Foreign Labor Certification Unit at DOL. That’s the unit that requires labor market tests for employers seeking green cards for foreign workers. He was very tough (kind of obnoxious actually) and he had all kinds of policies that made the system tough on employers. He got canned something like a day after the elections. (“Reassigned” – not truly canned of course.)

      This gets a bit outside my scope of expertise but it seems like Silicon Valley has been getting all kinds of stuff – they have a Christmas tree of gifts in this EA (executive action), expanded visa availability for Chinese, changes in the labor market test under a new director at DOL, heck – even net neutrality is a payback to Google, right?

      Further to his original point, the attorney adds:

      My main point on this stuff is that the Executive Action violates very basic understandings of fundamental fairness. The Left is always telling us about fairness and even as wayward as the country is, I think there are a lot of people who do have a core sense of right and wrong and the fact that people who are in the US legally are in a worse position than people in the US illegally – that strikes a chord, and for Republicans looking for a way to engage on this issue, I think this is a perfect way to do it – to say that they oppose Executive Action because not only because it is Executive overreach but substantively it puts people who broke the law in a better position than many people who have abided by the law and for that reason it should be opposed.

    • If Republicans want to begin to push back on this issue, to turn the tables, I believe this is the question that needs to be raised again and again – why is the administration offering something to lawbreakers that is specifically prohibited for those who comply with the law?

      Yeah. A lot of my friends were very bitter when they found out that the reason why my documents for immigration (to the US) kept getting pushed back was because of illegals – and this was sadly, during Bush (one of his attempts to try work with the Democrats, I believe). There are no incentives to obey the law, apparently, nor benefits offered to those who do, and there was a lot of anger in criminals getting the hand up and the people who were doing things by the tangled writ of rule and law getting treated as second class. And my daughter is an American citizen by dint of location of birth (and I never used her as an anchor baby.) (For those wondering, it had to do with our insurance at the time.)

      The speed in which my immigration to Australia was processed… ah well.

  35. HT: Powerline’s Week in Pictures collection today:

    I hope that picture comes up. If not, use the link.

  36. [sarc]
    Naturally TheOne did this. After all, he knows what every single American eligible to vote 20 days ago who didn’t bother to vote would have voted for, after all, and since in violation of every concept of sample and population in statistics, they all would have voted for what he wants to do, he has a mandate.

    Both his powers and perspicacity know no bounds. PBU1.


  37. I will admit I haven’t read everything in the comments so someone may have already touched on this.

    I don’t trust the “no crimes” bit. We can’t even deport any of the current batch of legal (or illegal) non-citizens. In the city/town where I used to work, one of the local families had both their children killed by a drunk driver, a non-citizen. The guy served a few years in jail, and last time I heard of him, they had just arrested him again, for, you guessed it, DUI. At least he hadn’t run anyone over this time. He’d been out of jail for a few years at that point, and still only had a greed card. He’s a murderer, obviously has no plans to change, and yet we didn’t send him packing as soon as he had served his sentence. To the best of my knowledge he’s still here, some years after that. If DHS/ICE/Obama want me to believe them that they’ll cull the criminals, they needed to start doing it a loooong time ago.

  38. Sorry, Seattle: Tofurkey is unpardonable and NO one gives thanks for it.

    Seattle mayor pardons Tofurky, because it’s Seattle
    Seattle is a strange city. There’s a giant troll under one of the city’s main bridges, a giant statue of Vladimir Lenin on a random street corner and an annual Spam carving contest to take in. The neighborhood with the Lenin statue, Fremont, encourages visitors to set their watches 5 minutes ahead, because Fremont is the self-proclaimed center of the universe.

    Everyone calls the cool new mass transit project the SLUT — the South Lake Union Trolley — without batting an eye. Seahawks fans celebrating the city’s first Super Bowl championship in February waited patiently for street lights to change so they wouldn’t jaywalk.

    In short, all the stereotypes of politically correct, coffee-slurping, nature-loving, Birkenstock-wearing hippie-dom come to life in a single city are true. (This author happens to be a native, so he can say such things.)

    So, perhaps in keeping with the city’s strange reputation, Mayor Ed Murray took a decidedly vegan spin on the Thanksgiving tradition of pardoning a turkey: He pardoned a Tofurky.
    [That’s enough. Don’t read the whole thing.]