Re: More On Immigration Reform

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provoke the Republican base into going totally off the deep end

Yep. And they're hoping to sew up the Latino vote as solidly as they have the black vote. That's why Lindsey Graham is now threatening to filibuster *his own freaking energy bill* if they don't push back immigration reform until after the elections.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 7:54 AM
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And they're hoping to sew up the Latino vote as solidly as they have the black vote.

Yep. And if they can do that, it is a long term demographic victory. I think it is worth trying for.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 7:58 AM
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I'm not sure about the short term politics of this ("tough" i.e. racist immigration control is pretty popular right now, even among non tea party types).

I do know that if the Republicans become officially the anti-Hispanic party, the long term politics overwhelmingly favor the Democrats. The smarter Republicans know this. They can read demographic trends and they saw what happened with Prop 187 in California -- basically, locking up the state's key constituency for the Democrats for 20 years and ending Cailfornia's long history as a swing state -- and they know that going crazy on immigration will cost them decades out of power. (And will piss off their base of small and mid-size business owners). Karl Rove was very smart about this, as are most of the Texas Republicans, and was very, very solicitious of the Hispanic vote.

But the Republicans have a base that is foaming at the mouth on this issue, and that they can't control.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:06 AM
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OK, we all agree on this one. Problem solved!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:07 AM
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It's nice to feel like there's one area where the Democrats are savvier than the Republicans.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:09 AM
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That's why Lindsey Graham is now threatening to filibuster *his own freaking energy bill* if they don't push back immigration reform until after the elections.

Yes. He'll filibuster his own energy bill if they don't push back the immigration bill that he also says he supports (but that he's also willing to filibuster, of course).


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:12 AM
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I hope it works too, because the alternative is the Republicans sweeping congress with a mandate to be totally dickish about immigration.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:12 AM
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5: I'm not sure "savvier" is the right word--Republicans are in a real bind here. They (or at least most of them) know that alienating hispanics is a big problem, but their white base is sufficiently up in arms about immigration that they're at real electoral risk if they come across as insifficiently anti-immigrant.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:15 AM
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8: But at least we're finally exploiting one of their stupid weaknesses, instead of turning up our hands and saying "Gorsh, boss! Whoda thunk!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:23 AM
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I sure as hell hope it works.

Me too, I guess

provoke the Republican base into going totally off the deep end.

See, I have meanings of this that are very very bad.

I know what these people did in the 1850s 1960s and 1890s and 1960s and most of the time between (1920s immigration laws & KKK?) I do not underestimate (overestimate?) them.

There is a portion, at least 30-40% that are violent crazy, and I am not sure the "moderates" ("small and mid-size business owners") will leap into the arms of the Democrats. They will have to live with their wingnut neigbors for generations and as happened all the times before, the undecided will go tribal.

Wingnutland could put up the metaphorical barricades, decide to heighten the contradictions, and ask the Yanks whatcha gonna fo about it? Huh?

Listen to what you are saying. If Hispanics are about to become the forever mortal enemies of Republicans, along with the blacks & gays, wingnut Texans, for instance, have little to lose by taking extraordinary measures to drive them out of their states.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:25 AM
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insifficiently anti-immigrant

unsufficiently anti-ummigrant?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:26 AM
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Auntie Umm, I grant?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:27 AM
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If Hispanics are about to become the forever mortal enemies of Republicans, along with the blacks & gays, wingnut Texans, for instance, have little to lose by taking extraordinary measures to drive them out of their states.

This is true, but it's kind of mind-boggling because wingnut Texans are way outnumbered by Texans of hispanic descent plus non-crazy Texans.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:28 AM
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Ruy Teixeira (?) and his fucking demographics.

What does he think, Rick Perry and Tom DeLay are going to give up control of Texas, like forever?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:29 AM
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Fortunately, Texas now looks relatively sane. Thanks, Arizona!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:30 AM
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Also, I don't know how I can still be amazed by right-wing hypocrisy, but it's breathtaking that they can simultaneously:
1. Accuse Obama of creeping Nazism
2. Implement a law which allows the police to stop and ask you for papers, depending on which ethnicity you look like. Literally a first step to Nazism! Not even hyperbolically!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:34 AM
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Texans, for instance, have little to lose by taking extraordinary measures to drive them out of their states

Driving 1/3 of their population out of the state would hurt Texas. Even the crazies can understand that math.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:36 AM
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I get stymied by the words "immigration reform", because everything politically possible seems stupid or useless. (To be clear, I think probably the best possible outcome is something that I think of as stupid and dishonest -- a 'path to citizenship' for people now in the country illegally, without any provision of a reasonable way for the people who are going to enter the country and work here to do so legally in the future -- but better than the politically possible alternatives). What I want to happen; a change in the laws that would allow people who want to come to the US to work to do so legally without an unreasonable amount of difficulty, and that would allow people resident in the US and working to become citizens after a reasonable amount of time, seems to be just off the table completely in terms of what's possible.

So, I have a hard time getting involved in 'immigration reform' positively. I can enjoy seeing Republicans tie themselves in knots, but any plausible tweaking the Democrats are likely to do to the immigration laws is just going to annoy me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:37 AM
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a 'path to citizenship' for people now in the country illegally, without any provision of a reasonable way for the people who are going to enter the country and work here to do so legally in the future

I didn't realize the paths to citizenship was supposed to be a one-time thing, like amnesty. I thought it was really a path, like a trail, that would stay put for new people to come along.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:39 AM
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18 reminds me that, despite hearing lots of generic talk about it, I actually have no idea what specifically the Democrats are thinking of proposing with respect to "immigration reform". Is there a bill in the works, or even a concrete proposal in the air?

I'd been assuming that they'd be trying to move forward with something that looked very much like GWB's 2004 proposal, but I realized I have no basis for that assumption.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:43 AM
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I have the impression that it's a process for currently undocumented immigrants; even if it's around in the future, it's a path you get on by breaking the law. I sound like a surly teenager, but that's just stupid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:44 AM
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even a concrete proposal in the air?

The White House website is awfully vague about it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:52 AM
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H.R. 4321


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:56 AM
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22: Yeah, from that link:

Bring People Out of the Shadows

President Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

All very nice, and better than what we've got now, but it means that our immigration process is either (1) go through the byzantine and impossible process we've got now, with literally no way for most people in the world to immigrate legally, or (2) break the law and hide here for long enough that we forgive you. Both (1) and (2) are stupid, and using (2) as a safety valve to soften the inhumane effects of (1), rather than fixing (1), is particularly inane.

I'm not hoping for anything better, but I'm not going to be able to get excited about this in anything but a negative way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 8:58 AM
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24: Welcome to the chair I was sitting in for the health insurance bill. I tried to keep it warm for you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:01 AM
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It's not that bad -- I don't think what we're likely to do is going to be particularly harmful, and it might be an improvement over the status quo, just in a way that I find irrational and seriously non-optimal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:04 AM
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What I want to happen; a change in the laws that would allow people who want to come to the US to work to do so legally without an unreasonable amount of difficulty, and that would allow people resident in the US and working to become citizens after a reasonable amount of time, seems to be just off the table completely in terms of what's possible.

If this is ideal legislation, then obviously the backlash would be that the sheer number of people who'd like to be here is too big for the US to hold. Is this counter-argument worthless?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:04 AM
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I call dibs on the chair for climate change legislation.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:04 AM
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What I want to happen; a change in the laws that would allow people who want to come to the US to work to do so legally without an unreasonable amount of difficulty

Anyone?

(Serious question. Immigration policy is something I don't know enough about to feel like I know what should happen, ideally.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:07 AM
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Can I have the chair for Financial Reform?

It strikes me that we might need to invest in more chairs.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:08 AM
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Is this counter-argument worthless?

I'm in an unpleasant, bitchy mood, so the temptation to say "Yes" and leave it at that is probably one to be resisted.

The only reason anyone wants to come here is that there's room -- jobs, opportunity, and so on. If the US 'filled up', to the point there weren't jobs to be easily had that were more attractive than what was available back home, people would stop coming.

This seems rough on people competing with immigrants for jobs? Sure. On the other hand, not letting people immigrate, or making them outlaws when they do, is rough on people in much worse shape. If capital can move freely across borders, labor should be able to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:09 AM
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29 basically preempted by 27, which is what I was asking.

(I'm not sure the sheer number is of people who'd like to be here is definitely too many for us to hold, in an absolute sense, but I'm quite sure the rate of inflow would be far too high.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:10 AM
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It strikes me that we might need to invest in more chairs.

Pews! Pews is the answer!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:11 AM
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24 -- I hear what you are saying, but I think you are overly cynical.

Getting people who are now in the US illegally -- particularly those who have been here for a long time, like a guy I know who has been here for 20 years, has three daughters in high school and his own business, but whom ICE has been trying to deport for 5 years -- into a legal and regularized system where they can become citizens is a BIG deal. Like, one of the biggest and most important humanitarian things that we could do as a country, and one that affects millions of people, even if nothing else is done. "All very nice" massively underestimates the importance of this issue.

Clarifying and regularizing the rules for bringing people into the country is important, too, even without a lot of liberalization. Most of the proposed reforms try to cut down on the byzantine nature of the system, particularly for skilled immigrants. I don't know if those reforms will work, and a lot depends on the details, but it's hard to do worse than what we have now.

I don't particularly like guest worker programs, but I would rather have people coming in as guest workers with some legal protection than the system we have now.

I think you may be underestimating how massively fucked up the current system is. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good is as dumb in this instance (sorry, Apo) as it was in the health reform debate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:12 AM
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The implicit question behind "is there a number that is too many" is "if we want to keep or improve our current quality of life".

Then I suspect the argument goes to whether more immigrants grow the whole pot, or if we'd have to divide the same chicken smaller between us and all the new people.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:14 AM
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34: I did call it the 'best possible outcome' -- I'm not going to argue that any reform bill that tweaks our currently insane system in a plausibly better way should be defeated. But the sort of tweaking that's the only thing on the table is something that I know I'm not competent to judge: "a lot depends on the details" indeed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:15 AM
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I'm just imputing attitudes to people I don't know, but now I'm wondering. How come people who think that there's only so much middle-class lifestyle to go around in the immigration debate think that resources are infinite in the climate change debate. Do they believe in limits or not?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:17 AM
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No need to apologize to me, Halford. I'm confident that come 2018, it will be be widely acknowledged that the health insurance bill didn't manage to fix much of anything.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:19 AM
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38: Heh. And it's funny, I'm firmly on the global resources are limited, population should go down if possible bench. But as long as people are on my planet, I don't see any justification for not letting them live wherever they want.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:19 AM
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As somebody who think CC is a hoax and immigration leads to an inferior quality of life, I fit your description and do believe in limits - that's why I'm against endless wars and inviting the world to the US. I don't really see a connection between CC and immigration. CC is a theory, immigration is a reality and I see the consequences around me every day.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:24 AM
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And if you really are worried about CC, they're just going to emit far more CO2 in the US. The best thing that could be done for the climate is reduce immigration.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:25 AM
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The only reason anyone wants to come here is that there's room -- jobs, opportunity, and so on. If the US 'filled up', to the point there weren't jobs to be easily had that were more attractive than what was available back home, people would stop coming.

This strikes me as remarkable econ-101y, coming from you. At what population level would you expect something like this to happen? We have minimum wage laws; peasants in India work for pennies. Even long after all the "help wanted" signs were gone from all the fast food restaurants, many people would (rightly) believe they'd be much better off here, hoping for a job and living off our social safety net (stingy by western standards, but generous by world standards) than staying at home. Could we afford that? How would it work?

If capital can move freely across borders, labor should be able to.

If this is supposed to be obvious, could you elaborate on why? There are some pretty important differences between capital and "labor" (i.e., people).

I do understand the social-justice arguments you're gesturing towards, and I'm very sympathetic to them--I'd love to see a vastly more egalitarian world. But I'm not convinced an open immigration policy is a way we can get there from here.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:26 AM
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immigration leads to an inferior quality of life

Which is why a nation built 100% through immigration is the largest economy in the world.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:27 AM
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A hoax?! C'mon! I'll sort of respect "exaggerated" or "unproven", but just who do you think is faking what?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:27 AM
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37 -- I think the impulse is "hands off my stuff." People think that both immigrants and environmentalists are after their property and "way of life."

As I'm sure you already know, there is a nasty and evil strain of the US environmental movement that is anti-immigrant, and that caused huge problems for the Sierra Club.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:28 AM
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OT for grammar/usage snobs:

Is it deprecated to use an anaphoric personal pronoun before mentioning the referent?>> "In his new book, The Sticking Point, Jermaine Dupri. . . "


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:30 AM
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The best thing you could do to combat global warming is punch a hippie. True fact.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:30 AM
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Wait, no hyperbole in blog comments? Hoax, exaggeration, unproven, all meet international blog commenting standards.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:30 AM
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This seems rough on people competing with immigrants for jobs? Sure. On the other hand, not letting people immigrate, or making them outlaws when they do, is rough on people in much worse shape.

I agree with this in principle, but I bet there is a real-world scenario that would get me to abandon my principles and scream NIMBY!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:30 AM
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I haven't seen that strain of environmentalism first hand, so I don't know much about how that plays out.

I bet you're right about "hands off my stuff" as the underlying impulse, but their arguments don't match up. Which, you know, whatever.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:30 AM
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Like if they dated your daughter!!!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:31 AM
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We have minimum wage laws; peasants in India work for pennies.

Peasants in India work for pennies partially because prices in India are such that they can live off pennies; $5/hour in the US isn't necessarily a better standard of living than $.25/hour someplace in the developing world, when you factor in the cost of living here. And I'm not sure what safety net you're talking about for childless, non-disabled adults that's attractive enough to uproot people from their homes without the prospect of work here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:32 AM
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To be clear, I'd like to see much more liberal immigration quotas, etc. But I don't see a way we could absord the flow that would result from a truly open policy.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:32 AM
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Actually, all my resentment against immigrants comes from the fact that they didn't date me in high school because their parents disapproved. Immigrants need to date more daughters!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:33 AM
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46: I want to do exactly that all the time, but since college, people have been red-flagging it in my prose. Probably shouldn't do it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:33 AM
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And if you really are worried about CC, they're just going to emit far more CO2 in the US. The best thing that could be done for the climate is reduce immigration.

Poverty does lead to less emissions, but the BEST thing that could be done for the climate is just kill everyone.

I like your use of "hoax" and "theory" as synonyms too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:33 AM
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52: I'm pretty sure this isn't true. Off the cuff, the fact that people here don't cripple children to make them better beggers is evidence that American poverty is somewhat better than Indian poverty.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:34 AM
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Peasants in India work for pennies partially because prices in India are such that they can live off pennies;

Uh, they're pretty poor, even with Indian prices, no?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:34 AM
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I basically agree with 34.

In a sane world there would be a guest worker program, sensible and intelligible and practical routes to citizenship, and real enforcement of penalties against people knowingly employing illegal migrants. I'll be satisfied with even minor fixes to the law that move in the right direction.

34: Your job is safe if millions of people move here. That's not true of most Americans.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:35 AM
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34+5 dammit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:35 AM
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If my kids couldn't get into any colleges, say, because all of a sudden we were swamped with terrifically qualified international students, I'd be upset. For example.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:35 AM
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Are you serious with 52, LB? You don't usually troll.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:37 AM
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People move mostly because home has gotten very bad, not because one destination on a menu looks attractive. Immigration sucks, changing countries is very hard on people.

The real question is how many unskilled immigrants can be absorbed per year. The US isn't the only place coping with this, and it doesn't always mean dealing with foreigners. Okies in the thirties in the US are an example of internal migration causing real friction. Internal restrictions preventing rural flight to big cities exist in China, Russia, and indirectly in much of Europe is another example.

Too many people too fast creates real instability. I don't have an ideal solution either, but unrestricted movement of people in the face of steep income gradients has not worked at all well in the past.

Capital is not actually especially free to move across borders-- the US is unusual in allowing foreigners to purchase real property. Opening a bank account as a foreigner in the US and Europe requires overcoming huge hurdles. Bond markets are pretty open, but that's because all governments run deficits and are desperate for lenders.

I agree that the current US system is restrictive in unpredictable and unpleasant ways, and I think that something looser would be better. But wide open seems pretty clearly wrong.

Is there a good Arizona newspaper? Well-written local news out of there would be worth reading.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:38 AM
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55: Really? It seems pretty common to me in magazines.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:38 AM
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57, 58: See my "partially", and "isn't necessarily". Sure, people poor by US standards are rich (in consumption terms) by developing world standards. But there's a crossover point where an income that sounds ridiculously low in cash terms in the US can be quite livable in a poorer country, in some cases more livable than grinding poverty here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:38 AM
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"Guest worker program" wouldn't be so popular if it were called "indentured labor program." If we're going to have immigration or labor programs, the workers should have the opportunity to work for any employer and find the best use of their labor. Tying them to one employer is a recipe for abuse and it subsidizes uneconomic industries, like agriculture.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:39 AM
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If my kids couldn't get into any colleges, say, because all of a sudden we were swamped with terrifically qualified international students, I'd be upset

Colleges already admit a lot of international students. I know people who feel this way now. (Of course, they're probably wrong about the causation.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:39 AM
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And yes to 63.1 -- open borders doesn't mean that everyone in the world will suddenly appear here. Moving to a different country is something you do if you're desperate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:41 AM
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I think the only sense in which 65 can be true is in the "at least my neighbor is as bad off as I am, so i have nothing to be jealous of" sense.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:41 AM
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66 is very right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:41 AM
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68: What about yes to 63.2, 63.3, 63.4, or 63.5? I think you underestimate how many desperate people there are.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:42 AM
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68: You don't think 5% of the world population would move to the US if it had the chance? That would double the US population overnight.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:43 AM
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"Taking into account dependents, there are more than 10 million participants in the 2008 Diversity Visa Lottery"

aka the "Green Card Lottery". Every year. For only 50000 slots.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:44 AM
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Certainly, immigration would go way up -- I'm not saying it wouldn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:46 AM
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This has been yet another episode of do not make statements about deregulating social policy based on Econ 101 theories and no research. Immigration needs some regulation, like anything else.

But I'd certainly like much larger legal immigration rates per year, and increased clarity and rationality to the system.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:49 AM
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swamped with terrifically qualified international students

It's odd to read this from a mathematician. I realized that I was on the needs-help end of a quota in a physics PhD program, as was almost everyone educated in the US. Paper qualifications don't tell the whole story, so I don't see this as a serious issue, but formally, weak US secondary education makes this very situation a reality now.

Regarding 100% immigrant US: land occupied only by animals and defenseless natives served to absorb immigrants in an agricultural economy.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:49 AM
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And yes to 63.1 -- open borders doesn't mean that everyone in the world will suddenly appear here. Moving to a different country is something you do if you're desperate.

Unlike if you're capital.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:50 AM
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Someone spell out for me what terrible thing happens when all this immigration occurs? People show up, they get jobs or they don't, if they don't, they probably go home. If they get jobs, then that means they have skills that someone here thinks are worth paying for, and everyone's better off.

The standard of living between here and the developing world equalizes some? Can that really be described as a bad thing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:51 AM
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74: Is there a level of competition that would trigger you to be defensive about resources available for your kin? I'm not saying that people can't be pushed past their defensive triggers, necessarily. But I still think there's a line somewhere.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:51 AM
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76.last: And after Obama sends the ACORN shock troops in to forcibly disarm Kansans and Nebraskans, we can recreate that simpler time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:52 AM
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75: Obviously, based on what I remember from Econ 101, the only market-based solution that is fair to immigrants is to open the borders but make things so unpleasant that about as many people want to leave as want to come. This can be easily achieved by giving national-level responsibilities to the people who run the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works and the editors of Reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:52 AM
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Someone spell out for me what terrible thing happens when all this immigration occurs? People show up, they get jobs or they don't, if they don't, they probably go home. If they get jobs, then that means they have skills that someone here thinks are worth paying for, and everyone's better off.

Also, everyone's wages go down massively.

The standard of living between here and the developing world equalizes some? Can that really be described as a bad thing?

Isn't the government of our country supposed to represent the people of our country? Not take the side of people in other countries, against the people of our country?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:54 AM
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Someone spell out for me what terrible thing happens when all this immigration occurs?

Jammies loses his job because he's decently skilled but there are a million just like him. My kids don't get into colleges because college construction hasn't kept up with all the smart, incredibly driven graduating seniors. We're unexpectedly sunk several SES levels with no real understanding of what we should have done differently to protect ourselves.

In other words, the rules for success change too fast for the bottom 2/3 to keep up and adjust, and they plummet in SES.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:56 AM
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82: Yes, the people at the bottom of the U.S. economic ladder will get massively fucked-over without a government redistribution.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:56 AM
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And that holds for the bottom 2/3 of immigrants in my scenario, as well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:57 AM
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78: You're surprised that a political idea that would cause a massive drop in living standards is off the table in a democracy? How do you think mass suicide would poll?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:57 AM
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Also, everyone's wages go down massively.

Not everyone's. Low-paid workers, disproportionately.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:57 AM
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Well, not that they plummet. But that there's no achievable "American Dream".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:57 AM
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Pwned, bah.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:58 AM
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78: Would you feel differently if it was likely that many of those immigrants would be qualified for your job and willing to work for half your salary?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:59 AM
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79, and way back to tologosh in 59. I'm not viscerally afraid about what's going to happen to my family in almost any plausible social change short of McManus taking over and the blood of the bourgeoisie running in the streets like borscht; I'm incredibly privileged (like most of the rest of you reading this), and I and mine are probably going to do fine. This means that anything I say about any kind of social change can freely be dismissed as no skin off my nose -- my social position, as an American professional, shelters me from the consequences of anything I advocate, which means that my opinions are worthless. Taking that as a given:

Sure, at some point if I felt a threat to the well being of the individuals I cared about, I'd fight for their access to resources regardless of justice. That doesn't change what's just.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:59 AM
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46: This would be prescriptivism of such an overeager and intrusive stripe I'd want to label it Hasidic prescriptivism. In writing, there is no barrier to comprehension inherent to such a construction. In speech, very little unless a lot of descriptive info is popped in between pronoun and referent and then the issue isn't really the relative position anymore, anyhow. Is there some other possible objection to this usage?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:00 AM
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46 is a standard thing to write. It's much better than "In Jermaine Dupri's new book The Sticking Point, he writes," which is something I was taught to avoid.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:02 AM
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91 -- Don't be so sure you'll be safe. I don't think lawyers are immune. Eventually, more people will start to notice that India is pumping out millions of highly trained, English speaking common-law lawyers who can do document review about as well as any big firm associate, driving down the wages for the profession as a whole.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:03 AM
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The standard of living between here and the developing world equalizes some?

What will happen to the legal and political system in the country that equalizes down? What about the water quality when desperately poor people shit in the same creek where they wash? In Chiapas, there is more space, so they don't need to do that, but look at the outskirts of Dhaka or Nairobi on google earth for an answer to this question.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:03 AM
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91

Many people believe that what's just is a global averaging of resources. Would you be willing to accept a salary of $10000 a year for your family in the name of justice? It requires a lot of bravery to honestly do so.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:04 AM
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94: I think my standards of 'doing fine' are probably lower than you're thinking. If I can find work that keeps a roof over my head and my family with enough food, that's wealth by global/historical standards.

But yes, there's all sorts of protectionism for high paid professions that shouldn't exist either.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:05 AM
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LB: They would come here, have handsome sons who were skaters and also good in math but wouldn't date me because I'm not a good Baptist Korean girl. Is that what you want for our country?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:06 AM
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I'm going to try to entice LB off the stool with the same argument that applied to health care reform.

Yes, this is incrementalist. Yes, it is hard to imagine something really good passing in this political environment. So the key questions are: (1) is this incrementalism the kind that contains a "ratchet" towards something better? and (2) Would the cause be better off if the thing failed?

On the first question, regularizing the immigration status of millions of people creates a powerful new constituency for immigration, and empowers Democrats in exactly the places they need help. So all for the good. There only way I see the bill hurting the long-term prospects for further immigration reform is if it contains a large-scale guest worker program. That would take the business lobby out of the coalition without creating any new voting constituency.

On the second question, I would be very pessimistic about the risk-averse Dems addressing the issue again soon if it fails this year. It took the threat of general election defeat to get the preternaturally cautious Harry Reid to take the risk of throwing deep. I'd like to see the effort succeed and positively reinforce the nascent trend of Congressional Dems taking some modest risks for big potential gains.

So while I don't expect the bill to look anything like my own policy preferences (and I fear it will contain a load of gratuitious meanness), I think it's the right thing to do if you believe in making more Americans out of aliens.

And the politics of it are just irresistable. What's that you say? You'll trade me a couple of marginal seats in Appalachia today for all the electoral votes and Senate seats in the Southwest in 20 years? And you'll throw in a shot at making Florida, Georgia and North Carolina safely blue? I'll take two of those, please! Three if you've got 'em!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:06 AM
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96: What does it mean to say yes or no to that? It's not an option -- an actual averaging of resources -- that's within my power, so nothing I say about what I'd do if it were is either actually brave, or particularly likely to be reliable. I can talk about what I think would be right, but not terribly meaningfully about what I'd actually do in the situation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:07 AM
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What does it mean to say yes or no to that?

Whether or not you'd support a policy which directly led to that possibility.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:09 AM
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(I finally posted a thread where someone took a big stand and everyone's arguing! I've been TRYING, you guys.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:10 AM
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(Thanks, LB.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:10 AM
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101: I think I would (generally, we'd have to talk about specific policies and so on) be right to do so. Anyone who wants to tell me that I wouldn't really support a policy like that if there were any chance it were going to happen might easily be right -- I'm not going to posture about how brave I'd be under circumstances I'm not in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:11 AM
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Okay, it's technically true that you can't know what you'd really do if such an option were presented, but how about Heebie's question?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:11 AM
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You guys are taking the same-size chicken spread over more people perspective. Which may be true, I don't know. And then, LB's saying, right, but more people will be better off than worse off, so it's worth it. And other people saying, but what if some of the worse off people are me? (And I'm saying, Ernie Hwang should have dated me, is all.)

Are there no takers for the immigrants add ability to do stuff and make life better for everyone and lift all the boats side of things? (I'm not generally an optimist, so I'm not the person to make that case.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:11 AM
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Marat we're poor
And the poor stay poor
Marat don't make
Us wait anymore
We want our rights borscht and we don't care how

I'm an open borders guy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:11 AM
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Oops too late. Anyway, I don't think I could bring myself to choose that route.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:13 AM
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I'm not a good Baptist Korean girl

You sure they weren't Presbyterian? 'Cause that would be more common, and trust me the conversion process would be less painful. (The conversion process to Presbyterianism, that is. The conversion process to Korean I imagine being potentially painful.)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:13 AM
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I wouldn't want to come to your god-forsaken hole of a country, anyway.

re: 102 -- Will that help, heebie?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:14 AM
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And other people saying, but what if some of the worse off people are me?

I think it's more than this. It's "What if I'm worse off and the sheer influx of people means the immigrants mostly aren't better off, either?" Someone upthread mentioned sufficiently desperate people crapping in streams, for example.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:15 AM
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91.last: That's more intelligible than what I'd assumed you were saying. The problem is then what kind of unjust law is both politically viable and less unjust than what we have now? Pretty much the same issue as in reforming health care, the financial services industry, yada yada...

My strong preference for a long term solution to the problem of illegal immigration is strengthening the economies of the places immigrants are coming from. Unfortunately there are a lot of powerful interests that benefit from those crappy economies (and associated crappy governments), and lots of well meaning do-gooders who want to use third world countries to prove their theories about the way things should be done. There are also lots of well meaning do-gooders who want money spent on development but can't be bothered to pay enough attention to ensure that it's spent effectively, allowing it to be diverted into projects that are useless or actively harmful but which put money into the pockets of some corrupt interest or other.

Perhaps the best way to develop third world economies is to let people migrate here as long as they repatriate some fraction of their pay prior to gaining citizenship. That money would at least be going to people who would use it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:15 AM
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The robust comrade McManus appears to be cooling on heightening them contradictions, no? I'd have thought La Migra III: 'Baggers Vs. Zetas would be right up his street.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:20 AM
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Re:Heebie worries

I got your economics right here

1) Open borders;50 million new Texans
2) Open up the printing presses
3) Use new money to build schools, colleges, windmills, solar farms, high speed rail, free hospitals, soccer stadiums, rooftop farms
4) tax the fuck out of everybody
5) repeat


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:21 AM
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1) Open borders;50 million new Texans

And very few of them big enough to make a decent linebacker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:24 AM
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immigrants add ability to do stuff and make life better for everyone

Sure, but how many in a year? There's agitation because unlimited immigration is like unrestricted building, creates lots of transient problems that do not exist if there's moderate planning. Like building, though, it's hard to agree on what it is that the zoning laws are optimizing.

Actually, immigrants have a real effect on the country they left as well, both by sending money back (short-term improvement) and by depriving it of skilled and ambitious people (long-term deficit).


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:26 AM
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113:The robust comrade McManus appears to be cooling on heightening them contradictions, no?

Zero:Do whatever it takes to implement 114.1-114.5

Lots of borscht.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:26 AM
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Of course, the UK has been running an experiment on more or less unrestricted immigration for a few years now. I don't know if anyone's done much research on the effects on wages at the low end. Much of the debate seems to be dominated by racists and little Englanders.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:28 AM
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118: Well, yeah. I'm coming into this both believing that global equalization of standards of living is just, and that unrestricted immigration isn't likely to have an immediately catastrophic effect toward that end.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:33 AM
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And I can sign on to 112.2 and .3.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:35 AM
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re: 119

The UK hasn't opened its borders to the world in general, but within the EU there's been a large migration of people from the former communist states to the UK. As far as I know those numbers are decreasing now as people return home now that the employment opportunities are drying up. That might not happen if they were from, say, sub-Saharan Africa, where the income calculation vis a vis staying or going might be different.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:37 AM
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The bad consequences of immigration aren't off in the future, they're happening now.

http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/look_at_the_jobless_rate_for_t.php

"Workers in the lowest income decile faced a Great Depression type unemployment rate of nearly 31% while those in the second lowest income decile had an unemployment rate slightly below 20% ... Unemployment rates fell steadily and steeply across the ten income deciles. Workers in the top two deciles of the income distribution faced unemployment rates of only 4.0 and 3.2 percent respectively, the equivalent of full employment. The relative size of the gap in unemployment rates between workers in the bottom and top income deciles was close to ten to one. Clearly, these two groups of workers occupy radically different types of labor markets in the U.S."


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:37 AM
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In my schools the good Koreans were Baptists. The bad Koreans were car thieves.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:38 AM
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122: The difference between the economy today and the economy in a strong labor market, like the 90s, is explained by differences in the level of immigration? I don't see that at your link.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:40 AM
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123: Were there intermediate Koreans who maybe sold loose cigarettes or used high-volume shower heads?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:41 AM
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122: Workers in the bottom of the labor market always bear the brunt of cyclical downturns. That's was true when there was massive immigration to the U.S. in the late 19th century, and when there was next to no immigration as in the early 20th.

The more compelling objection to me is the charge that immigration dampens wage growth at the bottom of the scale during boom periods, though AFAICT the empirical support for this is mixed, and some studies show the actual effects to be small.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:41 AM
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I have little to add, other than that I agree with pretty much everything LB is saying.

Also, this country is aging. We are going to need a lot of young workers to support everyone who's going to be on Social Security in the coming decades. Seems to me that if we don't open the borders significantly, the most realistic alternative is to hike the retirement age. And I'll be damned if I'm going to work until age 70 because some xenophobe is freaked out about Pressing One for English.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:41 AM
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Those were the Congregationalists.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:41 AM
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Look around you. Who do you think is competing for jobs at the bottom decile?


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:43 AM
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122:That is not the fault of immigrants. That is the fault of the oligarchs for inadequate stimulus, for not creating the jobs. (I would say fault of Republicans, but Obama is not looking so good either.)

China is handling a whole lot of internal migration, by going Keynes pedal-to-the-metal.

Jobs aren't hard. You print 30k and pay somebody to do something. Anything.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:43 AM
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Jobs aren't hard. You print 30k and pay somebody to do something. Anything.

Bob, you're in charge of hiring at PA's state liquor stores, aren't you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:44 AM
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Aggh, this is like being in law school. Econ 101 arguments are not sensible ways to think about social policies, people, and the choices aren't open borders or nothing. Breathe in the truth of what 116 is telling you, and think about how moderate planning is necessary in all areas of life.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:45 AM
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Look around you.

Anecdata are the best data.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:46 AM
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"We are going to need a lot of young workers to support everyone who's going to be on Social Security in the coming decades."

How is somebody who is a net tax consumer going to support you in your retirement? How about you support yourself in your retirement?


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:47 AM
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66 really was just a flash in the pan, wasn't it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:48 AM
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How about you support yourself in your retirement?

By selling loose cigarettes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:49 AM
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Look around you.

Cube wall, cube wall, cube wall, wall. While the last is reasonably solid, none of the three cube walls is likely to keep out any determined Mexicans.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:49 AM
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134 veers toward incoherence. I doubt your average immigrant is a net tax consumer, and I suspect the ability to support oneself in retirement is intimately connected to having the good fortune to be born non-working-class.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:50 AM
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I'm with Halford in 132. BTW, to my mind the best argument against unrestricted immigration is that the WSJ editorial page supports it (a central tenet of their doctrine is a Constitutional amendment that reads "There shall be open borders").

One of the many problems with existing immigration law is that it imposes all kinds of restrictions without really having any kind of plan in mind. So we end up with a mish-mash of provisions to satisfy various interest groups, with no real guiding philosophy of what we're trying to accomplish by creating a path to American citizenship. It would be a lot easier to rationally plan, as Halford suggests, if we had a legal framework that had a plan in mind.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:50 AM
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There's this fantasy that we can outsource our childrearing and retirement savings to third world workers. It would be so much easier if somebody else could do it all for us, raise the next generation of workers and support us in our retirement.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:51 AM
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116, 132: I'm not firmly committed to absolutely open borders, if you look back at my 18 ("change in the laws that would allow people who want to come to the US to work to do so legally without an unreasonable amount of difficulty, and that would allow people resident in the US and working to become citizens after a reasonable amount of time"). But what I want -- immigration allowed on approximately the scale of the number of people who want to immigrate -- is politically close enough to open borders that there's no real distinction in terms of it being politically salable. If you've got a detailed regulatory plan for me to critique, there's a good shot I might think it's reasonable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:52 AM
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140 is making me hungry for a croissant.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:52 AM
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But I have no croissant -- you must imagine me saying this in the most extravagant fake French accent -- so I am sad.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:54 AM
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somebody who is a net tax consumer

Assumes facts not in evidence.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:55 AM
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140 is making me hungry for a croissant

Fresh ones will be out of the oven in just one minute, Señor Bridgeplate. I'll bring you one as soon as I finish starching your shirt cuffs.


Posted by: Consuela, Standpipe's maid | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:01 AM
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144: My brother consumed a tack once. But he isn't an immigrant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:05 AM
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My brother consumed a tack once.

Did he feel a prick in his throat?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:06 AM
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I'd like to jump in on LB's side without having read the thread. The ideal--the utopia--would be open borders, at least within any zone where there is free trade.

The question is how to get there, and that is compatible with all the sorts of planning talked about in 116. This probably means bringing in skilled labor. Also we want to bring in people from countries with yummy ethnic cuisine. All this points to bringing in more people from India.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:07 AM
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Apostropher's link is good circa 1994. Nobody has good data . . . the question is in dispute. So think about it then: if immigrants are at roughly breakeven, give or take a few billion, how are they going to support millions of retirees? Not gonna happen.

Surprisingly, replacing the next generation with Mexicans is not a sure-fire retirement strategy.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:10 AM
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Pat Bertroche (running in the Republican primary in Iowa) has an interesting suggestion for immigration reform:

"I think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going...I actually support microchipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal? That's not a popular thing to say, but it's a lot cheaper than building a fence they can tunnel under."

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:11 AM
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If my kids couldn't get into any colleges, say, because all of a sudden we were swamped with terrifically qualified international students, I'd be upset. For example.

There's some suspicion that international admissions are up at some public universities because they usually pay a higher tuition rate.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:15 AM
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bjk, one might be more inclined to listen to your opinions about "good data" if you hadn't said AGW is a hoax.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:26 AM
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150: New-fangled technology is great and all, but wouldn't tatoos on the forearm be a better solution? That way not just law enforcement, but any law-abiding citizen could identify the illegals on sight.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:28 AM
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153: What about the illegal/Orthodox Jewish population?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:30 AM
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154: Huh. Apparently there are jokes I won't make on the internet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:31 AM
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118: The research you were looking for has been done">http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2009/05/immigration-gdp.html">done, and it suggests that immigration had a very modest positive net effect for the native population, and of course a very significant net positive effect on the immigrants.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:33 AM
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155: Yes, sorry. I was just thinking of the prohibition on intentional body modification and did not think all the way through.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:34 AM
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157: Oh, dude, nothing wrong with what you said. I just found myself heading for the next obvious joke and balked.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:38 AM
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the next obvious joke

That "evacuation" is a much nicer word than "deportation"?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:40 AM
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Apparently there are jokes I won't make on the internet.

That's probably why you and I were brought on at the same time. For balance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:40 AM
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Was it about pizza?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:40 AM
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The post topic edges close to Nazi anyway. Balking was good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:40 AM
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I'm about to go teach my last class of the semester! I'm so, so glad. So glad. So very glad.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:42 AM
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There are realistic concerns about the speed of latino assimilation:

Generations of Exclusion measures Mexican American integration across a wide number of dimensions: education, English and Spanish language use, socioeconomic status, intermarriage, residential segregation, ethnic identity, and political participation. The study contains some encouraging findings, but many more that are troubling. Linguistically, Mexican Americans assimilate into mainstream America quite well--by the second generation, nearly all Mexican Americans achieve English proficiency. In many domains, however, the Mexican American story doesn't fit with traditional models of assimilation. The majority of fourth generation Mexican Americans continue to live in Hispanic neighborhoods, marry other Hispanics, and think of themselves as Mexican. And while Mexican Americans make financial strides from the first to the second generation, economic progress halts at the second generation, and poverty rates remain high for later generations. Similarly, educational attainment peaks among second generation children of immigrants, but declines for the third and fourth generations.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:43 AM
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The majority of fourth generation Mexican Americans continue to live in Hispanic neighborhoods, marry other Hispanics, and think of themselves as Mexican.

If you change Mexican to German or Norwegian this could fairly accurately describe parts of the upper Midwest.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:57 AM
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Shorter 164: Mexicans are not yet white.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:00 PM
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To unpack that comment a bit, I think that much of what is going on is not some inherent lack of Mexican American assimilationability, but the fact that Mexicans get treated as a different race and are subject to the legacy of American racism, making assimilation for them rather different than for Germans or Norweigans.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:07 PM
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Who posted that great local article about an LA suburb run by a Mexican-American caudillo?

Everyone's poltics are dirty-- Daley senior or LA police chief Gates, but there are aspects of Mexican politics that make me nervous. New Irish immigrants in NYC led to Tammany Hall, roughly speaking.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:13 PM
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I wonder what the stats look like for Puerto Ricans on the East Coast (not actually immigrants, but immigrantish, and with similar racism issues). My anecdotal impression is that they're way, way successfully assimilated these days, but I may be confused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:14 PM
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So which is it? Is it racist to assume that Mexicans should assimilate, or racist to assume that they won't? Racist either way, it seems. They have a word for this in Canada, the two solitudes.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:14 PM
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167: yeah, "inherent lack of assimilationability" doesn't sound like something sociologists or demographers would use in their explanations.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:14 PM
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|?

Is evvvverrbodddy watching Club Med?

James Howard Kunstler If I was really a troll I would label the link "boobies" or "kittens"

Animosities brewing as they are among the white trash elements of the country, I just hope this sucker doesn't resolve into an ugly bout of attempted ethnic cleansing. Certainly Obama's racial make-up has inspired a revival of the Ku Klux spirit around the Nascar ovals. I'm sincerely worried that the misdeeds of people name Blankfein, Rubin, and Madoff could provoke a red-white-and-blue pogrom.

"Lately, I wonder if there will even be an election six months from now."

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:15 PM
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168 -- Me! Let's turn this into the all Cudahy, all the time blog.

169 -- Too lazy/busy to look it up, but IIRC all of these assimilation measures are even worse for Puerto Ricans than for Mexicans.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:16 PM
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170: What do you mean by assimilate?
Some people use it to mean adopt the exact same values, attitudes, and lifestyle as conservative white middle class protestants, others just want basic English and a respect for the law. Still others view assimilation as a two way street, so the host population might pick up a little basic Spanish while the immigrant population learns English and both groups converge towards a new shared identity. The latter is my preference, incidentally.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:20 PM
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immigrant population learns Englishagrees to allow their sons to date Megan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:22 PM
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White people have been in the Southwest for over a century and they've done a terrible job of assimilating to the pre-existing Hispanic culture.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:23 PM
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171 -- right, of course not; I one-offed that "Shorter 164" comment and then got worried for a second that people might take me to be a racist freak who was saying something like "Mexicans aren't white, and therefore we should not expect them to be capable of assimilating into our culture" when what I meant was "Duh, maybe the lack of assimilation has to do with good old fashioned racism."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:24 PM
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Not sure why Kunstler is so worried about an election six months hence when we all (according to him) froze to death in the winter of '05.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:24 PM
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I listened to Kunstler and filled my garage with barrels of gasoline. Don't tell the neighbors as my house, like my attitude, is what the British would call "semi- detached."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:29 PM
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"Still others view assimilation as a two way street, so the host population might pick up a little basic Spanish while the immigrant population learns English and both groups converge towards a new shared identity. The latter is my preference, incidentally."

People are all for assimilation, and then they have kids. And then they're willing to spend an extra $100,000 to send their kids to a "good school," by which they mean a school with a white majority. Same street, different school district, the premium is easy to calculate. That's how people act, not how they talk.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:31 PM
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Reading Kunstler is like reading the book of Revelations after it has been sprinkled with efforts to push liberals' buttons. "An there shall be a great darkness upon the land (because of a bunch of short sighted racists). And brother shall turn against brother (because of propaganda from the power elites)."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:35 PM
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Reading Kunstler is like reading the book of Revelations after it has been sprinkled with efforts to push liberals' buttons.

Analogy ban!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:36 PM
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180: It's hard to tell whether you approve of that behavior, and think people shouldn't be ashamed of it, or disapprove of it, and think they shouldn't act that way. Personally, I'm on the latter bench. You?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:36 PM
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People are all for assimilation, and then they have kids.

I have three kids, bjk. How about you?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:38 PM
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175: I think we can all agree that if you won't let your son date Megan you are not a Real American. I bet Sarah Palin would let Trick or Crap or whatever his name is date Megan.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:39 PM
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Shorter 180: racism exists.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:39 PM
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Three kids that are/will be attending public school in North Carolina's most minority-heavy large city (which is also a sanctuary city).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:40 PM
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In Posh Deep Blue Suburb, we have to import our minority schoolchildren.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:50 PM
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What's the moral injunction being violated here? I'd really like to see it spelled out. It would sound perfectly ridiculous, I suspect.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:51 PM
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How about you support yourself in your retirement?

News flash: you can't actually eat 401(k) accounts. Somebody has to be working to produce the goods and services you're planning on buying.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:52 PM
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replacing the next generation with Mexicans

When did this get put on the agenda? I didn't know we were doing babies vs. Mexicans. But fine, I'll do the analysis.

Babies: take up less space, can be trained to eat otherwise useless female bi-product. Tender and easily penned.

Mexicans: wiley, speak gibberish, fond of music. Can help with your roof. Not very tender.

I'm at a bypass. Perhaps it helps to know how we are planning to trade our babies for Mexicans. Babies can go in the mail no problem, but Mexicans aren't usually accepted - we'll need some trucks. And what's going to happen when our babies congregate south of the border? There's likely to be an uprising if nobody distracts them with little plastic mobiles.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:53 PM
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Is there a moral obligation to send your kids to this high school?

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local-beat/26-Asian-Students-Attacked-at-Philly-High-School-78528982.html


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:53 PM
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Shit, here I've been spending good money to send my kid to a majority-brown school.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:55 PM
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192: Well, it wouldn't work as a categorical imperative -- not enough seats.

I'd note that whatever's wrong with that school, it's not immediately obvious that the problem is the immigrants.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:56 PM
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I think we can all agree that if you won't let your son date Megan you are not a Real American.

How does Megan feel about younger men?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 12:59 PM
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Is there a moral obligation to send your kids to this high school?

There isn't any moral obligation to send or not send your kids to any school, but keep punching that strawman. He'll tap out eventually. You are the one who stated that once I (as a member of the set "people") had kids I'd change my mind about immigration.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:03 PM
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So which is it? Is it racist to assume that Mexicans should assimilate, or racist to assume that they won't? Racist either way, it seems. They have a word for this in Canada, the two solitudes.

In America we call this either a deliberate misreading, or being stupid. The concept being discussed was that Mexicans have more difficulty assimilating because they are considered to be of a different race than the dominant group in this country, whose ancestors came from Europe. Whether this is true or not, I don't know, but it doesn't require anyone to be racist. Though I do suspect that somebody is.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:04 PM
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What's the moral injunction being violated here? I'd really like to see it spelled out. It would sound perfectly ridiculous, I suspect.

Being violated where? By the people you describe in 180?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:11 PM
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198: Presumably by the idea that we ought to care as much about people who live in other countries as about people who live in our own. In which case the Golden Rule comes to mind, among other bits of commie dogma.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:14 PM
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199: well, right, I just didn't know if bjk was asking about that generally or about 180 in particular. 180 seems hard to defend, but it didn't seem to be phrased in a way that suggested bjk was trying to defend it, so.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:20 PM
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Yeah, 180 is still bothering me, too. No doubt there are places where parents treat "good school" and "school with a white majority" as synonymous, but one suspects that those also tend to be the parts of the country that are most inclined to worry about Those People in other respects. Good schools here are very integrated, and I'd bet that the same is true in areas elsewhere that have large, established, affluent non-white populations.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:29 PM
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Oh, there's plenty of 180 type behavior around here; it's not that I don't think it exists, just that I disapprove of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:31 PM
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202: No argument with that, but in better-integrated places it can orient more along SES lines than racial lines.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:33 PM
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And very few of them big enough to make a decent linebacker.

Not so fast.

"Guest worker program" wouldn't be so popular if it were called "indentured labor program." If we're going to have immigration or labor programs, the workers should have the opportunity to work for any employer and find the best use of their labor. Tying them to one employer is a recipe for abuse

Hark, the truest thing bjk has ever said on this blog.

Perhaps the best way to develop third world economies is to let people migrate here as long as they repatriate some fraction of their pay prior to gaining citizenship. That money would at least be going to people who would use it.

It doesn't have to be a requirement; remittances are already widespread (and not as damaging to the US economy as some people contend).

I hope this thread is still going when I finish work.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:53 PM
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204.1: Tongans can't be Mexicans. They're not Persian.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:57 PM
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The "good schools" white lie is just another example of how wealthy whites sell everybody else out on the immigration issue. Would they send their own children to anything less than a "good school"? Of course not. Is it fine for everybody else? Of course it is! Because diversity is a moral imperative for somebody else's children.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:57 PM
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187 and 193 just whooshed right by you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:59 PM
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205: They're not Persian.

Racist. Tongans can be Persian if they want.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 1:59 PM
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Bjk, like most conservatives, actually works hard -- including being willing to pay extra money in taxes -- to improve the public schools in his area, so he knows what he's talking about.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:03 PM
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I'll be happy to bash on rich people with you, but I don't see what that has to do with anything.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:04 PM
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206: Your own damn link was about immigrants being on the RECEIVING end of abuse in school. When did immigrants become the problem with American public schools? I thought that was black people.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:05 PM
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207: Just because we have some freaky outliers commenting here doesn't change the larger picture.

I'm sure there are wealthy parents that are pro-immigration and send their kids to fancy private schools. I suspect this isn't a significant percentage of the electorate, but I suppose it could be a disproportionately powerful one.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:06 PM
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You know who really sucks? Rich black immigrants.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:07 PM
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I, personally, was enraged by Coming to America.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:08 PM
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Actually -- to be 100% honest, and why am I admitting this with bjk present -- I literally just a few hours ago wrote a check for a ton of money as a deposit to send my kid to a majority white and asian preschool in a mostly Mexican area.

But I would happily have paid much more than that in taxes to fund decent public preschools.

My neighborhood is about 5% white, and is basically the ghetto with a few nice restored older houses in it. One of my neighbors, also white, took her kid for a visit to the neighborhood elementary school before kindergarten, to see about enrollment. The teachers told her to do everything in his power to avoid sending his kid there -- white enrollment at the school is 0%. Probably a violation of all kind of laws by the teachers, but she didn't end up sending her kid there, and I won't either.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:11 PM
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They pretend to be poor, come into our homes, then take all our pretty women off to Zamunda.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:11 PM
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214: Well, you have to admit it did kind of suck.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:11 PM
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My guess is that 213 is wrong. It's like how a negative times a negative equals a positive. Rich people suck, and immigrants suck, but rich immigrants are actually pretty good. They lack the defining negative features of either individual group.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:12 PM
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213: Worse yet, the rich black children of immigrants. First thing you know, they're taking over all the good jobs.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:12 PM
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a negative times a negative equals a positive

Rich black immigrants = three negatives, Brock.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:14 PM
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Oh, shit, I didn't really notice that 213 had three negatives, not two. A negative times a negative times a negative--you're right, those poeple do suck.

(And to be clear, 218 was a guess at popular perceptions, not a statement of my personal views.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:14 PM
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And don't even get me started on illegal termagants.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:18 PM
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The teachers told her to do everything in his power to avoid sending his kid there -- white enrollment at the school is 0%.

It might be hard to ignore the advice of a teacher sternly warning a parent to keep his kid out of that teacher's school, but I would hope some other, more compelling reasons for the warning were also offered, because presented all alone like this, it sounds racially motivated.

Was the teacher also white?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:20 PM
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Illegal ptarmigans?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:21 PM
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Or ill eagle-ptarmigans.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:21 PM
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Darn it.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:21 PM
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(way back in 99:) regularizing the immigration status of millions of people creates a powerful new constituency for immigration pulling the ladder up.

I helpfully fixed that.

Also, the only problem with those rich black immigrants is that they're straight.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:22 PM
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175: The only test that matters.

(I am about three-quarters serious on that. I like pretty wide open borders for immigration, but once here, I'd like to see a basic willingness to consider this home and engage the locals.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:22 PM
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engage the locals

IYKWIM, AIKYD.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:24 PM
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223 -- I don't know if the teacher giving the tour was white or not; I heard this second hand. The message was basically "your kid is going to get beaten up every day if you send him here, so do whatever you can to put him someplace else." Pretty clearly racially motivated, but of course the message might have been accurate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:24 PM
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227.1: Except that trying to pull the ladder up doesn't work very well, and then the nativists go apeshit and the established immigrants realize that they're still very much Them rather than Us to a substantial chunk of the population.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:24 PM
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white enrollment at the school is 0%

I dunno. White (non-Hispanic) enrollment at my high school was damn close to zero. My sister and I certainly stood out among the 2,500 students. But it was one of the two best schools in the LAUSD.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:26 PM
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The message was basically "your kid is going to get beaten up every day if you send him here, so do whatever you can to put him someplace else."

"White enrollment is 0%" and "your kid will be beaten up every day" don't sound like the same message to me--do you know which was said? (There could be situations where one statement might accurately imply the other, but they're certainly not generally equivalent statements.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:28 PM
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230: You don't need me telling you what to feel guilty about, but of course you don't need to feel guilty about not sending your kid to a dangerous school, or one where s/he isn't going to get an education. I get scornful at people using the ethnicity of the student body as a proxy for dangerousness or educational non-functioning, but as long as you're not doing that, and it doesn't sound as if you are, you're fine.

(There's a separate obligation to do what you reasonably can to make sure that no one has to go to a dangerous or non-functioning school, of course, but while there are injustices, trying to protect your kids from them doesn't seem wrong to me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:29 PM
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Because we weren't beaten up every day. Except emotionally, by skaters with black eyes and dramatic bangs over their face who wouldn't date us.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:30 PM
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I was also definitely in a small white minority during my time in LAUSD -- we were never more than 20% of the class, tops. Still, I thought 0% was pretty striking, especially combined with the warning. To be clear, the school near my house is mostly serving poor non-white kids, not non-white middle or UMC kids.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:31 PM
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Californian public schools are shaping up to be largely latino with a big achievement difference between latinos and whites and asians:

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_8829545?nclick_check=1

This makes a lot of public schools look pretty bad based on test scores. It isn't real clear that whites and asians going to these schools are less well educated than if they went to the majority white and asian schools that get better test scores. A big chunk of white parents think they would be though.

On the other hand, here is an article on white flight from predominantly asian public schools with good test scores:

http://wsjclassroom.com/teen/teencenter/05nov_whiteflight.htm


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:35 PM
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Yep, well, you know what the school is like. You'll be able to make a better judgment call than we can.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:36 PM
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Digby has a chart showing the progress of other states toward laws similar to Arizona's


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:38 PM
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233 -- Sorry for being unclear. The message (relayed to me second hand from my neighbor) was "your kid will get beaten up every day because he is white, so send him somewhere else." I don't actually know how explicit the teachers made the "because he is white" part of that message, but we're talking about a normal looking five year old boy, so it's not as if the teachers were judging him on a scrawny physique.

234-- Thanks; I do feel a bit guilty, but I'm mostly mad at just how bad the LAUSD has gotten outside a tiny few wealthy neighborhoods (of course, partly because it's in a death spiral of bad schools make the involved parents leave make bad schools make the involved parents leave).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:40 PM
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Tongans can be Persian if they want.

The last time I went to the Mall of America, The Jets were signing autographs in the East Rotunda. It was one of those bizarre moments that often occurs when you see former celebrities behaving like they are still celebrities. I was torn between a desire to go say hi to them and a desire to berate the people waiting in line to have their merch signed. In the end, I simply walked on.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:40 PM
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237: On the other hand, here is an article on white flight from predominantly asian public schools with good test scores:

That's fascinating -- god forbid your kid shouldn't be a member of the majority/assumed smartest ethnicity. I wonder if that's happened with Stuyvesant in NY (public school with a test to get in). It's well over half Asian these days, which is higher than I'd expect based on city demographics, even allowing for Asian kids being very academically successful. I wouldn't be surprised if there are white parents reluctant to send their kids there for that reason.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:42 PM
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The last time I went to the Mall of America, it was with a big group of urban historians, and we all rode the roller coaster. It should have been more fun in an ironic, aren't-we-cool sort of way. But instead it was just fun.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:43 PM
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powerful new constituency for pulling the ladder up.

Care to offer any evidence for that claim, foolishmortal?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:44 PM
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Actually, from Wikipedia, 2/3 Asian.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:44 PM
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Also, they should change the name to the Mall of the Americas -- just so my comment could be onthread.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:44 PM
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242.1 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:47 PM
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Well, really, if turnabout is fair play, they should change the name to "The Hubert H. Humphrey Shops at Mall of America"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:48 PM
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god forbid your kid shouldn't be a member of the majority/assumed smartest ethnicity. I wonder if that's happened with Stuyvesant in NY

Now those Jews finally get to know just how I felt in 1935!


Posted by: OPINIONATED F. SKIDDY VANDERWHEEL IV | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:49 PM
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Also, the only problem with those...immigrants is that they're straight.

Because US laws do not allow gay partners or spouses under family immigration paths.

Groups like this one will be important if immigration reform actually comes to a debate in Congress, because there's the potential for a significant fissure (e.g. with some organized Catholic groups).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:50 PM
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237 - I tell you what. One of my best friends, from my own high scoring high school, lives in Cupertino. She's completely baffled too. Her kindergardener does three hours of homework a night. No joke. She can't imagine that's right, but she can't switch schools. There're no public schools in Cupertino where that isn't true.

I tell her to skip it, but then her daughter is the one who has show up in class the next day with her work undone.

If you don't want that academic intensity, or anything besides that, you're out of luck in Cupertino.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:50 PM
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Argh, 250 was me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:50 PM
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241: It took me a minute to realize that you were not talking about the professional football team.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:52 PM
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251: I have to say that sounds like the flip side of what I said to Halford -- if you're running from an insanely pressuring school administration, rather than from the competition from the smart Asian kids, more power to you. (Come to think of it, if you're talking about a high school friend, she's probably Asian.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:53 PM
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244: Oh, it'd all be anecdatal. I've just noticed there's a marked tendency among first generation immigrants who have been in the country for a long time to develop similarly idiosyncratic opinions regarding immigration.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:53 PM
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251 sounds like there's a need for a PTA revolution complete with torches and Pitchforks. Three hours of homework for Kindergarten is abusive.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:54 PM
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I can't even think of what a kindergartener could do for three hours a night that wouldn't be busywork.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:55 PM
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256: Nope. The parents in Cupertino are all first gen software coders. NOTHING is too intense for their kids.

My friend (yes, Asian-Am) has nowhere to run to, though. Unless she sends her kids to a private school, to get more lax schooling. It is a very strange dilemma.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:58 PM
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Reading, spelling flashcards, math worksheets.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 2:59 PM
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The parents in Cupertino are all first gen software coders. NOTHING is too intense for their kids.

Maybe I should start trying to drive the Google people out of town before it goes to far.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:02 PM
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253: It took me a couple of weeks to realize that The Replacements (Howard Deutch, 2000) was not a biopic about the band. Bonus trivia: Minnesota's State Economist is named "Tom Stinson".


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:03 PM
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I mean, specifically targeting coders, not just my general purpose attempts at irritating people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:03 PM
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Eh, their grandkids will be a lot mellower.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:04 PM
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261: I didn't feel bad for not knowing who The Jets were. I felt bad after I figured it out and then recalled "Nick Rocks."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:05 PM
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What are the mean test scores of asian-americans admitted to Berkeley or UCSD? I thought that the test scores suggested that there was strong discrimination against asians in UC college admissions.

Given this bias, I do not know what rational parenting would be. 3 hours in kindergarden seems nuts, but some amount of effort to jouice test scores makes sense.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:07 PM
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I just looked up this year's demographics for the schools my kids have attended/will attend (one's in 7th grade, one enters kindergarten in the fall):
Elementary (705 students): 32% Hispanic, 29% White, 28% Black, 6% Mixed, 5% Asian
Junior High (893): 51 Black, 23 Hispanic, 18 White, 4 Asian, 4 Mixed
High School (1900): 38 White, 37 Black, 14 Hispanic, 6 Asian, 5 Mixed

They're all good schools.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:08 PM
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Her kindergardener does three hours of homework a night. No joke.

This is ... how can I put this diplomatically ... completely fucking insane. I mean, not just inhumane, but ludicrously counterproductive.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:08 PM
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265: Didn't they go to race blind admissions?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:10 PM
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Certainly among people I went to school with, the "lock'em in and make'em do more homework/revision" model was correlated with mediocrity. This could be a selection effect.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:27 PM
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268: That's the next county over, Wake. We're in Durham. They had a good and successful replacement plan based on income but that is a big unfortunate mess that demonstrates what happens when people don't bother to vote in off-year elections. I will note that the people who really drove that include large numbers who aren't even native North Carolinians, but have moved down here over the past decade.

Given my druthers, I'd keep the Hispanics and send those fuckers back up the east coast where they came from.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:31 PM
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Caroline's first grade homework normally only takes her about ten minutes to do. But it requires three hours of cajoling to get her to do it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 3:34 PM
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271: A future unfogged commenter in the making!


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:02 PM
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||

Holy shit! I was looking at the referrer logs for my math blog, and I have a link from last week from the National Review's blog, the Corner. Apparently they endorse my view on the Axiom of Constructability.

|>


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:35 PM
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143: Are you partial to the Chinese throwing croissant?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:35 PM
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three hours

For a kindergartner? Fuck that noise.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:38 PM
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273: Are you and Jonah besties now, Walt?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:46 PM
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273: that's hilarious. Tell me that had to do with the whole "epistemic closure" thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:48 PM
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You know it. Jonah and I will romp together in Vegas. Now that I've hit the big time, I'm outa here. I'll remember you fondly, oudemia. Everyone else can go to hell.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:49 PM
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278: Just don't forget your passport if you're driving through Arizona to get there.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:53 PM
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278: I'm sad it wasn't the Derb himself who expressed approval, but a correspondent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:56 PM
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Man. This puts me very close to busting right through Walt's veil of pseudonymity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 4:57 PM
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Don't bother, Sifu. He's just some guy.

Hey! Someone out in nature liked a chart that I helped develop for the water plan. I had to push really hard to get the department to make information rich charts, so I'm really pleased to see spontaneous mention of them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:03 PM
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Not only are those great charts, but you can tell they came from an underfunded government agency because the icon for that particular web address is the Netscape logo.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:08 PM
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It looks to me that if you just got rid of the wild and scenic rivers all of California's water problems would be solved.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:15 PM
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Megan do you read LA Creek Freak?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:17 PM
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"WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS" S/B "MEXICANS"!


Posted by: OPINIONATED DUNCAN HUNTER | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:18 PM
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No. I don't usually read water blogs, because they're boring. I just checked it out, though. Cool pictures.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:20 PM
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It's often more historical/geographical than about water resource issues per se.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:22 PM
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the icon for that particular web address is the Netscape logo

The little picture next to the address? There is no day of the week in which we have the savvy to switch that out. I am positive that has never once crossed the minds of our water overlords.

They do sometimes say that it'd be good to get involved with some of that social networking stuff. Get a twitter or a blog or something. They did send around word that we have a facebook page now. When they mention blogs, I sit very still and hope that no one can see me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:24 PM
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LA Creak Freek looks well done, very location specific and detailed. I just don't follow LA River stuff very much.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:26 PM
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Brits are old school on immigration prejudices - East Europeans, particularly Poles, are the evil others, cf Brown's Kinsey gaffe today. The idiocy of blaming the UK's budgetary mess on East Europeans is mind-boggling. A bunch of twenty and thirty somethings (no pensions, lower health care costs) with below average unemployment (less social spending) are obviously a clear net positive for the budget. Even education spending is lower on an age-adjusted basis than for natives since they often leave their kids behind or choose to delay having kids until they return.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:32 PM
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The parents in Cupertino are all first gen software coders. NOTHING is too intense for their kids.

I also believe that this attitude doesn't produce good code. But I admit that there's an element of self-justification in that belief (that certainly isn't the recipe for me to produce good code).

I do have a certain admiration (and fear) of people who are able to be completely single-minded.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 5:56 PM
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291: you can always tell a flat in London that's been worked on by cheap Polish labourers instead of skilled British tradesmen. Everything is plumb and square, there are no cracks or gaps, and wiring and plumbing have been installed properly.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 6:00 PM
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Topical: I stopped by the nearby fast-food establishment on the way home to get a hamburger. Nice young man at the counter is hispanic looking and wearing a nametag that says "Juan". I think, "Now here's one of those hardworking immigrant strivers that makes this a great country. Within a generation he and his progeny will be part of the fabric of America, indistinguishable from the native-born among us."

Then he spoke to me with a Southie accent that would do Whitey Bulger proud. And I thought, "Maybe this assimilation shit isn't all it's cracked up to be."



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 6:39 PM
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I don't even know what to make of the story in 294.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 6:46 PM
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Oh well.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 6:47 PM
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295: Southies have to register in PDBS.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 6:52 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 6:55 PM
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A few years ago I was second in line for a sandwich at a chain sandwich place in Union City*. The woman behind the counter addressed the woman in front of me in Spanish, possibly thinking based on appearance that it would be her primary - or at least not an unfamiliar - language. The woman in line answered in English, with a Valley-ish accent.

*Across the bay from Palo Alto, more or less, for those who don't know the area.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 6:58 PM
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299: When I was in Germany, probably based on my appearance, people kept talking to me in German. I answered in English, with a midwesternish accent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 7:04 PM
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Huh. With some exceptions, it's generally possible to distinguish local Asians from Asian visitors at about 50 paces.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 7:07 PM
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I was in the European Germany, not the one in Asia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 7:11 PM
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Everyone in Europe always thinks I am theirs -- except the British who always think I'm French. Oh and in Newark, everyone thinks I'm Portuguese.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 7:33 PM
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Oh and in Newark, everyone thinks I'm Portuguese.

I think the reasoning goes "No gold lamé, so can't be Italian..."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 7:42 PM
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39

Heh. And it's funny, I'm firmly on the global resources are limited, population should go down if possible bench. But as long as people are on my planet, I don't see any justification for not letting them live wherever they want.

I consider collective self-interest completely adequate justification for not allowing unlimted immigration into the US.

Or to put it another way, how many homeless people are you sharing your apartment with?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:02 PM
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Or to put it another way, how many homeless people are you sharing your apartment with?

I let my son stay with us even thought he has never tried to get a job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:06 PM
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91

Sure, at some point if I felt a threat to the well being of the individuals I cared about, I'd fight for their access to resources regardless of justice. ...

In other words you don't care about the well being of most of your fellow citizens, just about your family and close friends. A common attitude in third world countries with malign consequences.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:13 PM
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Trolling rating: C-. You can't dance to it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:15 PM
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Countries have consequences.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:16 PM
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New Mexico has Truth or Consequences.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:17 PM
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197

... The concept being discussed was that Mexicans have more difficulty assimilating because they are considered to be of a different race than the dominant group in this country, whose ancestors came from Europe ...

How about the concept that Latinos have more trouble assimilating because they are of a different race?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:23 PM
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How about the concept that Latinos have more trouble assimilating because they are of a different race?

Oh for fuck's sake, James. How about that concept? What about it?

Which part of the relativity of racial designation do you not understand? Irish was once considered a different race.

Bah. Someone else may have to speak in a measured tone to James on this matter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:36 PM
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Someone else may have to speak in a measured tone to James on this matter.

You can't make me. I suppose I could point out that "Latino" incorporates several races, none of which are unknown in the U.S.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:43 PM
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311: How about it? It's pretty stupid as concepts go, since most Latinos have a lot of European ancestry and there's more genetic variability within the members of that group than there is between American whites and latinos. But it's not the stupidest thing I've heard all day, so you have that going for you.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:47 PM
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313: "Latino" incorporates several races

I think you mean "ethnicities," but we can probably let it pass. For now. You'll have pesto later, I hope.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:53 PM
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In Civ 3, I could never win if I played as Aztec. Mexico must have some kind of cultural weakness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:54 PM
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From back in 24: President Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens. [my emphasis]

How did that "learn English" requirement get in there. What, the sign welcoming one to Louisiana doesn't also say Bienvenue en Louisiane? It sure as shit does, and so what? There's no need for a single national language, and it bugs me that this issue has seemingly sneaked in (ho-ho!) without opposition.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:57 PM
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315: No, I meant races. Government-wise and for most demographic and research purposes I have encountered, Latino is used an a synonym for Hispanic and is considered an ethnicity. You can be Latino and white, Latino and black, Latino and native, Latino and Asian (not that you run across that one much in the U.S.).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 9:58 PM
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Latino and Asian (not that you run across that one much in the U.S.).

Yeah, Fujimori is in jail in Peru, so not so much with the in-the-US thing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:01 PM
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234

... I get scornful at people using the ethnicity of the student body as a proxy for dangerousness or educational non-functioning, but as long as you're not doing that, and it doesn't sound as if you are, you're fine.

Why scornful? Because it isn't 100% predictive?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:03 PM
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Shearer you racist goofball. Learn some statistics!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:05 PM
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319: I think there may be more than just that one guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:06 PM
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318: Oh. I actually did wonder whether you really meant races, and thought I might have been hasty.

You can be Latino and white, Latino and black, Latino and native, Latino and Asian

Huh. I didn't know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:08 PM
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322: I was sort of funnin', Mobes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:08 PM
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I'll offer the reasonable interpretation of James' statement: Latinos have difficulty assimilating since the dominant group in this country perceives them as racially other. If and when that changes so will the assimilation into generic 'Americanness' cf Jews, Slavs, Italians on one side, and blacks on the other.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:12 PM
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240

Thanks; I do feel a bit guilty, but I'm mostly mad at just how bad the LAUSD has gotten outside a tiny few wealthy neighborhoods (of course, partly because it's in a death spiral of bad schools make the involved parents leave make bad schools make the involved parents leave).

And the fact that this deterioration has coincided with a massive influx of immigrants is just an unfortunate coincidence?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:12 PM
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How did that "learn English" requirement get in there.

Eh, I think it's just a strategic rephrasing of the existing requirement for English ability to pass the citizenship test. At present everybody who becomes a US citizen has to speak basic English, except certain categories of elderly people and those with a medical disability (stroke, cognitive impairment) that prevents them from learning.

Latino and Asian (not that you run across that one much in the U.S.).

There are a not-small number of Philippine-Americans who would identify that way (at least when forced to fit themselves in US categories).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:12 PM
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323: You can obviously define things differently, but for most purposes, people follow what the census does except that they don't treat "Irish" as a separate species.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:15 PM
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Is a number, are a number, whatever. I am too a native-born English speaker and USC; why do you ask?

326: Keep trying, James, you're at like .10 cookie on the trolling scale. I'm going to sleep and it would be excellent to have fresh pancakes in the morning.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:15 PM
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James, I realize that we all have our little conversational quirks. However, and let's leave aside content, going through an entire 300 comment, 12-hour old thread and posting series of one-shot replies to a half-dozen old comments is not conducive to any type of discussion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:23 PM
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312

Which part of the relativity of racial designation do you not understand? ...

The idea that race is just a social construct is as mistaken as the idea that global warming is a hoax. See here . The abstract:

We have analyzed genetic data for 326 microsatellite markers that were typed uniformly in a large multiethnic population-based sample of individuals as part of a study of the genetics of hypertension (Family Blood Pressure Program). Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group. Thus, ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity--as opposed to current residence--is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population. Implications of this genetic structure for case-control association studies are discussed.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:30 PM
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321

Shearer you racist goofball. Learn some statistics.

What statistical error do you think I am making?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:33 PM
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332: an elementary one, my dear Shearer!

No, really though: you're making assumptions of causality, you're using p-values as a stand in for a valid model, you're not even thinking about controlling for other relevant variables.

I love you (that's a lie. I do kind of like you, though), but this is so, so sloppy for an engineer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:41 PM
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330


James, I realize that we all have our little conversational quirks. However, and let's leave aside content, going through an entire 300 comment, 12-hour old thread and posting series of one-shot replies to a half-dozen old comments is not conducive to any type of discussion.

Unfortunately I can no longer comment during working hours. And who says discussions can't take place over long periods of time?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:42 PM
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Unfortunately I can no longer comment during working hours.

You should try to get on with the SEC.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:46 PM
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You can be Latino and white, Latino and black, Latino and native, Latino and Asian

Huh. I didn't know.

Probably easiest to see with Hispanics of Caribbean origin: Dominicans, Cubans, Colombians, etc.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:50 PM
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Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:51 PM
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Thinking more about 325, there's a difference between assimilation into 'whiteness' and social mobility. The descendants of the Slav migrants of the turn of the century haven't done that well in getting above middle class levels relative to others who came in that era. This is especially true in getting onto the SWPL path to success whether you look at top universities or favored careers. I don't have any stats at hand, but I've seen them and spoken to people who've studied the issue, and the numbers are pretty dramatic for Polish Americans once you exclude the children of university educated immigrants who arrived over the past half century.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 10:55 PM
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Here is some links on latinos and race:

http://www.votolatino.org/becounted/2010/03/is-latino-considered-a-race-on-the-census-form/

http://www.alcoff.com/content/chap10latrace.html

here is the current racial breakdown in Mexico:

The Mexican racial breakdown is officially presented as 9% white, 60% Mestizo (Indigenous-European hybrid), 30% Indigenous, and 1% other.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:02 PM
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336: Yes. I've had to reverse my categories in order to get this -- apologies for being so slow. Apparently I usually think more in terms of ethnicity than of race. I'm not sure why. In any case, yes, I see.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:03 PM
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333

No, really though: you're making assumptions of causality, you're using p-values as a stand in for a valid model, you're not even thinking about controlling for other relevant variables.

I am not asserting anything about causality or p-values, just that knowing the ethnic composition of a school allows better than random predictions of dangerousness or educational non-functioning.

... this is so, so sloppy for an engineer.

I am not an engineer.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:21 PM
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this is so, so sloppy for an engineer

Engineers: not always known for clear thinking.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:21 PM
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I am not asserting anything about causality or p-values, just that knowing the ethnic composition of a school allows better than random predictions of dangerousness or educational non-functioning.

An assertion as nearly devoid of meaning as anything ever said on this blog.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:23 PM
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343: Shut up, Sifu. We're gonna get croissants, man.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:25 PM
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And the fact that this deterioration has coincided with a massive influx of immigrants is just an unfortunate coincidence?

Did that transition coincide with anything else? Any other variable that might have had an impact on the performance of those schools? Anything at all? Darn it, I can't think of a thing. I guess this round goes to James, Pat Buchanan, Tom Tancredo, and Charles Murray. Get these filthy spics out of my state! It used to be so golden around here!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 04-28-10 11:33 PM
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Latino and Asian (not that you run across that one much in the U.S.)

Eh, they're a majority in my house.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:10 AM
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We're gonna get croissants, man.

More likely empanadas, thanks to our lax border controls.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:29 AM
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re: 291

I like the massive generalisation about 'Brits'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:55 AM
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291. There's widespread anti-Eastern European feeling in Britain IME, but it doesn't blame them for the budgetary mess. It accuses them of 'taking British jobs', that is working at rates that Brits in the same trade refuse, same as Mexicans are supposed to do in the United States. The woman who got into a spat with Brown yesterday does not represent anybody's views because she clearly doesn't know what her own views are


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:13 AM
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348: The best thing you can do for global warming is make massive generalizations about 'Brits'.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:40 AM
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Because 'Brits' are just so cool.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:42 AM
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I like to put 'Brits' in scare quotes, because let's be honest, they're pretty scary.

They are cool now, though, thanks to New Labour.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:49 AM
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Brits drive like this. It's true!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:55 AM
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As I just pointed out on CT, I think in response to yourself, NuLab lose their cool at the least provocation. That's why they hate talking about global warming, even at the level of massive generalisations.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:56 AM
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I would be very hesitant to generalize about Hispanics from the results of the study James cites in 331:

On the other hand, geographic matching of Hispanic subjects is likely to be of much greater importance, given the larger genetic differentiation between Hispanic groups on the basis of current geographic origins. In this study, we could not evaluate this question directly, since Hispanics were recruited only from a single site.[emphasis added]

Site was Starr County, Texas on the Rio Grande.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:09 AM
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I miss baa.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:38 AM
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306 is great.

James, you are quite wrong about race, but I doubt anyone will be able to change your mind. Why are you so obsessed with this topic, anyway? It's unseemly.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:44 AM
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I am not asserting anything about causality or p-values, just that knowing the ethnic composition of a school allows better than random predictions of dangerousness or educational non-functioning.

Oddly, people who are weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races tend to get defensive when others use heuristics like "just knowing that someone is weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races allows a better than random prediction of whether that person is a racist."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 7:40 AM
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Oddly, people who are weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races tend to get defensive when others use heuristics like "just knowing that someone is weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races allows a better than random prediction of whether that person is a racist."

I just wanted to quote this statement bc I like it so much. Sometimes, I love KR.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:07 AM
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Oh, heck. Most of the time, I love KR.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:07 AM
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I actually meant r values but luckily Shearer doesn't know statistics.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:10 AM
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If loving KR is wrong, I don't want to be right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:13 AM
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It wasn't until the Blogging Era that appreciated how many people thought the central task of the social sciences was to establish the existence of races and that some races were superior to others.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:17 AM
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349: While at his parents' house, I once said something to CA about "electing racist parties to seats in the EP." CA's mother overheard me and went off on a rant about "that's what you get when you let all these eastern countries in." I answered, "But I was talking about the UK." To which she replied, "No," and I replied, "Yes." Then we dropped it. (She insists that there is no racism in the UK. None. Used to be, long ago, not anymore, that's you lot in the States.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:21 AM
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(She insists that there is no racism in the UK. None. Used to be, long ago, not anymore, that's you lot in the States.)

How can there be? There are no black people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:22 AM
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Am I racist because I think about delicious curries whenever someone mentions the UK?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:24 AM
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There are no black people

No, that's wrong. There's that one guy from Block Party, but that's it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:26 AM
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What about Lennox Lewis?

Oh yeah, he's Canadian.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:27 AM
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363: To be fair, you don't have to go very far back in time to find lots of social scientists who thought the same thing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:29 AM
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365, 367: David James (and Ashely Cole, but, you know... immigrant).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 8:46 AM
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365, 367, 370: Steve Ferrone, since 1994, drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:03 AM
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If you are listing black British people, you'll be at it for a while.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:06 AM
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345: I know! I racked my brain, but I couldn't come up with anything. So I went back to daydreaming about skaters that were sooooooo cute and went on to become senior software engineers, but ruined our schools by not dating me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:06 AM
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Now I'm starting to worry about possibly sending Sally to Stuy in a couple of years -- what if none of the cute boys on roller blades I bike past in the morning will date her? Of course, I went to a majority white high school and couldn't get a date to save my life, so it probably wouldn't make any difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:16 AM
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372: it's possible we're kidding. What about Jimi Hendrix? Does he count? I mean, he died there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:18 AM
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what if none of the cute boys on roller blades I bike past in the morning will date her

Someone doesn't know the hardest-part-about-rollerblading joke.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:19 AM
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375: Won't really know until we do a genetic cluster analysis.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:20 AM
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359 / 362: Awww, shucks, fellas.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:21 AM
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374: I was feeling kind of bad for Future Sally, thinking of what her commute would be, but then it is basically your commute now. Your alma mater is much closer!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:27 AM
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Does 376 go on Standpipe's blog? I thought LB was alluding to that joke...


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:27 AM
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So wait, do people like Nasser Hussain count as black?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:30 AM
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Do you know whether their parents are first or second generation? If the parents are second generation, I'd say no problem. I ran into trouble with the first generation parents. (Not that I can see any way you could tell this from glimpses of rollerblading kids.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:31 AM
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I thought LB was alluding to that joke...

Oh, was she? I'm dense and under-caffeinated.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:32 AM
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Oh, was she? I'm dense and under-caffeinated.

Stanley's hot chocolate!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:33 AM
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384: Racist.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:39 AM
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375: Can't expect Brits to pick up on that. They just don't get irony.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:43 AM
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do people like Nasser Hussain count as black?

Nope, Mexican.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:45 AM
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I had never heard the rollerblading joke.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:09 AM
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387: Cricketers are Mexicans?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:24 AM
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389: they speak an incomprehensible language spend all their time standing around in the sun wearing loose-fitting white clothing. Of course they're Mexicans.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:25 AM
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388: But you know the subtext.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:27 AM
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Can't expect Brits to pick up on that. They just don't get irony.

They need to work on their Microsoft Education Competencies


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:36 AM
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392: That may be the most grimly depressing web page I've ever read.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:42 AM
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Oh my god, I love the link in 392 to death. I love the interview questions, in particular.

• Tell me about a time you used humor in a presentation? Did it work? If you had to give the same presentation again, how would you change it?

• Tell me about a time when something really funny happened at work. What benefit did it serve?



Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:47 AM
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Tell me about a time when something really funny happened at work. What benefit did it serve?

It meant the boss was off sick for four months.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:49 AM
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I like:

"Timing. There is a time for everything and sometimes humor is not appropriate. Since you are reading this because you or others don't think you are good at using humor, the best technique is to follow the lead of others."


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:51 AM
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392 is tragic.

Practice learning frivolous and fun skills (like juggling, square dancing, skeet shooting, video games, etc.) to see yourself under different and less personal or stressful learning conditions. Ask yourself why that was easy while developing new persona/managerial skills is so hard. Try something harder with same tactics.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:02 AM
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Ask yourself why that was easy while developing new persona/managerial skills is so hard. Try something harder with same tactics. Contemplate personal oblivion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:04 AM
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392

• Am I funnier than I think I am? Less funny?

That's very Zen, that is.
• Could I start my next meeting, presentation, or conversation by telling a funny story?

Could you? Sure! (Being overly literal is funny too.) Should you? If you have to ask, the answer is no.
Learning on the Job

Learning on your own: These self-development remedies will help you build your skill(s).

Alternately, do the exact opposite of all those. It works for Michael Scott.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:12 AM
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The recommended readings are priceless.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:26 AM
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The oldest item in the readings is 10 years older than the document, and it's a recording.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:51 AM
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Christ on a poor southern white, I need to go short Microsoft shares. And I speak as someone who has been told in numerous performance reviews that I should show more levity on the job. (My unspoken response: "You wouldn't like my sense of humor, trust me on that.")


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:56 AM
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(My unspoken response: "You wouldn't like my sense of humor, trust me on that.")

Your spoken response: "Fuck you, clown."



Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:58 AM
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Don't make me funny. You wouldn't like me when I'm funny.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:59 AM
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You guys remind me of girls eating Sundaes.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:01 PM
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402, 404: I've certainly felt this way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:02 PM
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You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I should be funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, amuse you? Make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How should I be funny?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:08 PM
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407: Now there's someone that could use to work a little on his competencies!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:12 PM
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On the OP, the Senate Dems' plan on immigration reform: hide the amnesty in a mountain of tough talk.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:14 PM
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1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act's plan: hide the amnesty in a mountain of tough talk.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:26 PM
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Further to 409: also burrowed in there is explicit statutory preemption of state and local immigration enforcement.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:29 PM
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412: Hooooboy. There's a biometric national ID card in there, too. The teabaggers are going to hit the ceiling. Mark of the Beast, anyone?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:34 PM
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412: the teabaggers, it's worth pointing out, who support the Arizona law.

Maybe we could figure out an algorithm to extract a uniquely identifiable fingerprint from the structure of an individual teabagger's contradictory belief system? Codename the program Operation Snowflake.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:40 PM
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I'm increasingly convinced that the Senate bill is designed to win the midterms by making the Teabaggers all die of coronary arrest: there is an amnesty for homos provision in there, too.

"It will eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:45 PM
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227 to 414.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:54 PM
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The actual amnest provisions looks surprisingly generous, once you penetrate the smokescreen of tough talk.

In Phase 2, which will take place in eight years after current visa backlogs have cleared (often referred to as the "back of the line" provision), LPIs who have fulfilled all additional statutory requirements will be permitted to petition for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.

I'll bet you not one person in 100 who has ever used the phrase "back of the line" to describe their immigration policy preferences defines it in the way this proposal does.

Also, there is an expanded guest worker program in there, but AFAICT it has a pretty robust path to citizenship, so good on you Harry Reid.

If this passes in anything like its current form, it's gonna be "Gracias, partido democratico!" for a generation or two.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 12:56 PM
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And gripy as I was about it above, that does sound like the best and most humane solution available. It annoys me largely because the method -- wink at massive illegal immigration, and then have amnesties at long intervals -- seems insanely irrational to me as a way of controlling immigration. But if it's what there's political will for, better with amnesties than without.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:03 PM
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It annoys me largely because the method -- wink at massive illegal immigration, and then have amnesties at long intervals -- seems insanely irrational to me as a way of controlling immigration. But if it's what there's political will for, better with amnesties than without.

I'd say you're not giving enough credit here. If this proposal were to become law, it would (1) open up the possibility of legally working in the US and eventually becoming a US citizen to a substantial number of people who would have no such prospects today; and (2) make it substantially more difficult to be employed illegally or to employ someone illegally.

That ought to tip the calculus for someone contemplating migration in a meaningful way. Simpson-Mazoli tried to pretend "this time is the LAST TIME" and no more unskilled migrants would ever enter the country. This one has a much more realistic forward-looking plan.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 1:15 PM
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It's doing something about the employers that would change the dynamics, seems to me. Also, if we're getting all gummint-is-for-us about it, it's the employers who are my fellow citizens who are betraying me worse. To the ninth circle with them!

I don't see why you assume that Cupertino is full of first-generation coders. I'm a third-generation coder, and I'm old enough to have kids in school, if three generations of dweebery hadn't completely bred out any urge to do something so ill-defined.

ALso, I was briefly in a Microsoft management competencies program, but it was based on Landmark, which was even worse.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:15 PM
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ALso, I was briefly in a Microsoft management competencies program, but it was based on Landmark, which was even worse.

Landmark... Forum?

Because that would be fucking hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 3:20 PM
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Pretty much, though not officially. Maybe more directly related to... EST? The precursor of Landmark? It made my remembers-the-70s psych nurse mother laugh like a drain and prophesy horror, which came true.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:26 PM
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421: yeah that's really hilarious. Both of those groups are basically ripoffs of scientology.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 4:30 PM
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That's how my friend described the parents of the kids in her kid's class. I'm relaying her description.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 5:07 PM
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Those coders all look alike anyway.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 6:56 PM
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Warning: Small novel ahead.

I don't usually bother reading legislative proposals like this because I figure they're so speculative it's meaningless. Nevertheless, I did take a look at the document KR linked above.

1. Whoa baby, some expensive stuff here. The grants to border communities to reimburse them for expenses and grants to Indian tribes to restore damaged land are relatively cheap, as are the toys for the Border Patrol. But the technological fixes and the increased staffing required to do the things discussed in this proposal will cost an unbelievable about of money.

2. Visa Waiver Program will be examined to make sure countries with a high proportion of overstayers are not on the list. Of course, in the meantime, Greece (!) has just been approved. Talk about nonsensical timing.

3. Most of the "we're going to punish wrongdoers mooooorree!" is pretty meaningless in the sense that it just repeats existing law, except for the bit about creating new crimes for trafficking and misuse of passports, which seems like it could catch a lot of people if even minimally enforced.

4. Sanctions against countries that won't take back their citizens? Sounds pretty useless. Most of the countries I can think of are ones that we don't have good diplomatic relations with anyway.

5. Minimum standards for detention facilities would be a radical step forward, as would a systematic taking into account of the impact of parents' detention/deportation on minor children.

6. The shift to allowing refugees and asylees to immediately become permanent residents (aka green card holders) would have huge, huge repercussions for tens of thousands of people. At present you have to wait a year before applying for a green card, a process that is complex and requires (another) major medical exam. Many refugees put it off for various reasons and end up living on year-to-year permits. I can't imagine how the economics of his would work, though, as USCIS depends on the fees that they get from people renewing their one-year work permits while they wait for their green cards.

7. The biometric SS card is a powder keg that will inevitably go exactly the way FDR's original SS cards did -- all legislative protestations to the contrary, it will immediately end up being a de facto proof of ID/residence/status. The "fraud-proof" language is security theater, as a recent audit found that E-Verify was failing to detect half of the fraudulent work permits submitted to it.

8. The national birth and death registration system is so stunning I can hardly wrap my mind around it. My political chess skills are not up to discerning what could possibly be behind even floating this suggestion. It must be the liberal-technocrat version of the Patriot Act stuff -- somebody's been keeping it on a shelf for years and finally found a reason to sneak it in.

9. Removing the country caps on skilled worker visas would have an astronomical impact on China and India, among others. The constituency for this would be massive and likely to have a significant impact on any legislative fight in Congress.

10. The temporary visa for unskilled workers is remarkably benign for a guestworker program; I can't imagine that the US Chamber of Commerce et al. will let it stand, though, especially with the provision that you're allowed to change employers after a year.

11. The legalization of currently undocumented people is remarkably ambitious, although the benchmark of "eight years in, after the backlog is cleared," is ridiculously optimistic. Unless this legislation is removing a lot more caps than it looks like, the backlog will not be cleared in 8 years. Even if it is, that still puts people 13 years out from citizenship (although of course they are currently infinite years out from citizenship).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 9:55 PM
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Apparently I only pay attention to the first letter of a commenter's name as it appears in the sidebar, because as I started reading 425 I thought, wow, this is awfully detailed for Walt Someguy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:01 PM
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8. The national birth and death registration system is so stunning I can hardly wrap my mind around it. My political chess skills are not up to discerning what could possibly be behind even floating this suggestion. It must be the liberal-technocrat version of the Patriot Act stuff -- somebody's been keeping it on a shelf for years and finally found a reason to sneak it in.

We don't already have a national birth and death registration system?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 10:14 PM
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358

Oddly, people who are weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races tend to get defensive when others use heuristics like "just knowing that someone is weirdly obsessive about statistical differences among races allows a better than random prediction of whether that person is a racist."

There is some merit to such a heuristic as discussed here (warning possibly offensive link).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:23 PM
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361

I actually meant r values but luckily Shearer doesn't know statistics.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:27 PM
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419

It's doing something about the employers that would change the dynamics, seems to me. Also, if we're getting all gummint-is-for-us about it, it's the employers who are my fellow citizens who are betraying me worse. To the ninth circle with them!

Blaming employers ignores the fact that current law (at least until recently) effectively forced them to hire illegals. Employers were required to ask for "proof" of legal work status but said "proof" could consist of easily forged documents that employers were required to accept at face value. It is possible that the e-verify system has recently improved things.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 04-29-10 11:35 PM
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James, if I didn't already know that you're for real, I might suspect that somebody had made you up as a caricature.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 6:51 AM
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Do employers yearn for the ability to successfully prevent themselves from hiring illegals? I did not know that.

426: I'm saving all of the details up for my tell-all Unfogged memior. You come off surprisingly well, considering...


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 7:06 AM
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432.last: You could call it "Pride and Not Much Prejudice (for the internet anyway)"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 7:14 AM
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"Two Years Before the Shaft"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 7:33 AM
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"Not in the Good Buttsex Way: Penetrating the Mineshaft"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 7:57 AM
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435 is so funny that now I'm honor bound to write the memoir.

"I never thought it would happen to me. I thought it was the kind of thing you only read about in magazines. But there I found myself, online at the Mineshaft..."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 8:03 AM
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i sort of agree with the Shearer 'the had to do it' post.

its pretty much always the structural forces.

i'm always against overrating the local metis collectors who made the decision to hire people


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 8:24 AM
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Walt is going to sell us all out, now that he's part of the right-wing noise machine.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 8:29 AM
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To be fair, they're paying me a lot of money. I wouldn't betray you all for anything else.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 8:35 AM
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Undercover at the Mineshaft: Commenting While Undocumented.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-30-10 10:26 AM
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If you read What the Dormouse Said, you'll learn that est is a long-term pathology of the software industry; Doug Engelbart's original research groups at SRI blew up in a stew of ego wars in the mid-70s largely because so many people got into est and other knock-offs of scientology. Killer quote:

A woman who Bob Albrecht, the People's Computer Company guru, had been involved with went through the training and came back transformed into a very un-Zen-like creature. She no longer believed that everything was interconnected, but rather had decided that she wanted it all for herself and would do anything to get it.

Albrecht went along to one of the seminars, identified it as a self-hypnosis technique, and avoided it from then on.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 1-10 7:41 AM
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