Please Stop Using The Indians in Immigration Arguments

This tweet by Mickey Kaus reminds me of an irritating chesnut that pro-immigration types love to trot out whenever they encounter disagreement. It usually takes the form of

“Well, it’s a shame that the Indians didn’t think of border control!”

Or something equally smug. It’s stupid for two reasons:

  1. The Indians did think of that. Which is to say, they contested white overlordship of North America with everything they had. There’s hardly a state in the Union that was not wrested from the natives violently. Some more than others, but still. The idea that the Indians meekly welcomed the palefaces to America is just plain wrong. They fought. They fought hard. They just had too many material disadvantages to overcome.
  2. Why on earth would we want to emulate their results? So, in an argument about whether our immigration policy is letting in too many foreigners, you deliberately bring up the people from whom foreigners took the continent, as an argument for letting more foreigners in. Precisely whom is this supposed to persuade?

The answer, of course, is no one. It’s not an argument; it’s an exercise in social signalling. By saying it, you get to be one of the good, socially aware people, thus trumping any need to actually be right on a policy question. Because if you’re one of the good people, your opponent must be one of the bad people, so whatever he says is bad.



The Pope is Not a Communist

So Sayeth Thomas Williams over at Breitbart.

Rather, the Pope is a critic of the spiritual malaise involved of the worship of Mammon. As he should be. But he never has said, or even suggested, that the free market be replaced with another economic system.

Francis’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, famously distinguished between capitalism as an ideology of lawlessness and capitalism as a system that promotes free exchange and creativity.

“If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative,” he wrote.

This is a summary of how Pope Francis thinks.

Read the whole thing, and observe the regularity with which the progs who write for the mainstream media shoehorn papal statements into things which confirm their bias.

Because the media – especially the American media – do not understand Catholicism. They never will.

Scott Walker’s Out, and I May Be, Too.

This is not the primary we thought we would be having. But it’s the kind of primary we should have expected.

Every four years, Republican voters hope to get a new candidate vetted by debate and campaign who articulates conservative principles, recommends conservative policies, and demonstrates the qualities of a leader. Instead, we get one of the also-rans from last time.

Trump ran before. It was a joke, and over quick, but he did it. He got his name out there. He got a sense of how the game was played. So now he’s back and sucking the air out of the room. He may bully his way into the nomination. He may even troll his way into the White House (the Democrats are that weak). But what kind of President would he be? God alone knows. I won’t vote to find out.

What I wanted was a Governor with teeth, who had belligerently put forward the kind of policies that excite me. Who had a record of trimming Leviathan’s claws without apology. Rick Perry was such a fellow. So was Scott Walker. Now, I cast about for the candidates and I struggle to care. Below, a List of the Remaining, and whether I could vote for any of them.

  • Jeb Bush. The Mitt Romney of 2016. The Establishment choice. Would he be better than any Democrat? Yes. But no more than his father and brother were, and I don’t think the party needs any more of that. No.
  • Dr. Ben Carson. He seems a decent bloke. He’s got a soft-spoken demeanor that appeals in small doses. He gives good quote. But he just doesn’t seem Presidential. But that’s a very subjective standard, and so I withhold judgement. Maybe.
  • Chris Christie. I used to love this guy. He was the kind of frame-shifting bellicose Republican whom more should be like. But now he seems less bellicose and more bullying. I question whether he’s really conservative or just plays one in New Jersey. And he sold us out in 2012. Maybe not deliberately, but he sold us out. I won’t trust him, and I won’t vote for him. No.
  • Jim Gilmore. Who? Does this guy really have the guns for this? Is this a serious candidacy? Or his he trying to put a chit in for 2020? Maybe, I guess?
  • Ted Cruz. The Brain in the race, and arguable the last true conservative standing. Maybe now he starts making some real moves. So far I’ve respected his strategy of staying out of Trump’s way and letting other chumps go after him. But I feel like he may need to take a few casual swipes just to remind people he’s in this. However, his policy statements are impeccable, and he’d make the Left furious. Yes.
  • Lindsey Graham. Speaking of sellouts. Lindsey Graham reminds me of a stupider Bill Clinton. He’s not fit to lick Ted Cruz’s shoes, and he’s nobody’s idea of a President. No.
  •  Mike Huckabee. What is this, his third race now? Does this man not get hints? Does God need to write the words “THIS COUNTRY WILL NOT ELECT A MAN WITH A HILLBILLY SURNAME” in the sky before he stops? He’s only a social conservative, anyway. He’s never had a chance, he never will, and I’m not going to bother pretending otherwise. No.
  • Bobby Jindal. I like Bobby Jindal. I really do. Maybe he’ll get Scott Walker’s spot in the big-kid debate. But he’s never quite risen to the occasion as a candidate. I feel like this is the next bit of scrim under the rudderless Trump bus. But if he somehow managed to overcome the odds? I could see no reason to refuse him. Yes.
  • John Kasich. He’s not exactly what I had in mind, but he might do. Maybe he’d have some crossover centrist appeal. And maybe he’s just a poorer Jeb Bush. Maybe.
  • George Pataki. Please. This guy stopped being a figure in national politics ages ago. He couldn’t win his home state if he gave out free gravy fries. This is a vanity run. No.
  • Rand Paul. I was kind of hoping that this guy would be the saner version of his dad, that he would articulate the Libertarian vision in a way that GOP primary voters could get behind. Instead he’s chosen to focus on picking unnecessary fights, and then fight them poorly. That doesn’t bode well for the one-time Most Interesting Man in Politics. Yes, but Who Are We Kidding?
  • Marco Rubio. The worst thing about Maro Rubio is he may end up the best bet Conservatives have. I can totally foresee a scenario under which we’re rallying behind this guy in South Carolina or Georgia or something to stop a juggernaut. I suppose I could hold my nose to vote for him, but only if he does something impressive. Otherwise he’ll just be a tanner George Bush. Maybe.
  • Rick Santorum. Knock it off, Rick Santorum. You’re not going to win. Just because you were the last man standing against Romney last time doesn’t mean anyone wants to vote for you. See “Huckabee”.

    And finally….

  • Carly Fiorina. It’s a measure of how well she’s done so far that CNN took the morning to swipe at her business record. So far, she’s the only one that’s tussled with Trump and come out on top. I have to respect that. It’s too early to tell yet, but she just might have what it takes. Yes.

So what does that leave us?

I will vote GOP without apology in 2016 for: Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina.

I can be persuaded to vote for: Ben Carson, Jim Gilmore, Jon Kasich, Marco Rubio.

I will vote Libertarian if faced withJeb Bush, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump.

And if we remove the names of people who I don’t think have a prayer of getting the nod, that gives us:

Will Vote For: Cruz, Jindal, Fiorina

Could Vote For: Carson, Rubio

Nope: Bush, Christie, Trump.

Which means there are five scenarios under which I could care about GOP candidate, and three under which I will wash my hands of them.

I guess that means I’m no longer the guy who held his nose for Dole, Bush (the first time around), McCain, and Romney. But the campaign is young.

Quote of the Day – Housing Crisis Edition

Megan McArdle:

Bubbles are not fundamentally about evil people doing evil things. They are not even about stupid people doing stupid things. No, the problem with bubbles is worse: It’s quite ordinary people, doing stupid things that a trick of the light has made appear very smart.

Every time you hear that the markets or the economy are rigged so as to be “recession-proof”, laugh. It’s what I do.

Trump and Caring About Politics

I have had little to say so far about the GOP Primary, because a) it’s too early, and b) the last GOP Primary made me numb. I was so utterly disappointed by the results of the primary, and then the general election, that getting myself all whooped up about this one seems ridiculous to me. So some part of me is gleeful at the rise of Donald Trump. Good, I think, let the establishment know what it’s like to be forced to swallow a man they do not trust. To perdition with the GOP anyway. Last time they ran the whole show, what did they give us? 

That isn’t to say I would vote for the goofball. I share the concern everyone has about Trump: that he’s a bully, and a goon, and unpresidential, and that he’s full of it. But you what? Chris Christie is full of it, too. So’s Jeb Bush. So’s Marco Rubio. And so’s Hillary, and Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley, and Joe Biden. A plague on all their houses, and if Trump be that plague…*shrug*

Peggy Noonan:

On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.

This is both a cruel autopsy of the Obama era and a grim truth. It’s hard to care about whether Elephants or Donkeys run the show if they both trample you underfoot. It’s hard to believe that a GOP victory means something if it gives us the likes of John Boehner. Trump may not be the solution to this problem, but until a solution presents itself, I’ll enjoy watching him light a fire underneath it.

Everything’s a Problem is the Tumblr You Didn’t Know You Needed

For a long time, we were lost in the darkness. Unable to tell what was problematic, or, if we dared push past our privelege to consider if it was problematic, to know just how problematic it was.

Those. Days. Are. Over.

For example, of course you knew that Wonder Woman’s costume was Problematic. That’s a no-brainer. But could you in your wildest imagination have discerned that enjoying Potato Salad without consideration for it nonwhite origins is even MOAR Problematic?

Of course you did not, you foul hater you.

But now you can know. Listen. Absorb. Don’t Resist.

An Open Letter to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computer

Dear Mr. Cook,

We’re an Apple family. My wife and I have been using Macs exclusively for years (saving the Dell laptop I have from work). We use iPhones. We even have a Time Machine. We’ve all but decided to swap out our old Roku for an Apple TV. We’re not techies; neither of us could tell you how Apple works versus how PC’s work. It’s all wizardry as far as we’re concerned. Our preferance for Macs is probably an aesthetic thing. We just like them.

However, your recent op-ed in the Washington Post has made me wonder if I should start figuring Linux out.

This isn’t about me disagreeing with you. Unlike many on the left, I don’t screen my brands for political correctness. You’re allowed to have whatever opinion you want on Indiana’s RFRA law.

But this, this is a problem:

What is this? This the largest retailer of Apple Products in Saudi Arabia. It’s located at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah.

Are you, Mr. Cook, aware of what they do to gay people in Saudi Arabia?

How many executions in Saudi Arabia do you suppose have been recorded on an iPhone? Do you ever wonder about things like that?

Or take the United Arab Emirates, a country you visited less than six months ago, in order to open up markets to your product. Did you know that they still punish homosexual acts with imprisonment, fines, chemical castration, and even death?

If you know these things, do you care?

If you do care, do you just not care enough to forgo the potential profits?

And with all of that unanswered, just how seriously am I supposed to take your opposition to a law that has never once, the 28 states that have similar laws, been used to deny services to a gay person?

Because I’m rapidly approaching the conclusion that your opposition is but a nexus of bandwagon-jumping and empty posturing. I’m considering the notion that you like to stand up for your political ideals when its convenient and risk-free. Harder to meet with the Sheikh of Dubai when you got a fatwa hangin’ on your head, huh?

Hypocrisy is an easy charge to bring. We are all of us guilty of not following our principles perfectly in every instance. But to meet with a head of a goverment that castrates gays in December, and to issue a cri de couer against a state religious freedom law, that could be used to discriminate against gays, the following March constitutes a level of hypocrisy that fairly begs to be called out.

Thus, Mr. Cook, your moral preening on this issue is repellent. Your self-righteousness is nauseating. And I would kindly ask that if you are prepared to leave your politics at the door when doing business in sharia states, perhaps you will be good enough to do the same to your fellow countrymen.

Otherwise, Mr. Cook, I may just decide to replace my MacMini with a System76 Meerkat, my iPhone with a Samsung Galaxy, and to get that Roku 3 instead. If Mozilla can be purged, so can my house.


Andrew J. Patrick