Borders, Immigrants and Invaders

Back when I was giving birth to second son (when I gave birth to first son, it took too long and I don’t remember most of it) I went to that hyper rational, coolly detached place I go when I start getting drunk. And I realized with blinding clarity that birth pain was necessary.  If we didn’t have that, what would it mean is that women might genuinely forget that they’d given birth.  So evolutionarily, birth pain serves a purpose.

I remember twenty or thirty years back, some kid died during hazing to a fraternity.  I didn’t fully get it and still don’t.  There is no Greek system in Portugal and my husband never joined a fraternity.  (What would a fraternity for mathematicians be?  The infinite Pi?) But one of the guys being interviewed said that if there was no “price” for entry, nothing to go through to get in, how would people value it?

I’m not sure about that because I don’t know how much one should value a frat membership (this is not a put down.  I just don’t “get” the whole system.)

In the same way I know a lot of what the military and other organizations does is to break you into their mold, but the rest is to make you value being a member.

What does all this have to do with immigration?  Oh, quite a whole lot.

First let me say right here, that yes, I think we should control our borders.  A country that can’t control its borders is not a country.  It’s Tragedy of the Commons on a grand scale.

But where I disagree with people who run around saying “the most important thing to do is to stop illegal immigration” is that they make me think of when my husband went to the doctor coughing blood and the the doctor told him “the important thing is not this pneumonia.  It’s that you gained 40lbs.”

Yes, that he’d gained 40 lbs was a serious problem and one that the doctor couldn’t deal with, because he didn’t realize there was an underlying problem and assumed we were eating butter fried in lard for every meal.

BUT the most immediate problem, and the one that would kill my husband faster, left untreated, was that he had walking pneumonia.

In the same way, we have a massive problem with illegal immigration, sure, but those huge numbers bandied about hide the fact they’re still a tiny percentage and that a lot left when the economy soured, so that now the statists are limited to the children’s crusade to try to have net positive immigration.

Our problem with LEGAL immigration is just as bad, both in what it does — mistake itself for a charity organization that brings in people from the poorest and most backward countries by preference, with no regard to the chasms between the cultures or their potential usefulness — and in what it fails to do — make it almost impossible to bring in educated people who will be a plus value, except via the subterfuge of workers’ visas that put these people forever at the mercy of their employers.

Both streams of immigrants present a danger to the republic, not because of their ethnicity or skin color — is it just me?  I’ve run into more neo-nazis in the last month than the entire ten years online before that — but because they are not only being encouraged never to assimilate to American mainstream culture, but because they are encouraged to see in every act of awkwardness, ignorance or passing stupidity an insult to their ethnicity or a contributor to their victimhood.

They’re taught to come to our country and join the victim Olympics, and claim how mistreated they are, and hold out their hand and think they’re owed.

In fact, any immigrant who assimilates is treated as if he or she is doing it wrong.  (Ask me how I know?  Officialdom despises people like me.)

And there we come to the walking pneumonia that’s killing our country.


It’s taught in our schools.  It’s the church our elites pray at.  It’s what every immigrant imbibes from day one.  He’s asked where he comes from and encouraged to say how his land is better than America.

It takes a stubborn and determined person to hold off against the temptation to let memory and homesickness gild the place they came from with all virtues.  And it takes even more determination to acculturate despite the pressure NOT to.

I’m a stubborn cuss.  I have will power to spare.  Even so it was difficult and painful to adapt to a new way of living, of thinking, to a new language, to a new frame of cultural reference.  In a way it was like dying a little.

No one will do it without incentive, and we give them no incentive.

Our problem is not immigration. It’s that most of these people never immigrate.  They just come over and live here, and take advantage of our systems, but they remain loyal to “back home” and never think of themselves as Americans.

Most of our kids — at least if we don’t intervene at home — are taught to be ashamed to be Americans.  Most of the children of immigrants are taught to think of a place they never lived in as their homeland and think it vastly superior to America.  They’re only here for the benes, which you owe them, because America is responsible for every evil in the world.

Stopping the influx of immigrants won’t fix this.  Not only do the children and grandchildren of immigrants, to the seventh generation and more, not think of themselves as of us, BUT our own children don’t think America is so great or anything to protect.

To fix this we must first fix our education.  Yes, I did say we should not only abolish the department of education, we should whip it through the streets, barefoot and tied to the tail of a donkey.  But that’s not enough.  Even people homeschooling will come across Zinn’s historical lies.  Every school book is based on the People’s History of the United States and the man was a CPUSA party member and Soviet mole.  (As Sam Anderson said, the problem is that we lost the cold war.  Objectively he is right.)

The way to counter this nonsense is to stop being ashamed of being Americans.  Yeah, our nation has sidestepped, but a lot less than other nations.  Teach world history.  REAL world history none of this “cute clothes and interesting food” bullshit. Make kids understand what nations are and what they aren’t, and why they should be damn proud to come from the freest, wealthiest, most innovative nation on G-d’s green Earth.

Teach the kids well.  The ones who are ours and the ones who come from abroad.

And immigrants?  Require assimilation.  They want to be here?  They can be here.  I actually believe in

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It’s not in the constitution, as a lot of idiots believe, and it’s not even very good poetry, but it resonates.  Humans are a migratory/colonizing species.  And our ancestors, or us, ourselves, were once homeless and tempest-tost, looking for a home.

But there is another step to that.  SEND ME YOUR STRIVERS.

Look, immigration to America used to be a grueling process.  Even in the early twentieth century, when my grandfather went to Brazil, it involved a long an costly trip.  It limited trips back home.  If he could have convinced my grandmother to move, he’d have moved and never come back to Portugal.

In the same way the multitudes that came here weren’t just hours away; they couldn’t call home every week as I do.  They couldn’t go back whenever.  They came here, and here they were and they were required to learn the language and learn to get along and in those less sensitive times, no one made it easy for them.  There was real prejudice.  (Eh, thirty years ago, in NC I still got called — when they thought I couldn’t hear — sand n****r.  You know what, it didn’t kill me, though I found it a bit weird for their knowledge of geography.  At least the people who thought I was Mexican or South American made A LITTLE more sense.)

If you stuck it out, if you made yourself at home despite all that, if you didn’t run home, crying, to mama, you had EARNED your citizenship.  You had earned the right to call yourself American.  And likely you were d*mn proud of it.

The distances, the lack of communication, all of it conspired to form a system where the cowards never left, the weaklings died along the way (or went back home) and those who stayed where ready to start anew and be part of the American experiment with the other crossgrained cusses already here.

So — how do we fix the immigration system?  Make it difficult.  Make it very difficult.  If it had been easier, if we could have run, if I had the internet as we have now, even I might never have acculturated.  Even though I wanted to. Let alone a system that frowns on acculturation.

None of that.  To fix immigration it will take more than fences.  More than border patrols.  Immigrants don’t become Americans because they step on American soil.  And we already have plenty of people running around, born here, who aren’t American inside their heads, who don’t buy into our fundamental principles.  We don’t need more.

To fix immigration we need to believe and propagate the beliefs that make us Americans.  We need to demand new arrivals buy into them or leave.

And then we need to make the years before you can apply for citizenship difficult.  We need to demand they do things our way.  We can tolerate, yes, exotic food or cute dress, but where it counts?  Where it counts, they’ll have to act American.  No bribes, no shadowy pacts, no tardiness, no funny business with private property, no hatreds of other groups from back home, no killing of all infidels.  “We don’t care how they did did it in your homeland, bub.”

We need to require they support themselves and keep their nose clean.  Cleaner than any natural-born citizen. We need them to prove they can work and strive and not be sad sacks and victims.

When they’ve gone through the wringer, then we can question them about the founding principles, about our history, about what makes us.  And if they pass, they’ll have earned the right to call themselves Americans.

All of which is far more material and important than a wall which, if we don’t do this other stuff, will mean nothing in the end, but an empty barrier around a land ruled by ideological occupiers, tearing our most fundamental beliefs apart and shredding our constitution.

We are a nation of determined cusses.  One that any other determined cuss striver the world over would be proud to be a part of. Let’s start acting like it.




460 thoughts on “Borders, Immigrants and Invaders

            1. The thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning

                1. “Migrant” is from the explicitly seasonal meaning of “migration;” “migration” of people is usually the “move from one area to another” without the assumption of moving on.

                  Or were you making a clever reference to the current situation in Europe and parts of the US where ‘migrants’ are, ahem, definitely not in the live-and-let-live mindset?

  1. I was privileged to assist a Nigerian family who had “won” the immigration lottery but lacked the money to travel. They have done it your way (and mine), are very successful with children knowing and loving their country (ours). So yes! They got the visa but had to apply and survive the randomization. They had to find a hard way to get over (they repaid their travel expense) (She came later and traveled, cold, on a bus from New York to St Louis pregnant with 2 kids). They made low level jobs pay. It still works for those who strive.

  2. Pi Theta Delta (or rearrange as you please) would cover trigonometry and basic calculus pretty well. 🙂

    1. The fraternity I joined in college was 90%+ odds. It was largely UNlike what I’ve heard described as “the fraternity experience” by others.

      For example: After a discussion in which we concluded we weren’t doing enough things “like a fraternity” we decided to engage in a typical frat activity — hang out in the lounge and watch TV with beer & pretzels. Once we got started, we had to agree on what to watch… and had a great afternoon watching “The Tempest” on PBS with our beer and pretzels. (n.b.: This long pre-dates DVDs, and cable choices were few, so we were pretty much limited to broadcast.)

      1. We “invented” a “service fraternity” 𝚷𝚸 — “specializing in urban renewal” 🙂

        1. Nu?

          Ever since I finally got around to reading Fallen Angels, I’ve been fond of
          ΨΦ as a frat.

  3. I think it is fine to respect other cultures, but we need to inculcate a pride in America and a deep and abiding love for American culture, in both the native born and the immigrants. Yes, America has its warts. So does every other country. Imperfection should not be cause for loathing, or for blindly copying the another culture, imperfect as well. Instead, it should be inspiration for trying to make our nation better.

    (Mind you, it would be easier to do all this if the government, especially federal, wasn’t striving to make America into a country most of its citizens and residents loathe, but we’ll that point aside for now.)

    1. This is why I write historical fiction about the American frontier – to try and revive interest and pride in our unique history and culture.

      Uphill, I know. Ten books and counting…

    2. What really bothers me is they are so very quick to point out flaws here but they absolutely ignore them in other countries (china, cuba, every country in europe!) Even when there are far worse things happening in those countries.

      It’s some kind of weird filter i just don’t get.

      1. That’s because the flaws in other countries are the US’s fault.

        A member of Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors actually wrote a paper arguing the most efficient economy in the world was Ceaușescu’s Romania. He reason why they were so backward was they were denied access to Western technology by US policy but if they had it they’d run rings around us.

        1. That’s…I can’t even…I *saw* the after-effects of Ceaucescu’s idea of an economy up close–and even people who wistfully thought that Communism was a fantastic idea didn’t want *his* idea of it back.

          You know what finally triggered the revolt that ended with a bullet in his head? The Hunger Domes. He decided it was a brilliant idea if he forced all the occupants of Bucharest to only have access to the food provided by the state. The idea, naturally, being that if they got too uppity he’d just cut off their food supply.

          Other absurdities: his wife wrote all the books in Romania published during that period. No, really. It was required that her name be slapped prominently on the cover (with the actual author’s name included–I assume in smaller typeface), and her photo on the back cover. Every. Single. Book. Also birth control was outlawed, which means that every woman I knew over a certain age had had at least one abortion. Even if they may not have actually wanted one, they couldn’t afford to feed that child. Most of the ones who spoke of it regretted it deeply, but also knew they’d had little other choice at the time. And even then, more than a decade after the fall of Ceaucescu, the orphanges were full to bursting.

          But yeah, totally, it was a *great* economy. ::facepalm::

          1. Well, in her defense (I just died a little writing that) she wrote it before the collapse of the USSR and probably relied on official numbers. I don’t remember hearing anything of the horrors of Romania until he wound up not too differently from Mussolini (and a well deserved fate I might add).

            What I find inexcusable is her inability to see that if that was the perfect economy why was the West developing tech it couldn’t.

            1. There is that fundamental liberal belief that if you are successful you must have achieved it through cheating, theft, or other underhanded means.
              They will acknowledge superior performance or intellect only in themselves, never other, and a thousand times never any with conservative or libertarian values.

          2. It’s worth pointing out that most Communist leaders survived the collapse in 1989-90. Ceaucescu was shot.

            1. And in justifying his kanagroo trial and execute his former defense minister pointed out the alternative wasn’t a nice western trial but Ceaucescu being lynching in the streets.

              Personally, I think they should have let the latter happen as a warning.

        2. This would be relevant (although still idiotic) if efficiency were the sole goal of an economy. This country was premised on the idea of Liberty being the preeminent goal, and efficiency simply one of many routes to that goal.

          Heck, you want to talk efficiency, let’s talk about eliminating bureaucrats and all those piddling regulations from OSHA, EPA, Civil Rights and the anti-monopolist fanatics.

          1. Actually, it’s pretty simple to prove that the intersection of supply and demand is the most efficient allocation of scarce resources. Force supply below demand and there are potential consumers who aren’t being satisfied, force supply above demand and you’re diverting resources to consumers who don’t want it enough – which inevitably means that the supply of other goods is being forced below demand.

            1. The point remains that is the protection of Liberty, not efficiency, that is paramount. That preserving Liberty increases efficiency is just a happy bonus.

                1. This is because the Left has the ability to mentally conjure a definitional split between the US sovereign known as “The People” that’s all over the founding documents, and the actual people right here in the US. They can and do commit any and all misdeeds and infringements against the actual people who are here right now in the name of “The People” with nary a twinge.

            2. Actually, it’s pretty simple to prove that the intersection of supply and demand is the most efficient allocation of scarce resources.

              Small correction:
              most efficient effective allocation.

              There will always be spots where you can get theoretical higher efficiency; that they require information that was not reasonably available at the time gets ignored, and there’s a tendency for non-money considerations like the seller valuing “I want to help that person.”

              The complications of what we’d consider basic property protections play into this, too. If you run a good chance of any profit being taken unless you pay an outrageous amount to protect it, that drives up costs and might tilt things away from supply and demand.

              In a situation that has been designed for real social justice– protecting that which is due to each individual and group– supply and demand is best.

              I just thought: what does it say that so many folks who support the “enforce injustice in the name of social justice” guys also don’t like supply and demand?

      2. That bothers me, too. Too many view America in the worst possible light, and everywhere else in the best possible light because that’s how they’ve been “educated” (“indoctrinated” might be more appropriate) to think that way. I still think America is the best (or least worst) place to live in many respects, but the creeping police statism, regulatory overreach, and political correctness are doing anything but improving things here.

        Running away isn’t the answer, though, because most other countries are either ahead of us there already, keeping pace, or rushing to catch up. And in any countries that aren’t doing so, that’s as likely to change as not after their next election cycle. Which is also why uncritically trying to ape the other nations is also no solution.

        No, the solution is to fix the education system, to vote sensibly, and to do whatever is feasible to retake, replace, or render redundant the institutions under progressive control.

      3. It’s called oikophobia, and it is and ever has been a common failing among self-styled elites.

        1. Every sense Best of the Web introduced me to that term I’ve loved how it almost says “oink” at the beginning given it refers to elitist pigs.

      4. *sings* …who praises with enthusiastic tone/ every century but this, and every country but his own…

        Thank God, it’s not new. We’ll live. Gotta keep fighting, but we’ll live.

    3. I remember growing up that some people complained that we were taught pro-America propaganda in school. That we should include a few of America’s warts too. What happened is that now only warts and blemishes are allowed. The views of anti-freedom Marxist left wing loonies are taught as revealed TRUTH!

      That is why Common Core is evil. It enshrines the loonie faux history.

      We need to return to teaching the founding principles. I don’t want anyone with an education degree allowed near our children. At least not without re-education.

      The baby boomers have been rebelling against America for too long.

      1. “The baby boomers are revolting!”
        “I’ll say they are.”

        (with apologies to Mel Brooks)

      2. My late business partner (who founded the business and favorited me by loving my writing, teaching me the business and making me a partner) absolutely despised ed majors, with a white-hot burning passion, the passion of a thousand suns. The thinks that she said about schools of education would have scorched the walls, when she really let fly.

        I had to agree with her. Once or twice, by mistake, I wound up in a class intended for ed majors. Talk about wanting to murder the lecturing professor with a blunt spork…

  4. Borders, language, culture– something that seems to be forgotten. I know that America’s culture is different than other countries because it is a culture of ideas– still… If we want to stay a country, we need to remember that those three things are very important.

  5. We went to an MLK Jr. dinner last week: I was part of the entertainment. The main speaker was an MLK Jr. Impersonator. He talked about the history, gave parts of three speaches from memory.
    When we got in the car for the hour drive home, Husband commented “Everything King worked for has been acheived. What’s left are poverty problems.”
    By the time we got home, we’d decided that what the country needs is a class in how to be American. It needs to be about 4th grade level, since that works for Trump and the education system hasn’t prepared people for more.
    We’re talking about details now. So if you’ve got materials I should look at, drop me a note.
    Instead of filling Sarah’s comment space, use my handle here followed by bambolo, no spaces, at the gmail.
    Thanks Huns, Hoydens, Cats, Dragons, Vampires, Ladies, Gentlemen, and all.

    1. If you travel with kids, talk to them. Don’t let them bury themselves in a tablet for hours on end, no matter how tempting it is to buy a few minutes of peace and quiet. They’re depending on YOU to show them the world and how it works – take their education seriously.

      One of the things that my son remembers from a road trip we took to St. Louis one year in November from Atlanta was driving as the dawn crept up and changed the landscape from a few lights here and there in the dark beyond the headlights to a vast expanse of treeless farmland, and I was telling him about the pioneers who went across this land on foot and by ox or horse drawn wagon, shivering in the dawn light around a fire, then hooking up their animals and going fifteen, twenty miles before making camp at the end of the day. Then doing it again, and again, and again… with no warm house or hotel at the end of it, just a place where they could stretch out and make a life for themselves.

      To an 8-year old travelling in a warm car on a smooth road at 65 mph – that makes an impression.

      I pointed out the farms we passed – told him that the American farmers are amazing people, feeding the world, told him we were even sending grain to our enemy the USSR at one point.

      Earned my DAD merit badge on that trip, let me tell ya… 😉

      1. We’re thinking a bit bigger than our family. (Even though we’ve got cousins all over the world.)

    2. You might want to take a look at Rush Limbaugh’s Rush Revere series of children’s books.
      And then there are several patriotic Disney movies from the era during and immediately after WWII.

          1. No, the librarians are *used* to us, RES. (One of ’em, in fact, grew up with me.) I expect they have these already, Limbaugh’s pretty tame for these parts, but the card catalog hates me: XML parsing error: syntax error, it says when I click on the link, so I have to go in.

  6. “If we didn’t have that, what would it mean is that women might genuinely forget that they’d given birth.”

    For a lot of women, it’s not the pain that reminds them they have children, it’s the welfare check the gov gives them for each one of those children.

    Oh no! Catticus, you horrible, despicable sub-human being! How can you judge like that?

    Eh, come with me to one of my family reunions and I’ll show you how I can judge like that. When I’ve got family members telling me to pop out some kids to solve my financial problems, I get to do some judging.

    But onto the actual point of the discussion: If we are to make this more difficult for those striving to come into America with the idea that it will foster an appreciation within immigrants for their adoptive country, what about the people who are natural-born citizens? How do we encourage people such as myself to not take America and the Constitution for granted?* I’m asking this as an actual question, not to make a rhetorical point – I am genuinely curious. If so many citizens decry America, why should immigrants respect America?

    *Not that I take it for granted, per se, but I hear some of the loudest displays of onanine self-shaming coming from people who were born here to citizen parents.

          1. Wasn’t there something a few years ago, where some agency or another was going to include being in the lowest quintile of median income as one of the metrics for poverty?

            By that standard, everyone on the planet could be rich beyond the dreams of avarice… not only every need, but every desire fulfilled. But there would still be “poverty” because other people have more.

    1. We need classes, at each level of education. We used to have them. They still have them in other countries. And we need to either whip the Dept of education out of town (sack cloth, ashes and donkey optional) OR don’t let your kids into public schools. Or deprogram them at home, in the style of parents in communist or occupied countries.

      1. I think the homeschooling option is the best. I went to Catholic high school and that’s where I experienced my first academic taste of shame-souffle. I don’t think the DoE is going anywhere anytime soon (unfortunately) and so long as the DoE remains as it is, our public schools won’t be going near classes about the greatness of America with a ten foot pole.

        Then again, now that I think about it, my sister teaches at a charter school that places a high value on the patriotic virtues, but it sounds as though those ideas are reinforced at home which I think is important.

        1. I was not homeschooled, as such, but I suspect the older country grade school (1-6) teachers were mostly of the last generation not themselves indoctrinated and so had this crazy idea that education was the job. And much, oh so much, was learned at home. Some ‘taught’ in odd (some very odd – but great) moments. Some just from leaving the older textbooks out. And even some old movies helped. Why We Fight: Prelude to War is potent, as it was meant to be. As was another lesson ‘picked up’ rather than explicitly taught, about “the banality of evil” – it’s not the supervillians that one must watch for, as anyone can recognize those. It’s the insidious quiet distortion of a truth giving way to lies and the ease of not rocking a boat in dire need of being at least rocked. “Just doing my job” is so close to “just following orders” and, gee, that scares me for some reason.

      2. Civics. Had a discussion- well, one of several, ongoing, at work with some of my co-workers about this. One, he’s fifty, and had no idea about the electoral college and how it worked, that we were conceived as a republic not a democracy, and that several of the founders considered “democracy” a dirty word, similar to mob rule. We’ve talked about what citizenship means, argued over abolishing the income tax, the second amendment (that one I consider a win, the guy is now getting his CC permit), and Affirmative Action…

        Talk, not just with children, but with other people about this. Intelligently. Have facts, not talking points. Maybe it’s just my little corner of the South, but folks can be genuinely interested in this stuff.

        But Civics… is probably long past due for readmission to the curriculum. Pair it with history. Tell how the nation was formed, and compare that in the next lesson with what it has mutated into today. Much better than that horrid mash-up “Government and Economics,” that I had to sit through in high school.

    2. If we are to make this more difficult for those striving to come into America with the idea that it will foster an appreciation within immigrants for their adoptive country, what about the people who are natural-born citizens?

      Repeal the 14th Amendment and the relevant part of Article II and do away with birth right citizenship. Allow birthright permenant residency.

      Make all citizenship earned. Restrict all government personal benefits such as social security (if we keep them…I’m happy to do away with them) to citizens.

        1. Why not take it to get citizenship period…as soon as you could pass it you could vote. A lot of people would have been voting at 12 (and more intelligently than a lot of seniors today).

          1. Basing more on the citizenship test is an interesting thought, but in light of the problems we’ve had thus far with gov’t, I’ve got to pause and ask — who controls the content of the test and how is it protected?

            1. I think a five year old could pass the citizenship test–at least when I helped my husband study for it. Things like Longest River in the USA. The ‘hard’ questions were who are your senators/representatives–and those were ‘hard’ because you had to go find the answers, they weren’t there on the website with the questions for you to just memorize.

              1. Given we have a popular presidental candidate whose positions could be written by a five-year old why not let them vote.

              2. Young lady. In my day we didn’t have a website. I prepared as I did for my American History and Culture exam. The questions they asked me? “Against whom did the US win its independence?” And “Who was the civil war against?” and something else on that level. Since then I’ve wondered if they cut me slack because from Latin country. If not, they need to up their game.

                1. Now that is a very interesting questions, “Who was the civil war against?” Did Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina, for example, have an alternative answer to New York?

                2. My coworker from Turkey was extremely stressed by her citizenship test. Afterwords she said it was the easiest test she had ever taken.

                3. In the old South, the Civil War was taught, along with why we in Tennessee were now very much Americans. This in my consolidated school with 4 rooms, 8 grades, and 4 teachers; somehow we managed. The day the Korean War broke out, most of my high school class were down at the recruiting station.

                  1. Well, the “against whom did the US fight the civil war” though was a trick question to see if I understood “civil war” I guess. The answer was “between states.”

                4. The US won its independence from the British establishment. Now the states need to win their independence of the DC establishment.

                  1. And if they’d stuck to the tactics in favor here, it would NEVER have happened. We’d still be listening to the gentles crying “Peace, Peace” from the House of Burgesses and waiting for Patrick Henry to be told to shut up.

                    1. They stuck to the system until it was violated; not until they got an answer they didn’t like, not but until the other side actually broke the rules, openly.

              3. Ah, I think I didn’t make my concern clear, sorry. I meant more… no matter how good a test it is now, could it be preserved from people introducing parallel problems to the “America is awful” classroom lessons.

        2. Oh, and repeal the 24th amendment and only let net taxpayers vote (you can do this by level so a federal employee won’t vote for Congress but can vote for the state legislature…a state employee the reverse).

          1. Amen! I’ve been saying that for years. if you run the numbers, the Federal government takes in approximately $5,000 in personal income tax per year from every adult. Make $5K one Share. Pay a Share, cast a vote.

            And I’d allow a Share to be a combination. One Share = 100 points of Equity in the United States. 1 point of Equity = $100 in tax = 1 day paid active military service = 4 hours unpaid voluntary labor service.

            Those Who Pay Should Have The Say.

          2. That means that those who are going to the cost of actually having kids and educating them themselves will not be allowed to have a say in what happens, while those who enforce charity-via-gov’t and benefit from those future taxpayers get two.

    3. …horrible, despicable sub-human…

      I know, not the same term, however:

      So many confuse inhuman with inhumane. And/or then have really strange ideas of humane meaning “make everything easy” when that’s a great way to pave road with good intentions – while failing to consider the destination.

    4. How can you judge like that?

      Simple, I was adjudicated non-father material…not worth passing anything about me (talents, skills, genes, values, etc) into the next generation.

      Then the mere by-products of all of those, my income, was determined to be heavily needed by the next generation both wholesale (via taxes) and retail (the pair of single mothers who made it clear their childbearing was done but how I’d be an excellent “father” to someone else’s spawn…they didn’t realize to successfully cuckold a man you really should marry him before having someone else’s child).

      Having been judged by them to only be fit as a beast of burden I’m happy to return the favor.

      1. Herb, do we need to talk? I have a friend who’s a widow . . . are you Christian, under fifty and over thirty, gainfully employed or self-employed, and able to drive? ‘Cause you seem like a decent man . . . and I know you fit the smart criteria.

        1. Thank you, but I’m now married (June of 2014).

          At 48 to a 44 year old woman with a couple of chronic conditions. I am out of the gene pool for obvious reasons.

          There is a reason a society doesn’t want too many men without children…we have no real reason to see it continue especially if you need us to do something for it to continue after we’re gone.

            1. Lots of men say the same about good women. Certain I married a bad one, got abandoned, and had a hell of a time finding a good one. I think we lack a sufficiently effective system to link people with good complimentary people. Instead we have systems optimized, it seems, to help bad people find good people to exploit.

              1. I know. I have a male friend I’m attempting to matchmake for, too. Unfortunately, his age criteria are a little narrower than my female friend’s, and she falls just outside of his, on the young side. Stubborn man.
                (I really don’t know why they ask me if I know of anyone! I suppose they’ve already tapped out everyone else?)

                  1. 48, and wants someone within the decade. He is divorced and has kids so isn’t free to move far from their mother.

                    1. Ah. I’m 35 and want kids, but I’m in the Navy, so it’s hard to meet people. Add in the introverted oddness, and it’s even worse. On the plus side, I will be moving back to the States shortly, so that should be helpful.

            2. Oh, and when I was single I would have considered being a widow a plus. As I told a widowed coworker when he started dating he was the only kind of prior married where it not only wasn’t a negative but a plus. You have proven your willingness to commit to “until death do us part”.

              1. I was just re-reading “Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You” by Lewis Grizzard. I think it was written in 1979. His take was, “Give a man homemade biscuits in the morning, and he’ll come home to you at night.” He later added, “Any woman within the range of this column who subsequently serves her family canned biscuits for breakfast in anything but an extreme emergency is a brazen hussy who smokes filterless cigarettes, drinks beer from a can and doesn’t shave her legs.”

                Or to paraphrase Chris Rock, women always gripe and moan about how hard it is to find a good man. Ladies, if you want to find a good man, put a pot on the stove and cook something once a day, and the men will beat a path to your door! >:D

                1. Funny thing — Beloved Spouse & I were talking about this song just yesterday …

                  Beloved Spouse & I resisted the urge to sing and dance along to this song in the Walmart checkout.

                    1. It’s probably also the same as mine. Gravy belongs on mashed potatoes, not biscuits. Biscuits should have butter and honey put on them, in liberal amounts, preferably while the biscuit is still hot enough to melt the butter.

                    2. *Sigh* Unsophisticated, I tells ya.

                      Biscuits and gravy are part of the entree. Biscuits and honey are part of the dessert.

                    3. Mashed potato gravy is a completely separate thing from sausage gravy, which needs good fluffy biscuits to be properly appreciated. But can in a pinch rescue slightly burnt biscuits.

                      Biscuits and sausage gravy is the ONLY time the abomination of soggy or wet bread is permitted.

                2. Ladies, if you want to find a good man, put a pot on the stove and cook something once a day, and the men will beat a path to your door!

                  And be able to tell the crud from the awesome.

                  That can take a bit…and it’s easy to get jaded.

                  (same goes for REALLY nice guys, vs “nice” guys)

            3. Maybe so, but you and your husband seem to be doing a fine job with the next batch of good men. Keep it up!

    5. If we are to make this more difficult for those striving to come into America with the idea that it will foster an appreciation within immigrants for their adoptive country, what about the people who are natural-born citizens? How do we encourage people such as myself to not take America and the Constitution for granted?*

      There used to be such a thing as a Civics class, where you learned about how the American government structure worked, how it came to be, and what purposes each branch of government had. Today, the divisions that are supposed to be there are blurred almost beyond sight, and besides, learning about such things is a danger to the Left and to squishy politicians, so they quietly swept such things under the rug.

      We could bring them back, but it would be a hard slog.

      1. No such thing as “civics” in any of the schools I went to in the 1960s and 1970s. There was an “American government” quarter-course elective one year, but by then I already realized it would be either irrelevant or just propaganda like most of the “history” we had to suffer through.

        I took an elective on WWII. The instructor mostly talked about how it was all the USA’s fault (including in Europe). The final exam consisted of naming all the members of Roosevelt’s cabinet. In alphabetical order.

        Put me off history for decades… I would think that was its purpose, except I don’t credit the school system with that much competence.

        1. The instructor mostly talked about how it was all the USA’s fault (including in Europe).

          I’d really love to hear his logic. I mean, I have a screed about how it was the US’s, specifically Woodrow Wilson’s fault, that WWI remained unsettled and we had WWII but I’d really like to hear his.

          1. At this remove, I have no memory of his reasoning. I suspect there was none; most of what we were told was fait accompli, presented as fact without explanation or background. Or I might have managed to expunge it from my memory.

            “When I think back of all the crap I learned in high school
            it’s a wonder I can think at all…”

            1. I decided early that if I was going to learn anything at all it be by myself not what I was taught in High School.

            2. Whenever I see Obama on TV, I hear Sam Cooke’s voice singing “Don’t know much about history …”

          2. Too many of such idiots think WW2 is the fault of the US because the US stayed out of the League Of Nations.

            IMO the idiots ignore the problems with the “Ideals” of the League of Nations and thus don’t understand that the US joining the League wouldn’t have fixed those problems.

            Oh, these are also the type of idiots who imagine that the US deliberately stayed out of WW2 so long in order to ensure that the US would replace Britain as the major power of the West. [Frown]

            1. And then they complain that we aren’t pulling out of Europe and letting them go their own way.

              1. And they complain about Americans who don’t want to have anything to do with the rest of the world. [Sad Smile]

                IE They hate the US because we’re the Policeman of the World but hate the US for not wanting to be the Policeman of the World.


                1. If we get involved, we’re imperialistic. If we don’t get involved, we’re being isolationist. Funny how that works.

                  1. Whatever we do or don’t, just by our existence, and by not being clones them, we are evil incarnate to proglodytes.

            2. Oh, yeah, I’d forgotten that reasoning.

              Because it’s stupid.

              Mine is more along the lines that Wilson had received overtures for a separate peace with Germany in October of 1918 and used the threat of that to get the 1918 Armistice before the war was truly decided in the field. Much of the problems with Versailles would have been avoided (both in writing and in German reaction) had the thing been decided in the field.

              1. The “stab in the back” theory would, at least, have been laughed at. With the German borders intact at war’s end, though…

                1. Exactly…even though any person with a clue knew that, to quote the Smiths, “a push and a shove and the land is ours” if you don’t push and shove you don’t get the land.

            3. Roosevelt in 1940 ran on a platform including “Not one American boy will die on foreign soil.” Wilson had won re-election with :He kept us out of the War”

              1. Nod.

                Too many people don’t understand how “disinclined” the American people were to get involved in “Europe’s wars”.

                1. I can’t claim I’m sorry we did get involved, but I must admit a sneaky empathy for that point of view, in light of how we’re damned as hideous for noticing that yeah, they would’ve killed themselves (or worse– Nazi empire would be WORSE) without us.

                  1. Two thoughts.

                    One of Chris Nuttall’s books, titled Storm Front, is set in a world where Hitler never declared war on the US and FDR couldn’t get the US involved, so Hitler was able to take over all of Europe (Great Britain accepted an offered peace so was untouched by Hitler’s Germany). In this story, Nazi Germany is heading for a civil war. Interesting story. [Smile]

                    Second, the more I listen to too many Europeans, the more I think that the US shouldn’t help Europe out of its current problems (even if the problems get worse & they ask for help). [Sad Smile]

                    1. [T]he more I listen to too many Europeans, the more I think that the US shouldn’t help Europe out of its current problems

                      You cannot help an alcoholic by lifting him out of the gutter. He has to want to stay out of the gutter, in which case you may be able to help him help himself. In the first case you won’t get thanked and will be blamed when he ends up in there again.

                      The only reason for us to help pull Europe from the gutter once again would be if the alternative — a Caliphate of Europe, for example — is significantly and disastrously worse for us.

          3. The logic I heard in my High School AP Class was that Woodrow Wilson was an idealistic fool who, rather than using “We need to treat Germany nice and just stop this stupid war” as a bargaining chip *as a condition* to entering the war, he rushed in and won the war, then tried to control the powers afterward.

            Which is true to some extent, I suppose, except that now that I’m thinking about it, the European Powers would still have been in a position to punish Germany, and the US would still have not been able to hold the countries to their promises…

            Regardless, it is the putative Europeans who clearly created the conditions to make Europe ripe for WWII, and then refused to stand up to German hostilities when they decided to take over the Rhine, so (short of naivety on the part of the US–and I consider the League of Nations having the power to stop such wars to be evidence of that naivety) the US really didn’t start WWII.

            1. At least one history of the end of WWI and after made me think of how Wilson was so into the League of Nations design minutia and ignoring much of the rest was so like a young teen designing the “ultimate” RPG campaign or such, while ignoring the real world around him.

        2. I served my K-12 in 1956 – 1969 so a good many of my instructors were veterans of WWII, both male and female. Small town midwest, so on the conservative side as well.
          This all reminds me that I really need to have a long series of discussions with my just turned teenage grand kids. Their parents have already set the stage to distrust that their teachers have their best interests at heart.
          Guns in our house? Why no teacher, nothing like that in our home.

          1. I grew up about the same time, 1-12 in ’56 through ’68, and a sizable fraction of my high school teachers were WW2 vets, Pacific theater and ETO. My HS math/technical drawing/woodworking teacher had been an 8th AF B-17 navigator, spending most of his time there in some Stalag Luft camps, including Sagan. One of the best teachers I ever had, and a real model of living a quiet and honorable life for us students. Southern California, but back then it was still pretty conservative, too.

        3. My HS American Government class back in ’92 was just awful. Our teacher taught us as 3rd graders (crossword puzzles and bring in something in the newspaper having to do with government!).
          Then again, most of my history classes were boring mush, and I’m sure most here have had a similar experience. And now, if you show any interest, they then throw you to Zinn and others of the same BS ilk.

          1. My professional continuing training frequently makes use of word searches. Note that one of the first things you do when hired for my job is attend an intensive 4 month school.

            There is something fundamentally broken in the world of adult education.

          2. My HS history teacher (a little earlier than yours) was a lib – but he was one of the few honorable ones. We had a few run-ins but nothing serious until we got to the atomic bomb in WWII. We went back and forth for a while with the class watching. He eventually asked “John, are you going to let me say this?” and my answer was simply “No.” Class ended a little early and the next day we started with the next topic.

            Obviously he was of the thought that the bomb was a war crime, but I had enough information and facts that he couldn’t bulldoze his way through them. He was one of my favorite teachers.


  7. America is uniquely founded on an idea. If we forget that idea we become like Billy Batson unable to call Shazam.

    1. It has come to my attention that the Notification box must be clicked before the Post Comment box. Such a strange system.

      1. See, I make sure the box thingy is not checkededed before posting. I might aughta get an address just for notifications so my other two don’t explode under the assault.

        1. That’s the reason I don’t check it. WP could really use an option to be informed of the posts in the past X every X as a mass email.

        2. My Hotmail account lets me direct all these notification emails into a dedicated stable (folder), which on a busy day can be its own impediment to entering and clearing. I set up a Gmail account specifically for FB notifications and now ignore both Gmail and Facebook. (I truly don’t understand their naming a social media site for Dirk Benedict, but the world is laden with the incomprehensible to me.)

          1. I don’t understand calling something a social network when my most common response to reading my feed is to want to straggle all the idiots I apparently know (I really wanted to after the recent minimum wage/wall street bonuses meme).

              1. Compared to just some of the stuff I saw that was garden variety stupidity.

                Plus, as a bankster who less than a decade ago was managing long term minimum wage (as in making it at 40) workers the idea that they are exploited (if anything, long term minimum wagers are overpaid) and I’m getting unearned money (you work M-F plus until 1am M and F plus early Saturday morning and, if things go wrong, as much as all day Sat and Sun and it isn’t unearned) just pisses me off.

              2. Yeah, but my friends can divide and subverted it to the Powerball can buy us all calculators so we can figure out that the Powerball can’t make us all millionaires. That was funny.

              3. I have some sympathy with the starter of this meme, because under the old definition (which also might be used in some non-English speaking countries) a billion was a million millions – 1×10^12 and not 1×10^9 – not that even this would make us all millionaires. Look up the difference between “long scales” and “short scales”.



                1. Yeah, I did think of that since British billions are 10^12, but that would still make them off by 3 orders of magnitude (instead of 6).

                  And I really doubt that anyone involved with that meme has any notion of non-American, let alone non-English-speaking, countries’ definitions of a billion!

  8. I could agree just a tiny bit more with this screed, Sarah.

    I say this because I have the firm belief that “native born” is not really a qualifier for automatic citizenship. Every person, before they receive their first registration to vote, should be required at a minimum to take, and excel (“A” grade level), the same citizenship test as for naturalization.

    I can say this, I believe, because the last immigrant in my family tree (disregarding any infusions behind the woodpile) came to this land sometime in the 1730s. (Exact year uncertain; there were passengers on the same ship with the same name in 1733 and 1736.)

    That lineage of “native born” is not what made me a real American citizen.

      1. The attempt could backfire on them, Mary…

        Just about every person I know on the conservative / libertarian side of the divide can spout the Marxist dialectic far better than any of the leftist drones. The Bernie Sanders test would be be easy peasy. (I suspect that part of this is that we know it is meaningless drivel, so it’s just a matter of memorizing it; we don’t get confused trying to think about it.)

  9. My understanding is that the advantage to joining a fraternity is all about social networking. In the past, I’ve seen companies that I worked for hiring sub-contractors purely because they were “frat bros” with the boss. Some were fine and worked out well. Others were… challenges…

    I agree about immigrants needing to assimilate. However, I also see this as a two way street. I believe that it is good for America to assimilate ideas from the immigrants also. Unfortunately, the stinkers among us would just call that cultural appropriation (which they’ve made to be just one more check box on the victimization card).

    As for the Pneumonia / 40 lbs Doctor thing. My best guess is that the doctor wasn’t so much concerned with the pneumonia because he KNEW what to do about THAT. 40 lbs? Not so much. It’s been my experience that doctors are very hit-and-miss when it comes to helping with weight problems. As much research as goes into weight loss, I think science just hasn’t figured it out yet.

    1. That’s because doctors keep thinking of obesity as a disease rather than a symptom of something else. In many cases it’s a symptom of being a lazy sack, but it can also be caused by other, more serious, things.

      1. I don’t even know how someone would diagnose “eat more and take a lot of B vitamins.”

        At this point I’m seriously not sure if my customary “lose twenty pounds” at the first and second trimester of a pregnancy is more because of the pregnancy hormones, or more because I eat more.

        1. I wonder if I should try that. Only time I lost massive weight and it stayed off was my one normal (non pre-eclampsia) pregnancy when I was eating my damn fool head off.

          1. *spreads her hands* It’s working, sort of– I take Bs, I try drinking some water first and then snack if I’m hungry between meals, and I’m steadily losing weight.

            Much better than at any other time, including when I joined the Navy and started jogging a couple of miles before school every morning. Without changing what I ate.

              1. I’ve used several different complexes; they were marketed as stress, energy, and now just “complete B complex.” Same reaction to all.

                1. Hmm. I have a stress complex bottle. I will have to try that. Do you track calories at all, or just eat more often? I noticed that when I cut out eating candy, I actually gained a bit of weight. It was very odd.

                  1. I did for a year, mostly while I was pregnant to make sure I ate enough and got all the nutrients I needed; stopped that about ten pounds ago. Seldom hit 1800 calories, for what that’s worth.

                    I notice the same thing with candy. 😀

              2. Note to those of a depressive bend — which I am — if I don’t take B complex now and then (I tend to forget ALL pills) I fall into a deep spiral depression. Which reminds me…

                1. Shouldn’t that be “deep helical depression”?

                  (Glances at feet.) Why, I do believe I’ve pulled on my pedant’s boots today!

          1. I spent the first roughly thirty years of my life being “heavy” and thinking I was just a failure who ate too much.

            Little bit of a grudge, here. 😀

              1. I heavily recommend Gary Taubes’ book “Why we get fat” – I read that, changed my diet, lost 25 pounds and 30 points off my cholesterol. My “diet” is bacon egg and cheese on a roll with chocolate milk for breakfast; bacon cheeseburger (with bun) with salad (no fries) and water for lunch, and as much meat as I can handle, with a few veggies, for dinner. My wife and I even cook with bacon grease we keep from the weekends.

                Now it hasn’t worked as well for my wife as for me, but she is working on it.

                All this with no exercise or change in other parts of my life. The holidays put a crimp in it (gained some pounds) but now back on my “diet” it is coming off. And the loss was relatively quick – and people around me noticed as well.


                PS: I put “diet” in quotes because I never viewed it that way – I went into this saying “I am changing my eating habits” – which is why I also did not do Atkins – I didn’t want to keep changing my diet – I wanted one change I could settle into – I am a creature of habit and the fewer changes the better.

                1. “Why We Get Fat” did the same thing for me. I lost 35 pounds over the course of a year, 2 to 3 clothing sizes, without exercising, and was able to drop one of my diabetes pills. I’m still taking metformin, but the actos is not in my regimen any more. I went into it with the thought that I did not want my Type II diabetes to get worse, not with a goal of weight loss.

                  The more I read about low-carb, high-protein, the angrier I get at the Low-Fat lie that America has swallowed since the ’70’s.

        2. The list of things we don’t know about human metabolism is almost as long as the enumerated list of things Bernie Sanders doesn’t know about economics.

      2. I think the point is, there are a number of things that can cause weight gain. For many years, “being a lazy sack” was what everyone thought. For much of the medical, dietary, and physical fitness industries, it still seems to be what they focus on. However, I can tell you right now that this is NOT always (or even usually in my opinion) the entire problem. Frankly, I think that it is rare for over-eating to be the initial cause and that over-eating is just as likely to be a symptom of depression brought about by being over-weight. (except for me, I just eat too much, and enjoy being big LOL)

        When I was a teenager, I weighed 138 lbs, and was around 6′ tall (in case you can’t imagine it, that’s rail thin). A friend of mine was around 5′ 8″ tall, and out-weighed me by quite a bit (his name was Jonah, we called him John. His step-dad, somehow not cluing into the bible-whale connection, called him Jonah because in his ignorance thought it sounded like a girl’s name… Yes, John had a crappy childhood). John had two sisters who were both exceedingly overweight. His mother was likewise a rather large person (the step-dad was just an a-hole).

        Because of a family emergency, I ended up spending a few days staying with John’s family. I had always believed that fat people were fat because they wouldn’t stop stuffing their faces, a fact that did at times strain my friendship with John. Boy was my eyes about to be opened. After a few days at John’s house, I was nearly starving. I couldn’t concentrate, I felt weak, I was ready to rend and devour road kill. Apparently, John’s family “ran large” because genetically they had incredibly slow metabolisms. Meal time at John’s house meant a very balanced, but very small, diet modeled as well as could be off of the food pyramid. A supper that I recall vividly was one (ONE!!!) piece of chicken, a small scoop of mashed potatoes, and a small scoop of green beans. That was it. No extra food was made, no seconds, no left-overs. I felt like Pippin, crying over no second breakfast. I remember looking at the table and realizing that with my high metabolism and high level of activity doing chores and such on the farm, for a meal at home I would quite often eat nearly as much (if not more) as John’s entire family would eat at a single meal. It was mind blowing.

        It isn’t always about food intake.

        1. When I finished my first ear of college I was 5 feet 11 and 3/4 inches and weighed 135 lbs (a goodly portion of it hair, as I had been letting mine grow out) so i can readily imagine how thin that is.

          Weight gain seems much less a thremodynamic equation and much more of a intersection of insulin acceptance and intestinal bacterial colonies. Much as it grates on our vanity, an argument can be made that humans are little more than transport mechanisms for bacteria colonies.

          1. That… actually opens up some interesting avenues of research. Imagine specifically cultured and tailored gut bacterial colonies for the treatment of nutritional issues.

            Frankly, the first company to produce, on a mass scale, colonies that would absorb higher calorie content and lead to weight loss will have all of its shareholders living in solid gold houses. The flipside, of course, is famine alleviation (charitable writeoff?)

            1. I’d bet on folks aiming for better non-calorie nutrition absorption, first.

              And that’s when we’ll find out that humans aren’t standard issue containers for gut bacteria, either. 😀

            2. Being done as we speak. Put “poop pills” into your search engine of preference.

              I have high expectations of poop pills joining with Viagra and Cialis in the solicitations of meds from Canada that daily arrive in my inbox.

        2. And that’s why national dietary guidelines are inherently idiotic. The average man needs 2000 calories a day. The average man doesn’t actually exist. Yes, if calories out exceed calories in you will lose weight. That’s basic physics. The problem is that everybody’s calories out is different and it’s affected by things like calories in.

    2. Frats are all about networking – I’ve seen that connection result in contracts and jobs out here in Tech as well.

      1. Keep in mind that the Greek system was established in an era when travel was far less routine and more complicated, and in an era when college attendance was for those whose economic security was already well-enough established to permit four years of opportunity cost. The networking function served for those members travelling to other cities as a way of accessing the business & social circles there. This was also true of the Elks, Moose, Optimists, Jaycees and YMCAs in earlier times.

  10. (Eh, thirty years ago, in NC I still got called — when they thought I couldn’t hear — sand n****r. You know what, it didn’t kill me, though I found it a bit weird for their knowledge of geography. At least the people who thought I was Mexican or South American made A LITTLE more sense.)

    I can just imagine hearing you going to them and saying, “Oh, come on. I’m not from the Middle East, I’m from Portugal. At least get your insults right.”

      1. I know from questioning a niece in Gastonia who used that phrase, anybody who uses it has absolutely no idea that it originated as an insult for Arabs or other desert land Muslims. To them, it means nothing but dark skinned but not of African ancestry. Most often used against people from India.

      2. Hey, one of my Sailors is Mexican, and gets continually frustrated by the number of times she gets mistakenly local here- BY the locals. She’s looking forward to getting really tan at her next duty station in Hawaii.

        1. Oh. Well, “real Arabs” TM also often mistake me. I’ve had them address me in their languages and be all disappointed when I’ve no clue what they’re saying. 800 years of occupation and all that.

      1. I recall the comedian of rather obvious ‘far east’ ancestry who would walk out on stage, pause a while, then speak… with a deep southern accent. His second line was, roughly, “Ah jest broke all yer brains, didn’t Ah?”

        1. Is that the guy who did the bit about “I grew up in Alabama and fought in Vietnam…isn’t that like being punished for the same crime twice?”

        2. That raht thar is why Bobby Jindal always makes me chortle, knowin’ how many lib’rul minds he’s ‘sploded.

              1. He was my second although he leaped to first after Walker released his Obamacare plan. Now I’m down to my third. If he drops out before the GA primary I’ll probably just skip the primaries (given at that point I suspect Trump will have wrapped it up or we’ll be nominating another Bush which will just as readily hand it to whoever the Dem is by default).

                1. Remember, Trump polls well when they ignore actual primary voters. Bush does his worst with those voters. Cruz is doing better with those base voters, and the vs. Dem polls for the national seem to be left loaded and unlikely voters loaded.

                  1. All true, but if Cruz (my third choice is out) by GA (SEC Tuesday) then I can’t see anyone but Trump or Jeb! being the leaders (maybe Kaisch). I basically be stuck in my “vote GOP to run out the clock strategy” in which case I don’t care will Dem-lite cypher we’re getting.

                    1. Here in Ohio it is even worse. Since I moved here, my primary vote for president has always been irrelevant, with every candidate I ever actually liked having withdrawn or been so far behind the withdrawal was inevitable weeks before I got a chance to vote.

                    2. Oh, Georgia is the first place I’ve lived that it came close to mattering.

                      I have never lived in a swing state in the general, either so…*shrugs*.

                    3. Living in a swing state at election time is only a problem if you watch TV, listen to the radio, use the internet, or have a mailbox. 🙂

                    4. Lived in New Hampshire for four plus years – 1984 (yep), you could hardly go out the front door without tripping over a candidate.

                      I don’t think I missed running into a single one – except the one, of course, that I voted for, Reagan…

                      Yes, the one year that I actually lived where I could have voted for the nominee I wanted to see, and not have them drop out before I got the chance – was the one year it didn’t matter in the least.

                      Since then, back home in Arizona, I’ve never had one that was even on the list to vote for. It’s always long over by the time it gets here. I only stay “R” to at least fight some kind of action against Duke McCain and his flunkies.

              1. He’s not dead, you know? He’s eleven years younger than I am. Plenty of time to build his base for the next cycle.

                (At least by what used to pass for normal politics. Nowadays, who knows…)

        3. I see those in my area all the time. Lots of Vietnamese and Laotian refugees wound up here after Vietnam. Some of them are third generation by now; I always find it amusing when some cute young thing who looks like she just breezed in from Saigon speaks to me in hillbilly-English…

          1. The son is friends with all three of the families in our area (well, those with just past high school age kids).

            One of them is a real cut-up; he can speak in just about any American dialect, from Tex-Mex to Bostonian.

            The one dialect he can’t do is “Asian pidgin.” I’ve never asked, but think it’s because Momma whacked him whenever he tried to get it down.

      2. I recall one Korean (comedian?) who demanded that the man who called him “gook” specify, since the prefix that would say what part of Korea he was from was missing.

          1. I love that American parlance has the fine distinctions of hick, redneck, and hillbilly*. I have all three in my family. Mostly the first two, but I do have one uncle who, well… there’s a photo floating around of his ramshackle front porch with two engine blocks and three hound dogs on it…

              1. You definitely don’t live on Coruscant, but you might live on Dagobah or Hoth. Dagobah reminds me of the LA bayous. Hoth is Alaska.

              1. Or a Rocket City Redneck!

                I knew a guy, Darren, who introduced himself as a High Tech Redneck. He was from Coffeeville, Ms and did sound engineering for Ugly Kid Joe when they did a World tour, opening for Ozzie.
                He and his brother, Tyndale, had a Pure Stock dirt track race car.
                They were quite the odd couple. Tyndale was Larry Correia sized, and Darren was about a foot shorter and skinny.

                1. Where did you think tachyons come from? I’m just disappointed a quark didn’t get named after Elvis…. 😉

    1. You know, I don’t think we had any slur terms for Portuguese in Brasil. At least none of my friends or family did. I mean, they’re Portuguese; what worse could we call them? *runs away, snickering* Te amo, tia!

              1. In Kentucky, we have a saying about Buckeyes, but I know too many people here from Ohio, to be throwing that saying around…

    2. It would be meaningful only if you could make them sit still long enough to explain the difference between “Middle East” and “Portugal”…

          1. Oh I’m pretty sure there are plenty of Seans with red hair. Occasionally, one of them is my younger son. 🙂

                  1. And I pick up yet another threading meme here… Hey, I only figured out all the weird codes a few months ago.

            1. Talk to some of the folks who were… ahem, “active” in The Troubles, and you will find that there were plenty of hard-left full-commie true believers in the more radical arms of the side commonly lumped all together as the IRA.

              I’m fairly certain the name Sean was common, and that the prevalence of red hair there is quite high, so the archetype of Red-Sean-Red is quite likely.

  11. If it had been easier, if we could have run, if I had the internet as we have now, even I might never have acculturated. Even though I wanted to. Let alone a system that frowns on acculturation.

    My friend from Peru, who I’ve told you about, once told me that after being her a couple of years, she decided she couldn’t take it any more and told her husband that she was thinking about going back home. She said the thing that stopped her was her husband telling her that she could go if she wanted to, but he was keeping their daughters here. Now, she’s a middle manager at Procter and Gamble.

          1. Actually, isn’t he more like a ring filter?

            Anyway, everyone knows he’s really under the control of the tribble on his head.

              1. Hmmm….

                Ring filter – you sound like a Dalek
                The One Ring – you get taken out by hobbits

                I think I’d prefer the former myself.

                1. Evil Overlords never listen to the stories of their downfall, they only hear the opportunity for power.

            1. I believe you malign the tribble species, sir. They are very effective at getting what they want, you know, although admittedly not so much at detecting toxins. Is there any evidence that his toupee has been eating, reproducing, encouraging people to pet it, or soothing and distracting him?

      1. Typos? You? Heaven forfend!
        Apropos of nothing in particular, just finished a copy edit of some author’s manuscript. 350 pages with perhaps 150-200 typos. All minor, and still a great read, if you like blood, and swords, and vampires that is.

        1. Is that the series where the heroes are called Musketeers but don’t use Muskets? [Evil Grin]

            1. Piffle, Ox. Is simple. Hers was a hood characteristic of that particular administrative jurisdiction. The fact of it being red identifies her as being a Quadling. (The talking wolf ought have been a bright flag.)

              Definition of riding []
              1: one of the three administrative jurisdictions into which Yorkshire, England, was formerly divided
              2: an administrative jurisdiction or electoral district in a British dominion (as Canada)

  12. Multiculturalism is also known in Dutch as “de multi-kul” (multi-nonsense, multi-BS) or in French as “le multi-cul” (the multi-*ss). I don’t know how common “multi-culo” is in Spanish or Italian 😉

  13. This makes some nice food for thought, Sarah. I’ll want to chew on this a bit when I have more brainspace for it. We should make it a challenge to become an American, but the challenges should be adaptation and acculturation, not the bureaucratic nightmare that is now the primary obstacle. I wonder if the difficulty and clear completion of requirements would make it easier for the melting pot to work, on both sides. Knowing that someone has worked for where they are makes it easier to accept them into the “tribe”. I remember a neighbor years ago commenting that he hated the Mexicans in the area. I was taken aback, so I questioned him (cautiously) about it. What came out was that he had no problem with Hispanics; come from wherever, didn’t matter to him. No, what he couldn’t stand were the guys who came and took the opportunities but didn’t become Americans, who in that area were mostly from Mexico. Our “tribe” as Americans ignores ethnic, racial, religious, all kinds of lines, but whether or not you put in the effort to join the tribe still matters. Living in America is not the same as being American, wherever you were born.

    1. Just found this post, FRO. See what I said down below…

      The issue is bi-directional; the “initiation rites” are as much to reassure the “already heres” as it is to make the newcomers feel a part of the corporate whole.

      This is a key point that the multi-culti idiots miss out on; you can’t have a cohesive, functioning society built up of multiple distrustful elements. Somewhere beneath it all, if it’s going to work, they have to have a mutual framework.

      In the Army, the blacks, the whites, the browns all worked together fairly effectively, because they all had that underlying commonality of “green Army”. Take that away, and put those same people out in an environment where they had no commonality, no mutual touchstone? They’re not going to work together or even maintain peace between each other. It’s amazing to watch from where I’m at now, and see the differences between plain black-and-white interaction vs. former Army/Marine/Navy black-and-white. I was dealing with a difficult person, of a black coloration, who took everything I was saying as being antagonistic and anti-black. As soon as he and I found we were both veterans… Poof! That went away, and we weren’t a couple of different kinds of people, we were shared sufferers. Weird thing to watch–I wasn’t trying to give this guy a hard time, or even be negative with him, but that’s the way he was taking it. As soon as he found out I was another vet, boom… Chip came off his shoulder, and we had no issues.

      Biggest problem we have with citizenship is that we’ve been running down these “underlying connector” features of the process by which you become a citizen. And, we’re just assuming that everyone born here gets it automatically. If it were me, I’d make everyone who wants to be a citizen take the same oath that immigrants must, and at the same time with them. Say we did it on every native-born person’s 18th or 21st birthday, and they had to at least do something to become a full citizen with the franchise… I think it would help, especially if they were doing it alongside the newcomers.

    2. Yes, that’s my thought also — to disagree with Sarah (gasp!) slightly. Like Sarah, I believe in Americanism — that collection of individualist ideals that makes us one polity, rather than accident of birth, geography, or heritage. You can be an American at heart growing up in a village in Afghanistan, or Portugal, and learning about it by reading.

      It’s not good that it is too easy to cross our borders and stay, defended and funded by the party of government to add to their power by increasing the number of dependents. It’s also not good that people who would be great assets as citizens, who already have the desire to work and be successful without help, are forced to wait endlessly or go elsewhere. I think passing a citizenship test and already having the skills and attitudes necessary to add to our economy should be enough, and your idea that all citizens should have to go through this qualification before being able to vote is not a bad one.

      Now, itis also true that some people born here would be better off in some other country that suits their attitudes better. I’m for funding their emigration… It would save us a fortune in the long run. Sanders supporters really belong in those Scandinavian people’s paradises of their imagination…

      1. Jeb, I understand what you’re saying, but having gone through it, as much as I wanted to be an American, it took about five years to transition mentally and halfway I could have chucked it all and gone back. So I think we need a process.

        1. I wasn’t really disagreeing with you (the heavens would smite me if I did that!) — just thinking that the difficulty of the process should be commensurate with the mental distance the new immigrant has to travel, to speak English well, understand the system of governance, and respect others’ rights to be left alone. The primary problem with our fellow citizens is their desire to make others do what they want them to — to control where it is none of their business. And many immigrants would find it tough to quickly grasp that. OTOH, some (I am thinking of some Europeans, notably a Pole, who came to Silicon Valley already primed by their hatred of their native countries’ conformity and repression of enterprise) are ready to go on arrival.

    3. I recall that the most fervent and vitriolic anti-illegal immigrant speach at the Repub National Convention” in 2008 was delivered in a thick Mexican accent

      1. I’ve talked with a couple of naturalized US citizens who were originally from Mexico. They went through the difficult process fo becoming citizens.

        Their opinion of illegals and “amnesties” is somewhere to the right of the Klan. They worked hard for that paper; seeing the US government treat it as irrelevant is a slap in the face.

    4. One of my former co-workers was like that. Came up in conversation after a customer accused me of being racist (apparently I deliberately sold the last of whatever brand of cheese she’d wanted because I hate black people or something). Coworker mentioned that he hated Asians, Indians, and Hispanics. Yet there was a regular customer of ours who was an Asian woman who didn’t speak much English, and my coworker would chat with her for forever, always as nice as could be. I couldn’t make sense of the dichotomy, so one evening after she’d left, when it was just the two of us behind the counter and there were no other customers, I called my coworker on it. His response:

      “I do hate them. But that lady is an American.”

      Turns out she’d come over from Vietnam as an adult, worked her rear off to put herself through school, and had applied for citizenship as soon as she was eligible. His problem, he explained, was with the ones who come over, take advantage of the system, freeload off the taxpayers, and then turn around that America adapts its culture to suit their wants and prejudices. Which I understood and fully agreed with. He and I got a lot friendlier with each other after that conversation.

      Come to think of it, that philosophy probably explains why most of my old college acquaintances and I don’t get along at all anymore.

  14. We didn’t lose the cold war, we’re just dealing with the unexploded ordnance.

    What the multi-cults never figured out about the melting pot was that, yes, the ingot you dropped in disappeared, but the character of the melt had changed. I want to live in a society that has one culture, but that culture has all the best aspects of every other culture in the world. I want an America where Americans wear green, listen to bagpipes, and drink beer on St. Patrick’s Day; where they wear sombreros, listen to mariachi music, and drink beer on Cinco de Mayo; where they wear lederhosen, listen to polka, and drink beer during Oktoberfest. Forget your tired and poor, bring me your alcoholic beverages and tasty treats.

        1. The armed forces seem to get more volunteers form the south, at least that is my impression.

      1. And yet. In the Old South, during WW II, I learned in school the old songs.
        I’m a good old rebel, now that’s just what i am,
        For their fair land of Freedom, I do not give a damn,
        I’m glad I fit against it,
        I only wish we’d won,
        And I don’t need no pardon for nothing that I done…

        And yet most of my high school class was down at the recruiting office in June of 1950

        1. There was a memoir I read somewhere – don’t recall author and name, because it was a long time ago and I have a mind like a spectacularly dis-organized filing cabinet – by someone who was living on the great Navaho Rez in 1941.
          On Monday, December 8th, 1941, every able-bodied Navaho male over the age of about fifteen or so was showing up at Federal offices (to include the post office!) volunteering to enlist.

          And they brought their own personal weapons with them.

          1. There isn’t a month that goes by that I don’t hear of another Code Talker passing away.

            Wasn’t just the Navajo, either – my Dad’s VFW was just about half San Carlos Apache. (Although I think many were Korea, not WW II. They were all “old people” to me at that age, so I’m not sure…)

    1. You forget listen to the wail of Marxists stuck in a capitalist society that doesn’t perceive their superior wisdom and value and drink beer on May Day.

              1. Unfortunately, I misplaced my copy of Azhanti High Lightning in a move some years ago… 😦

                  1. A print-it-yourself? My board game came with (not remembering exactly) maybe 20 separate deck plan map boards, along with a large number of die-cut counters. Reproducing those myself in any sort of usable quality would be a real undertaking.

                  2. I still have my stack of little books for this (even some of the D&D “little books”). My copy of Fifth Frontier War is a bit dented – but not bad considering I got it second hand. Ever try to build anything from the ship and vehicle construction rules? Great fun and lots of calculations – I felt like I could build it for real afterwards. I will have to look for the CD as I am missing a few of the books.

              1. Possibly. Though I’m not sure I want to be in the homeland of the Ultimate Bureaucrats. :-O

                    1. Yeah, though the Zhodani Consulate’s Thought Police predate Babylon-5’s Psi Corps by a decade or so.

      1. I’ve always wondered what happened to the KGB’s and GRU’s deep-cover plants in the US when the USSR fell apart – with their training they could probably disappear well enough so the FSB couldn’t look them up and reactivate their control from mother Putin, but given these folks really had to be true believers, and yet had to have access to enough information and assets to get pretty rich while here.

        For the ones that did not embrace the melting pot and go native, what was done with those financial assets, the skills in intelligence gathering and blackmail, and that level of fanatical motivation once they were under their own control?

          1. Or the Dems after Clinton – remember when there was such a thing as “Centrist Democrat”?

            On the other hand, I’m pretty sure Bernie was not enrolled as an KGB asset on his trips to the USSR – no KGB handler would think he’d escape notice.

              1. Now, now… just because he’s using his crazy-hair silhouette as his campaign emblem….

        1. The problem with Soviet intelligence gathering in the US – most of the West, for that matter – was that there was so much of it available free for the taking. So much that it overwhelmed their ability to sort through it and turn it into useful intelligence that the Soviet government could use.

          The Soviets also operated on compartmentalization and “need to know.” The analysts back home were suspicious of openly-available information; most of their targeted operations were to *verify* that information, not to get even more stuff. They had a hard time understanding that the majority of the US government operated openly, and wasted considerable effort to infiltrate various “think tanks” that they suspected were the Secret Masters directing the USA.

          [consider some staid commissar trying to interpret the report of a field agent who had infiltrated a meeting of the Discordian Society…]

          1. consider some staid commissar trying to interpret the report of a field agent who had infiltrated a meeting of the Discordian Society

            From what I know of Soviet Government he probably had an easier time interpreting that report. I’m not saying his interpretation would be in the same universe as accurate but it probably made more sense than most American meeting to the Soviet mind.

            Except maybe the hotdog buns things…that’s still a brain boiler.

          2. Komrade Kommisar,
            As ordered, I have infiltrated and ovserved meetings of top-secret American capitalist para-military training for post-nuclear warfare. Members of the SCA (as they are known) are training in konstruction and use of pwimitive European arms and their tactics. These militia gwoups meet in large numbers at what they term “faires” and exchange training and dewelopment strategies for their pwopagation of these teckniques.

            Beloved Sowiet Republick need to dewelop our own counter-insurgency groups, trained in all elements of Medieval siege-craft.

            Enclosed is secret video recording of interviewings of attendees.

            Sir Gawaininsane, of the Kingdom of Atlantia

          3. “One of the serious problems in planning against American doctrine that the Americans do not read their manuals nor do they feel any obligations to follow their doctrine.”

              1. Several!
                And that’s just military.

                (Can you imagine the reaction of places where “Army” and “Navy” are either the same guys or are SERIOUSLY opposed to each other when they run into our “I’m going to insult you for an hour and punch anybody outside who says ill of you” thing?)

              2. Sure. “If you’re sure it’s an enemy, call in artillery or an airstrike. If you aren’t sure it’s an enemy, shoot at it and see if it shoots back.”

      2. They wouldn’t be stuck. I’d replace the welfare system with one where you could request from the taxpayers a one-way ticket anywhere in the world and a single-use passport free of charge. Prefer somewhere else to America? Go there and have fun. May your chains rest lightly upon you.

          1. If you send them away you can still hear them cry on the Internet but you don’t have to worry about them clogging up the streets.

        1. Now right there is a reparations program that I have long espoused and would heartily support. Throw in a free DNA analysis to tell you where your many generations removed ancestors came from followed up with free passage back there. Just renounce your American citizenship and we’ll call it square.

          1. I’ve long had the same idea with the additional provision that your legal residency is 1 year tops after the renunciation and you can never get legal residency again.

            1. There was a SF story (Jack Vance?) where people were exiled from this culture by being placed in this container where one wall was placed inches outside the border of the culture. Another wall moved forward until the person was crushed against the first wall. [Very Very Big Evil Grin]

          1. See, I’ve long thought that the whole “you did X crime so we’re going to lock you up for Y years” is a silly way to run a criminal justice system. I’d rather see something where offenders had to step down through several levels of control (maximum security, minimum security, halfway house, probation, etc) and demonstrate that they could operate in a civilized manner before being released. The way we run prisons now is just shy of idiotic. We take a person who has committed a crime, lock them up in what is essentially Criminal University for 5, 10, 25 years, and then let them out with nothing more than a bus ticket and a giant “DON’T HIRE ME” on their background checks. It’s a miracle the recidivism rate isn’t 100%.

            1. I’ve gone so far as to conclude that we should get rid of prisons altogether. But the alternatives–fines payable only to the families of victims (including the victims themselves), corporeal punishment, even “avengers of blood” for sufficiently bad outlaws–would be a difficult sell for modern America….

                1. That’s a good question, and I don’t have an answer off the top of my head, beyond observing that another good question would be “who would be the avenger of blood for someone who was murdered and has no family?”…

            2. Oh NO!

              Crime is a “Medical Problem” and the poor Criminals need to be cured not punished.

              Let’s keep those poor Criminals in special hospitals under the Doctors cure them! [End Sarcasm]

              C. S. Lewis talked about the dangers posed by people (in England) who believed the above nonsense. [Frown]

              1. And, of course, let them only when cured.

                And, unfortunately, the cure may be painful, they often are, but you can’t call it torture because our intentions are solely beneficial.

              2. There are people who are constitutionally incapable of functioning in a modern society, there are people who choose not to function in a modern society, and then there are people who never learned how to function in a modern society. We need a system that teaches the third group, incentivizes the second group, and warehouses the first group.

    2. And fun games. If I had worked at it, I think I could have done well in the caber toss when I was younger.

      1. Did y’no carry the full quiver? Or was it but th’EASY version after they changed the rules?

          1. I understand the new extreme version is timed three-caber matches, or as Larry Correia calls it, ‘spitting toothpicks.’

      1. Whatcha do is you take your German miners and send them into South Texas where they spend downtime jamming with Tejanos to create Norteño music …

        to have something to listen to while drinking Tres Equis. After that you cross mix them with a bunch of Cajuns, throw in a Klezmer band …

        1. I’m not saying I grew up on it, but I always liked Flaco Jimenez, either with or without the Texas Tornadoes. And Zachary Richard is a particular favorite of my wife and me.

          1. I discovered the genre through Flaco’s pappy, Santiago Jimenez, and have been a big fan of Flaco (and his brother, Santiago Jr.) as solo artist, with the Texas Tornadoes, Dwight Yoakam or Ry Cooder.

            Zachary Richard … add Clifton Chenier, Marcia Ball, Prof. Longhair and we be talkin’ a good time, I guarantee!

            1. I can take or leave Marcia Ball, but Fess…the best there ever was, or will be! Clifton Chenier, the Neville Bros., BeauSoleil, Buckwheat Zydeco, even Rockin’ Dopsie, can’t beat ’em!

    3. “wear sombreros, listen to mariachi music, and drink beer on Cinco de Mayo”

      According to the latest campus crusade, that’s racist.

      I don’t know if Puritanism is “the paralyzing fear that someone, somewhere, might be having fun,” but I’m certain that modern Leftism is.

      1. I knew there was a reason why I’d stopped paying attention to those guys, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was. Thanks for reminding me.

      2. I always explained that I was not appropriating a Mexican victory, I was celebrating a French defeat.

  15. But we SHOULD hate America! My Cultural Studies teacher in high school told us all that NIxon invaded Vietnam to kill all the Native Americans with smallpox blankets! It was on the final!

  16. On the Civics front, I suggest it is a positive sign that the hottest ticket on Broadway right now is for Hamilton.

    No, I haven’t seen the show, but I did read the book (Chernow’s, that is.)

    1. I was aware; now I’m interested. Not enough to make a trip to NY, thankyouverymuch, but if there’s ever a production closer to home, or available online, they’ll get my shekel. Dang, now I miss the theater…

      1. Per the fanladies* on my facebook feed, they’re going on tour.

        *nobody with that many children, of that high quality, is a “girl.”

        1. From WSJ’s Speakeasy blog:

          ‘Hamilton’ Is Heading to Los Angeles and San Francisco
          By Pia Catton
          “Hamilton” is going a lot farther: The hit Broadway musical will tour to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2017.

          Producer Jeffrey Seller announced plans Tuesday for the show to post up at San Francisco’s SHN Orpheum Theatre in March 2017 and at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Pantages from Aug. 11 to Dec. 30. Already announced is a Chicago run at the PrivateBank Theatre beginning in September.

          Group and single ticket sales to “Hamilton” in Los Angeles and San Francisco will be announced at a later date. The only ticket sales currently available are for the 2016-17 seasons at those theaters.

          On Monday, Seller also posted a note on the “Hamilton” website announcing that a new block of tickets will be available to the New York production through Jan 2017. Those sales are currently underway for American Express holders and will start Feb. 2 for the general public.

          In announcing the new block, he also warned ticket-buyers of fraud. “There are many people and sites that are selling wildly overpriced, and in some cases, fraudulent tickets,” he wrote, encouraging the use of, and the box office at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

  17. That old Constitution is in my shoes
    It’s no use sittin’ and a-singin’ the blues
    So be my guest, you’ve got nothin’ to lose
    Won’t you let me tell you about Ted Cruz?
    Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
    Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
    Whoo-ee, whoo-ee baby
    Won’t you let me me tell you about Ted Cruz?
    Feel like scramin’; baby, won’t you join me,
    I don’t like beggin’, but know I’m on bended
    Verse 2:
    I got to get to rockin’, get my hat off the rack
    you know the boogie-woogie hit me right in the back
    So be my guest, you’ve got nothin’ to lose
    Won’t you let me tell you about Ted Cruz?
    (bridge: instrumental)
    Verse 3:
    I got to get to rockin’, you know I ain’t a-lyin’
    My heart beatin’ rhythm and it’s right on time
    So be my guest, you’ve got nothin’ to lose
    Won’t you let me tell you about Ted Cruz?
    (chorus again, and then music fades out playing bridge instrumental)

  18. “I remember twenty or thirty years back, some kid died during hazing to a fraternity. I didn’t fully get it and still don’t. There is no Greek system in Portugal and my husband never joined a fraternity. (What would a fraternity for mathematicians be? The infinite Pi?) But one of the guys being interviewed said that if there was no “price” for entry, nothing to go through to get in, how would people value it?

    I’m not sure about that because I don’t know how much one should value a frat membership (this is not a put down. I just don’t “get” the whole system.)

    In the same way I know a lot of what the military and other organizations does is to break you into their mold, but the rest is to make you value being a member.”

    OK, see, this is what you get when women try to figure out what the hell is going on over in “man world”, and why the hell things work the way they do over here. Same-same with the males who don’t grow up or try to make their way over in that realm, as well.

    You’re on to something here, Sarah, especially with regards to citizenship, but you’re missing a “yuuuuuuge…” swath of what is going on with the whole misidentified “male bonding ritual” stuff that is happening in things like the military and the fraternities.

    Whether or not we want to recognize it, there’s a continuity through all of this stuff, from street gang “jumping in”, through “being made” in organized crime circles, to military basic training. And, you’re right to think that a part of what is going on is a mechanism to make the new member value what they’ve gotten themselves into, but it’s far more complex and deeper in than that. What we’re really looking at is a form of brainwashing and imprinting, and it’s not always a consciously thought-out thing that’s been carefully planned and rationalized. Sometimes, it’s just “tradition”, but the thing is, the traditions all have common features, whether you’re talking the USMC or the Bloods and the Crips. Some of the rough edges have been smoothed over for the Marines, but at the root of it all, the boot camp/Basic Training regimen is a regularized form of a gang “jumping in”, or fraternity initiation. The common features of each set of rituals are there, and you just have to squint a little bit to see that they likely share continuity going back to the likely process by which a young male joined a semi-permanent hunting band back when we were roaming the plains and savannahs of Eurasia and Africa.

    It isn’t entirely “to make you value being a member”; the process is one that is supposed to serve to inculcate the values of the joined organization and to bond that organization’s existing members to you as much or more than it is to bond you to it. Note, if you will, the illegitimacy of someone’s authority when they move into the hierarchy laterally, without “coming up from beneath”. This is true in just about every hierarchy-based human organization, whether it’s the local Garden Club, or a street gang. You don’t get to a position of authority without some element of bonding with it, and it’s a lot like the Mafia not trusting anyone in leadership who isn’t a “Made Man”, someone who’s killed for the organization.

    Likewise, with your example of citizenship, the problem isn’t so much that the newcomers aren’t sufficiently acculturated as it is that the “already heres” don’t accept them as members of the tribe.

    There are, in other words, two sides to this equation. You’re only acknowledging one, here, and it leaves the situation described entirely unbalanced.

    The rules of the game aren’t always obvious to the outsider, and you really have to watch to learn, and try to fit in. I spent much of my life as an outsider in these informal hierarchies, and that’s why I had to learn to observe what was going on, and how to work my way in. You don’t start out at the middle, and you don’t ever make it to the top without paying your dues at the bottom as either a trainee private or a fraternity “rush”. And, a lot of the time, it is not you, it is the other members. They won’t trust you enough to make you one of them, unless you’ve “done the rituals” the way they did.

    Nine-tenths of this stuff is never written down, or even seriously studied. You go to the Army, and say “Hey, how are you doing your Soldier indoctrination and acculturation…?”, and they’re not going to have much beyond some half-ass platitudes written down in a book somewhere by some people who have no idea what they are talking about, and if you go out and observe what is happening on the ground out in the basic training companies, you’ll see these mechanisms implemented with a vengeance, all on an informal basis and without anyone really grasping the significance of what they’re doing as they do them. It’s all on autopilot, and that’s a huge part of the problem–Nothing is formalized, written down, studied, and thus, subject to being thought about. Which goes a long way towards explaining why the military has been screwing it up, of late.

    Same-same with the citizenship process. At the root of it, what is too easily acquired isn’t valued, and that goes in two directions: From the new citizen and from the existing citizenry to the new one…

    1. Oh, no. I do understand male bonding. Kirk, I grew up in the middle of my brother’s friends. But the pride of belonging, etc, at least I intuit from Heinlein’s books is different. It’s “something dearly bought.”
      Given most of my friends growing up were male I resent the “you fluffy females don’t understand our macho men ways.” I have more problems understanding female group dynamics.
      the rest of your comment is tl/dr, since you started off by pissing me off.

      1. [sigh]

        Didn’t mean to piss you off, intentionally–The part that did that was inartfully phrased.

        This isn’t down to “fluffy females”, either–You indicated puzzlement at that young man dying in the initiation process, which implies you don’t understand in your gut what is going on with this sort of thing. Which isn’t a hit on you as a human being, but does indicate that the dimorphic nature of human minds has put you on the other side of the dividing line in this regard. And, likely, more than a few of the males you’ve been around. This isn’t necessarily a male/female thing, but it damn sure is far more prevalent on the male side of the dividing line, this urge to “belong” to a greater entity, whether it’s a football team or a armed forces unit. Few of the women I know would be willing to kill themselves “to make the grade” joining a club or something equivalent. Every year, we see males go out and do that, though, and most women are going “WTF? Why didn’t he just quit? He was having heat stroke, ferGawdsakes…”. Looks logical to the female mind, and not at all to the male. Logic, to us, is that being a part of something like that is worth dying for.

        To a degree, I think you can say that most women have a hell of a lot more common sense than men do, but you see the same sort of dichotomy going on when women try to form family groups with men that are eminently unsuitable: “Why didn’t she just leave his ass? She knew he was going to beat her to death… Why didn’t she leave…?”. From the male perspective, that makes no sense, but from the female side…? Most of you get that; she was willing to die in order to form a family unit–That was her goal, and the illogic of it from my point of view is just as alien to the usual run of male minds as the kid dying to join a fraternity was to you.

        There is a difference, and a strong one, between how things work in male- and female-dominated social structures. In general terms, that difference manifests itself in what happens during the initiation/bonding phase–Most female-dominated social organizations seem to tend to focus more on establishing social position in the hierarchy than to be geared towards the “make new member one of us” that the male ones focus on. You also didn’t see the level of petty physical harassment, at least until lately, when the girls started copying the boys out of some unGodly social leveling phenomenon.This has shifted a lot, now that you see sororities trying to copy fraternities bonding rituals, but the differences were there in the era before now.

        The root I’m getting at is that this “initiation/bonding process” isn’t solely, or even primarily intended to shift the new member’s allegiances to the group as it is to signal to the existing members that this newcomer is both fully on-board and worthy of joining. This is why the guys running these idiotic and childish fraternity rituals are so gung-ho about what they’re doing, which makes no earthly sense at all to an outsider. The incoming new member is basically doing a “wolf on his back, showing his belly” to the dominant members of the organization he’s wanting to join, in hopes that he’ll signal both acquiescence and worthiness to them. The reason he is willing to kill himself doing that is because he wants acceptance there, and the identity that comes with it.

        If you look at the guys who are the worst abusers in these initiation rituals, and the most likely to go overboard, it’s generally the ones who were nearest to failure during their own initiation, who often have lingering senses of being unfit for membership.

        You’re looking at the thing, and only slightly grasping the barest outline of it all. There’s more going on with these group rituals than you realize–Few women I know have any sense of loss at never having been a part of one of these deals, while every male I know who hasn’t either joined the military or some kind of fraternity feels as though they somehow failed at something important in their lives. Note the widespread number of “secret societies” and fraternal organizations in the era following the Civil War for an example of reaction to that. Many of the men who were too young to fight in that war sought something, and that turned into the widespread identification with various organizations like the Masons, the I.O.O.F., and others.

        The prevalence of poseurs and “fake veterans” is another indicator–These guys are answering something deep within their own psyche, and the fact that they’re mostly male ought to tell you something. If you can’t look at the whole picture, and understand it at a gut level, that’s because you’re fundamentally like a person who’s been blind from birth trying to understand color, and the roles it plays for the sighted. It’s not a hit on you, personally, but it is a fact.

        I know what that kid who died trying to join a fraternity was seeking; I’ve felt it before, myself. I don’t need it explained to me, because I grasp it at a gut level.

        If you do need it explained…? It’s not a value thing, it’s simply a “different sort of person” thing.

        And, that sort of issue is usually broken down along lines of sexual dimorphism. Women I know don’t understand that male need for belonging to something like that; the female equivalent drive seems to be focused on forming a family unit. The dichotomy has its roots, I suspect, in behavioral biology, and serves interlocking purposes.

        1. NO. I indicated puzzlement as to the joining of a frat. My husband has friends, but doesn’t belong to one. Bonding happens outside them. I don’t “get” organized bonding like frats, if that’s what they are.
          Again TL/DR. you’re going from faulty premises.

          1. He’s saying there’s a difference between having friends, and being in a gang. A frat is a gang. A man doesn’t need a gang to have friends.

            His key thesis is that gang-drive and friend-drive are not identical.

            1. I understand this, but I’m still puzzled at the Male/Female bullshit. I think it’s more an odd, not odd. I suspect most odds have never been in anything organized except the army.

              1. It’s not bullshit. The fact that you’re so puzzled by it, and don’t grasp the intrinsic nature of it shows you’re not wired for it, which is a fairly common difference between men and women. Not all men are, either. I’d say that it also isn’t necessarily a feature of what we’ve described as being an “odd”, because a lot of us who would self-describe as that have sought out these opportunities to “belong”.

                I fundamentally don’t get why a woman would stay with an abusive mate; intellectually, I can think about it, talk about it, but I can’t get why she does it, and why so many other women do that same thing, seeking to form “family”.

                The flip side to that coin is, and the one you’re staring back across the same gulf over is “why do men do these insane things, seeking to “belong” to organizations?”. It is equally irrational, and probably rooted in something biological, as well.

                You don’t see many women claiming to have been SEALS/Airborne Rangers or other such fake identity things. How many women are there, cited for doing the whole “Stolen Valor” thing? The number is close to zero. Why do you suppose that is?

                Like it or not, this is a fairly fundamental, and common dimorphic difference between the sexes. It’s not a “girls bad/boys good” issue, it’s simply a behavioral difference. There are a lot of things that women do as a group that just leave me going “WTF?”, but a huge percentage of them do it, enough that it’s a stereotype. Same with men.

                1. Kirk,

                  Just another data point – but I couldn’t serve (medical reasons) when I applied for (and got) a NROTC scholarship (26 years ago) and I still feel like it is a personal failure that I didn’t. Even though I had no choice in the matter.

                  1. I GET that, and I get the military, which is what I was trying to tell Kirk. What I don’t get is the benefits of choosing a frat (or sorority, which is why his entire gender screed was bizarre) over any other association. My school system simply had NO Greek system and I never got acquainted with anyone who was in one in the US. THAT is all I was claiming ignorance of.
                    I’m not disputing humans’ need to belong. It’s what makes being an Odd so difficult. I was disputing his point of departure and assumptions about what I was “so puzzled” about (ignorance of a system is not the same as being puzzled by anything.) Which is why his fricking rant annoyed me, as well as his assumption that women don’t have a need to belong. There’s quilting clubs, mothers’ clubs, etc speaking against it. It’s a different form of belonging, and I don’t fully get THAT one (since I was raised mostly by guys) but I kind of understand. To a great extent my old writers’ group was successful because of the urge to bond.
                    I GET why choose the military for that impulse, because of what it serves. My only question was “what do fraternities serve?” since I haven’t investigated it or even thought much about it. People answered with “advancement and networking” which is valid.
                    I don’t have a problem with Kirk’s points on human bonding, but it’s like I posted about making souffles and he went off on how I was puzzled about the manufacturing of AK 47s. If this were introduced as “A tangential topic” all fine. Thread drift is a feature here. It was the “Let me explain this to you little girl” while explaining things I KNEW and acting like I was puzzled by things I wasn’t, or couldn’t penetrate what is after all a basic human drive.
                    AND Kirk, apropos of external identity: I come from a culture where ANYONE who goes to secondary education penetrates a male environment and is therefore an ersatz male. Throughout most of my schooling my name was “Almeida” aka my surname, which identified me as a member of a tribe, the tribe’s honor dependent on mine. Which is part of why your little strange lecture pissed me off.

                    1. Sarah,

                      Not picking you over him or vice versa – also not sure I agree 100% with him on the man/woman thing. My colleges had very limited frats as well – and were in NYC so why do you need a frat? But if you are in a college town and there aren’t copious numbers of places to go – I can see the allure of a frat. And as people join groups I think it is normal to limit the intake of other people – thus hazing.

                      But sororities also haze, so I am not sure this proves the man/woman thing. Also identification is an interesting way to look at things – but it doesn’t explain why hazing or anything else, just that people view themselves differently.

                      Kirk, I do think that less words, but better phrasing would help a lot in explaining your ideas to others.

                      I think it is time to duck in the foxhole to avoid the carp going in both directions. 🙂


                    2. I haven’t a problem with anything you said, John. I just disliked being lectured (dubiously in the case of gender because you know, it all depends on how you were raised and what society was like. Not saying there are no differences between the social styles of the sexes, just saying that most of us are somewhere “between” enough to GET the other. Unless a woman was raised in purdah and had no husband/father/brothers, it’s not unknown territory. We might not BE inside their heads, but we observe how it works.) on a tangent that had nothing to do with the post AND to boot having things attributed to me that I didn’t say. Yeah. It makes me p*ssy.

                    3. But sororities also haze, so I am not sure this proves the man/woman thing.

                      It would be interesting to see a comparative study of the different (if they are different) hazing rituals of fraternities versus sororities. I suspect the depictions of sorority hazing practices described in men’s magazines and movies of a certain genre are less than accurate.

                      I had a Sociology professor (Soc 310, IIRC) discuss the effect of hazing and his arguments supported the making valuable by making costly theory. That was back around 1980, before the field had gone completely off the rails, so YMMV today.

                      Prior to WWII there were clear advantages to belonging to a Greek organization, as we’ve discussed (although we oughtn’t overlook the system as a source of access to alcohol in an America frequently “dry.”) As a way of providing housing (I am not confident whether colleges, in general, had student housing as part of their function back then — it would be a matter for further research which I decline to undertake), meals, social connection, socialization, employment opportunities and other features as discussed.

                      After WWII, it is likely the system has largely continued via momentum even if only as part of “the college experience.”

                    4. Sarah, you do realize you just tore Kirk a new one for mansplaining, don’t you?

                      (Justifiably, mind you. Proof that even faux pearls have a kernel of grit at their core.)

                    5. I am given to understand that is a fundamental aspect of mansplaining, and a significant contributor to its annoyance.

              2. He’s said more or less, some men, but not all men. If I say “I don’t know if I’m that way”, he would probably assume that I am not.

                I think the evidence suggests that I am not, but it is possible that I mask unhappiness over unfulfilled gang-drive with other unhappiness.

                1. I think “gang drive” is probably a negatively loaded term for this feature of the human psyche. External identification drive, perhaps?

                  From what I’ve seen, it is there, and is expressed to a much higher degree on the male side of the dimorphic line. There are a bunch of ways that this is expressed, as well–For example, if you start looking around at people who are likely to identify themselves as fans of a particular sports team as a primary identity, you’re going to find that a hell of a lot more prevalent among males. With women, it’s more like “Oh, and I’m a Seahawk fan, too…”. The identification is there, but it’s not to the degree and depth it is with many males. What you’re going to hear from many women is something like “I’m Tyler’s mom…” as a primary identification. And, it would be a mistake to consider that as her saying she’s somehow a lesser person because she doesn’t also say “I’m the head of engineering down at the water plant…”, which would also be true; it’s just that she might value her status as Tyler’s mom more than she does her professional status and attainments.

                  Of course, it can also be context-influenced, as well, but the question is, what is that person going to answer when you wake them up from sleeping at two am in the morning?

                  The issue is, what do you answer when you are asked “Who/what are you?”. Most men, in my observation, are going to answer with an emphatic identification with some external organization, like “I’m retired Army” or “I own business X”. Most women, asked the same question, are going to give answers defining themselves in terms of their personal relations, depending on context.

                  Hell, I’ve seen female senior officers in the Army introduce themselves at civilian social functions as “I’m so-and-so’s mother/husband/sister”, while her husband (of equally prestigious rank) is identifying himself as “I’m LTC X, commander of Y battalion…”. I would speculate that this possibly indicates which set of relationships/organization memberships the individual values more, and I’ve seen it on a couple of different occasions with different sets of people.

                  Most men, and most women don’t think alike, at all. There’s a spectrum of behaviors, and some of them are completely inexplicable once you get far enough outside that spectrum. Seen it enough to call it a truism. Pointing this out is not meant to be offensive.

                  1. Sigh. Have to agree with you, Kirk. I’ve always introduced myself in terms of what I do -retired AF, writer, owner of a Tiny Bidness …no scope for spouse of whom, mother of whom there.

                    “Sgt. Hayes – work for AFRTS-whatever. Can I ask you a couple of questions?” Always seemed to get respect, oddly enough.

                    1. ““Sgt. Hayes – work for AFRTS-whatever. Can I ask you a couple of questions?” Always seemed to get respect, oddly enough.”

                      This is likely an artifact of you finding out through experience what works in a male-dominated organization. I’m sure that there are equivalent female-dominated ones where it would be more important to establish bonafides by introducing yourself in terms of personal relationships.

                      It isn’t a good thing, it isn’t a bad thing–It’s just a thing. I think most males define themselves in terms of the externals, and that’s why they so madly seek to identify with such things. This is the root for a lot of what seems to be inexplicable and seemingly irrational male behavior, like referring to their favorite sports teams in terms of “we” and “us”. This isn’t something I’ve seen a lot of women do on their own, and there’s a certain amount of “solemnly rubbing blue mud into belly button” going on when they do it, which makes me suspect that they’re really just trying to fit in and identify with the husband/son/brother. The reality is often her going “WTF? Us? Our? Since when did you join the Dallas Cowboys?” to herself, as she participates.

                      Wake someone up at two-three in the morning, and ask them while they’re still semi-conscious: “Who are you? What are you?”. The answers you get while they’re still in a state of befuddlement will be telling. It’s the answer you give when you ask yourself “Who am I? What is my fundamental identity…?”.

                      In my case, it’s still “Soldier”, and probably will be for life. I suspect that if I were of a more spiritual bent, and had encountered a recruiter for the Hare Krishna at the right time in my life, it’s entirely possible that I’d be one of them, instead.

                    2. Another point in the external identification is what generation you’re talking about, especially in terms of women. You rarely see it these days, but among the WWII generation and before there was much more prevalence of “I’m Mrs. Gunnar Olson” rather than “I’m Alfreda Olson”, even when they were asking for an officer to come over and take a report and their husband died decades ago.

                    3. Today CSRs call you by your first name. Sometimes I wish they’d call me Mrs N rather than Emily.

                    4. I’ve appreciated that most of Wells Fargo’s CSRs have either called me Mr. Oyster or asked permission before using my given name. They’ve been very friendly and helpful, too; the worst I’ve had was mediocre. The company’s poorly organized, but they hire nice, polite people.

                    5. Without wanting to go all socio-biological here, I wonder whether this reflects long-established “rules” that men achieve status in order to marry well while women marry well to achieve status.

                      James Taranto often discusses female hypergamy, which implies that a woman’s husband’s status is the most significant measure of her own status: her ability to attract and retain the support of a high status mate. Thus women operate in a two-status sphere, where their own status as well as husbands’ status are notable, while men gain scant status through their wives (indeed, a high status wife may diminish his own status, unless that status is in the “traditional” female areas relating to fecundity, e.g., a Victoria’s Secret model.)

                    6. “I hate being called by my first name by strangers, service providers, etc.”

                      Noted. My apologies for earlier inappropriate references.

                    7. Sarah! A mild bit of hopping up and down, and a bit of preening – I have been accorded ATH regular status!

                      OTOH – Mom would be disappointed in me, she did teach me better manners for addressing people. One thing that, unfortunately, did not stick when boy met world.

                    8. On the Gripping Hand, consider the settings. When in a professional setting, it used to be customary to refer to people as either their professional status followed by their last name, or as their gender/marriage designation and last name. In a less formal setting, this form of address is typically maintained only until the individuals are comfortable with one another.

                    9. Re what RES said: to this day, my mom giggles at being called Frau Professor Doktor Professorin Doktorin [last name] by oooooold school railway staff and hotel staff in Austria. It’s not common outside of Vienna, but entertaining that she gets dad’s titles, then her titles.

                    10. Re “Frau Professor Doktor Professorin Doktorin [last name]”…

                      My Dad returned from a trip to Germany not so many years ago, still chuckling over having been introduced to an audience as “Herr Doktor Doktor Doktor Professor Akademician Akademician [last-name].” I’m not sure I spelled the German for “Academician” correctly, but… This is particularly good because he’s a quite informal guy, and prefers to go by his first name.

                  2. I used ‘gang drive’ because of Kratman’s comment about boy gangs being one of two spontaneous human organizations. That seemed relevant.

                  3. Ah, the identification question. Fascinating the studies done on that in America. Military personnel almost always give their rank first, followed by such things as husband, father, American, etc., except for military doctors who always lead with “Doctor”, and may not even give their rank in the top 10 identifiers. Non-military will list the husband, father, American thing then follow up with profession.

                    But the real dichotomy comes in racial identification. Blacks almost always list “Black” first, and always in the top ten. Whites almost never list white, at all. If the list asked for is extended, they’ll get to ethnic background, if they know it, and list Scottish, Irish, Italian, whatever. Most whites in the United States simply don’t self identify as white.

                    Everything I can remember reading about this dichotomy addresses the white/black difference. I have no idea how any particular Asian grouping does on the self identity list. I’ve been retired from active duty for 20 years. I still give my rank first. It’s part of me.

              1. Gangs have bureaucracy, as well. Look at the immense layers of hierarchy and written rules in most of the outlaw biker gangs. You see the same level of organizational sophistication in a lot of the street gangs, too.

            2. The fundamental difference is the external identity; people don’t identify themselves to strangers as “I’m Bob Smith’s friend…”. They do, however, identify themselves as “I’m a Phi Kappa Kappa Nu” (made up fraternity name, dunno if that’s even the right format) or “I’m a Ranger”, normally selecting which external identity has more prestige in the circumstance.

              And, again, this is more prevalent and “driven” on the male side of the dimorphic line. Women do not seem to have the insane drive to achieve this sort of thing that men do, which is why you don’t seem to have as much problem with women doing the whole “Stolen Valor” constellation of behaviors. There’s a reason that Walter Mitty is a male stereotype, and not a generalized male/female one. I honestly don’t know that there is an equivalent female behavior, either–Unless maybe it’s lying about the achievements of one’s children? I honestly can’t say how prevalent that is, or whether that goes to the same depth and elaboration some of these weird guys get up, claiming to have been Major Generals in the Army or whatever. Maybe there are two sides to the same coin, but I’ll be damned if I’ve ever seen enough of it to notice. You don’t have whole books written about “Stolen Achievements of Grandchildren” cases, that’s for sure.

    1. And just last I’d mentioned him, noting there was even a status web page made to counter the once common ‘Abe Vigoda is dead’ rumors trolls tried to start.

  19. Sarah, you have remarkable clarity in your views and your ability to see the root causes of problems. I love reading your blog.

    By the way, I just wanted to tell you, I bought Darkship Thieves for my 1st-generation Nook on Saturday, and read the whole thing on Sunday afternoon. It was phenomenal, and I look forward to scraping together more for the rest of the series.

  20. It’s what every immigrant imbibes from day one. He’s asked where he comes from and encouraged to say how his land is better than America.
    This is so nuts, and I say that as an immigrant. Why leave (wherever) and live here if it’s so much better (wherever)? If it’s so bad here, why are you staying? Go grumble to whoever is forcing you to stay — ’cause it ain’t me!

  21. I agree that if you want an immigrant to assimilate you have to give them an incentive to want to do so. My ancestors have a long history of fleeing areas when they don’t like what’s going on where they live. They Germany/France for Russia several centuries ago, but never assimilated into Russia (except for the clothes). They kept their villages ethnically similar to where they came from. When it was time for the kids to marry, if they didn’t find someone in the village, they found someone in one of the other nearby German villages. They spoke German. They ate German foods. They kept German traditions. They always considered themselves German, never Russian, even generations later. They then left Russia for the US. Some left the US for Canada, and a few even went down to Argentina (no idea what’s happened to them there) and still considered themselves German. The kids of the ones who settled and stayed in the Dakotas moved all over, but primarily 4 states. If you talk to pretty much any baby boomer from ND they’ll have a sibling/aunt/uncle living in two if not all four of: MN, CO, MT or WA. When my parents got married, one of his aunts and one of her aunts discovered they not only lived in the same town in WA, but on the same street.

    The ones who stayed in America did finally assimilate, but it took a couple of generations before English was the first language spoken in the home. As hard as homesteading was, none of them ever wanted to go back to where they came from. My grandmother didn’t learn English until she went to school. My great grandmother (first of her family born in the US) pretty much learned English from her kids. My mother and her siblings barely know a couple of phrases in German, and the only German me and my cousins know we learned in school.

    1. It may becoming a bit like that among the established Hispanic families in Texas. My daughter went to a Catholic high school in San Antonio – on the south side, which is the Hispanic side of town. In her graduating class if 50 or so in 1998, there were two white/Anglo girls, one Indian/Hindu and one African-American. One of the teachers lamented then, that the Hispanic girls only spoke a rudimentary sort of Spanish. They knew bits and bobs, some slang, nursery rhymes and cuss-words … nothing like total fluency .

      Of course, this is Texas, and the catchment area for the school was mostly daughters of employees at Kelly AFB – assimilated and patriotic American as all get-out.

      At the graduation ceremony, they announced where each girl was going – a good few to college, or some kind of tech training (although I think most went to be married, including a few who were pregnant already.) but when they announced that my daughter was going into the Marines, there was a huge cheer,

  22. Look, immigration to America used to be a grueling process. Even in the early twentieth century, when my grandfather went to Brazil, it involved a long an costly trip. It limited trips back home. If he could have convinced my grandmother to move, he’d have moved and never come back to Portugal.

    I know I’ve told the story before, but my most recent immigrant ancestors….

    Momma decided they would be moving. So my great-grand and his big brother came over and worked their tails off, sending enough money home for everyone to have a hundred dollars in their hand when they walked through that gate. (That was the requirement, on top of the other ones– none of this “get supported by public groups until you’re eligible for the dole” junk.)

  23. May I enter an Australian’s point of view as to how it should be done? Yes, I was a migrant. I’m Australian now. And I’ll bite your head off if you forget it. You get your own butt to the country, you need to be a desirable migrant to get a visa. That means scoring points on a system designed to favor migrants that add value, AND can easily fit in. You should get no welfare, no support, no help at all – for at least 10 years. You can expect no perks, no adaptation for your old country culture, manners or foibles. All you get is a fighting chance and out of the hell-hole you came from. You need to speak and write the local language fluently, to be let in. And yes if you’re of age, you ought to be prepared to serve in the military. If not you ought to volunteer for at least one public service. You give citizenship for nothing, its worth nothing.

  24. My late parents & uncle-aunts were American-born (in one case by 2 days), and my grands were East European Jews who made it to the US before WWI. They went to the NYC public schools, which at the time were machines for turning immigrants into Americans. It was taken for granted that in school you will recite the Pledge of Allegiance, keep your hands to yourself, and speak only English; my parents talked about how they got slapped with rulers for speaking Yiddish. The result was possibly the most successful wave of immigration in history, whether you measure ‘success’ as how well they assimilated or how much they contributed to the host country.
    Now the punchline: when I talk about those days with my family or my friends from similar background, who are mostly old-fashioned well-meaning liberals, someone _always_ says: ‘But we can’t do that today’. They say it sadly. I don’t say ‘why the hell not’ because it would be mean.

    1. Because slapping with a ruler will get you sued, and a lot of the people who end up in education schools are the dregs of the system and are utterly unsuited to explain what it means to be American.
      (I remember being in one in Arkansas that had, on the wall, that you had to keep a 2.5 GPA in order to stay in. This was maybe four years ago.)

      1. I went to school in California, Florida, California, and then Tennessee, while I endured the third grade.

        Having finished my make-work in class in Tennessee, I was sitting quietly reading a book when the teacher came up and hit me with a stick while sceaming something. Then she hit me again. I punched her in the face and tipped the desk over so I could get away since she had me blocked in. Obviously she had gone completely batshit insane.

        That was my first encounter with “corporal punishment”. I never did get an explanation of what I had been “punished” for; the entire furor instantly hinged on the fact that I had defended myself. I wound up expelled for a while, of course. Since I had no desire to be there in the first place, that was fine with me.

        The school’s stance was that it was their right and duty to beat the hell out of any kid they wanted to and they didn’t need a reason. Fortnately, that was one of the few times my parents stood up for me.

        Looking back, I see an organization so broken that it went into a collective freak-out when a little kid didn’t just sit there and let some nut beat him with a stick. The way they acted, it was such an incomprehensible thing they had no method of dealing with it other than screeching like monkeys and working the stick some more.

  25. I take some comfort in the superstition that a certain percentage of people coming to the United States do so because it’s the Land of Opportunity, and whether or not they intend to assimilate the culture, they are here because they have this innate sense that, more than any other place, you can be free here…even if you come here illegally…

    Thus, on the one hand, I suspect that people coming here are assimilating more than we realize, even in spite of the multiculturalist attitudes that others attempt to force on them.

    On the other hand, however, it disturbs me greatly to hear that our own Government is paying for billboards in Mexico that basically say, “Come to America, and you can get on welfare!” This deliberately undermines the Land of Opportunity ethos, and to the extent that it even undermines the rule of law, it’s downright treasonous to our values (and it’s sickening that it’s coming from our own government!).

    But then, “Come get benefits from Government” is a sickening mindset in general, whether it’s addressed to Mexicans or Americans. I once saw a poster in a public library many years ago that churned my stomach as much as that billboard. It said “Ask not what your country should do for you…ok, go ahead and ask!”

    1. But, if we don’t advertise for more dependents it is possible our inventory will go down and we’ll have to lay off government employees!!! We can’t have that – those are union jobs!

      1. After Sanders gets elected I’ll happily become a government dependent…sure, it’ll be a lower standard of living than being employed but by so little the extra free time to make music will more than make up for it.

  26. I’ve run into more neo-nazis in the last month than the entire ten years online before that

    Of course you have. You’re a sad puppy. We’re all neo-nazis, right?

    Seriously, the fact that the gate-keepers of popular culture are losing control has ratcheted the ad-Hitlerums to 11. As a result two things have happened. Both the actual honest-to-white-supremacy “Nazis” ((I don’t think any of them are actually socialists? Do you?) as well as the libertoid nationalists and the racialists on the fringe (if you think Asians are the master race, how do you get your white supremacy card stamped? I boggle) are lost in the white noise. It’s like a Dark Universe Incredibles. If everyone is a white-supremacists, no-one is a white-supremacist.

    On the other hand, it’s a perfectly normal human reaction over and over and over again of a crime you’ve never committed, to say, Oh yeah? Bite me, Yeltar. I’ll SHOW you…. And so the iconoclasts go off and say the most obnoxious think they can imagine, just to spite the petty, po-face dictatorial pissants.

    So be of good cheer. That latter effect? It doesn’t mean there’s a rise in the level of stupid racialism, it means you’re winning. Ca ira.

    No, the actual danger to us all comes from the crack-down, when the terrified progs shut down the newly awakened voices even as the elite in power pander to the worst elements of whatever group they’ve decided it’s fashionable to privilege this week. Right now that’s tribal muslims and the South American gang-bangers.

    The formula goes like this:
    1. Scotch irish culture leaves a lot to be desired, and the immigrants generally come from the worst of it/
    2. People have nasty run-ins with a significant percentage of the scotch irish immigrants.
    3. They say nasty things about them and discriminate against them
    4. Life is uncomfortable enough that the community self-polices
    5. Scotch irish become a bastion of white privilege.

    Replace #4 with “People are punished for telling the truth about the Scotch Irish, pretty lies are told about the scotch irish, and – as you have pointed out – the scotch irish are being told that self-policing is racial treason. Plug in “tribal Muslim” for scotch irish and you get the added bonus that self-policing translates to: Do a lot more of #1 or we’ll kill you. There is no good #5 at the end of that tunnel. For anyone.

    1. A LOT of the white supremacists I’m running into are socialist, yes, though a lot of them don’t know that’s what they are. They want wealth in the hands of the “white race” and “the best people in control” And no, I’m not actually exaggerating on either. Mind you, they’re still a minority, but I keep running into them.

      1. While I completely sympathize with the racialists who self-segregate by, say the Italian race, the German race, the Argentinian race (boo! hiss!) and yes. that’s a *joke* when the germans beat the argentine footballers you could hear whole neighborhoods erupting in cheers. I’m still having a hard time with the idea that a white oligarchy is going to give other white people, defined as, dunno, them, what they want.

        We’ve already got a white oligarchy in quite a few Democrat-run and Labour run cities after all, and they sure as blazes don’t give the white supremacist crowd diddly.

        But I digress. To paraphrase slick Willy’s campaign, it’s not the race even the old school definition, “It’s the culture, stupid.”

        You have to say that to the lefties all the time, which ought to give the alt right pause. Some cultures are just piss poor. Up until now it’s taken a died-in-the-wool prog to think that someone of a particular race is wedded to her culture and every aspect of her culture, then, now and forevermore. So telling her to adapt, assimilate and reject the parts of their culture that, frankly, suck hard vacuum is Just Wrong, and Nice People Don’t Do That.

        Good God. I just realized. How many of those white supremacists are old farts like us? They’re relatively young, aren’t they?

        We’re looking at a generation that has been marinated in that particular progressive bit of stupid evil for so long they don’t even realize how internalized it’s become.

        Okay, now I’m depressed.

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