Archive for Immigration

Some Words About (Im)Migration

Posted in Immigration, Libertarianism, Philosophy, Politics with tags , , , , on July 9, 2014 by Xajow

I was going to leave the current public debate (here in the U.S.) about immigration alone. But I keep seeing and hearing some really stupid arguments being made. And by golly, I just feel like saying something about it. So I am going to. And no, what I am about to say does not favor the pro-immigration-control side of the argument. You have been warned. Continue reading

Why I Want Poor Immigrants to Come to the U.S.

Posted in Immigration, In the News, Libertarianism, Politics with tags , , , , on July 18, 2013 by Xajow

Okay, so a political post, as I promised. Yeah, I’m going to talk about immigration. I like immigration. I want more of it. Many people don’t. Oh, I know, all you we-must-restrict-immigration folks are not against immigration. You’re against illegal immigration. But what that means in practice is passing and enforcing laws that are intended to stop a great deal of immigration. I don’t care how you spin that, it is clearly not a pro-immigration position. But don’t worry. This is not a rambling immigration rant. I am going to narrow my topic for this post to the matter of poor immigrants. Continue reading

So Many Things to Say

Posted in Anti-libertarianism, Argumentation, Government, Immigration, In the News, Libertarianism, Philosophy, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2013 by Xajow

There are so many things to talk about. Politics, D/s issues, and a story or two to finish. But sometimes I have to choose between spending a few hours working on this site with spending those hours dealing with other matters in life. Sadly this blog has to be lower on the list of priorities and other things that are not nearly as much fun or interesting.

But take heart. I am here now, O readers. And I have things to say. So let us begin. Continue reading

Libertarianism and Nihilism: A Reply

Posted in Anti-libertarianism, Argumentation, Concerning Libertarianism, Government, Immigration, Libertarianism, Morality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2013 by Xajow

As you may recall, in my previous post, I addressed a post at Old Right Musings. The author of that blog was kind enough to reply with a post of his own. And to that post, I will now reply. (People easily exchanging words and ideas, this is why I like the internet.) Continue reading

Concerning Libertarianism: Libertarianism and Moral Nihilism

Posted in Anti-libertarianism, Argumentation, Concerning Libertarianism, Immigration, Libertarianism, Morality, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , on May 14, 2013 by Xajow

Yes, I have been away a few weeks. Much has happened. No, I am not going to talk about that. What I am going to talk about is some comments made by another blogger. As you can probably guess by the post title, this one will be political. You have been warned. Continue reading

Quick Bite: Arizona Cry Babies

Posted in Government, Immigration, Politics, Quick Bite with tags , , , , , , on June 27, 2012 by Xajow

Since the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down most of the Arizona anti-immigrant law, there seems to have been a lot of whining from Arizona government folks about how horrible that is. Here is my advice. Suck it up and shut up. The law was not some old tradition. It was relatively new law. You go back to doing what you did before. That you have less legal excuse to act on Luddite xenophobia is a good thing. You will get no sympathy from me.

“Wise” Van Jones Shows Genuine Lack of Knowledge

Posted in Anti-libertarianism, Argumentation, Immigration, Libertarianism, Politics with tags , , , on April 4, 2012 by Xajow

Yes, I’ve been away. But I am back now, so stop crying.

Anyway, have you seen the remarks by former Obama special advisor Van Jones about libertarians? The Blaze has video of his remarks. Let’s take a look at what he said so I can explain how stupendously ignorant this man is about libertarians.

I hear a lot about liberty now from the so-called libertarians. And they, they, they say the only thing that matters in America is liberty. That’s what they say. They say America has only one value: liberty. Economic liberty. My economic liberty. And if you stand for any other value, you’re anti-American.

Which libertarians are saying this? Which libertarians are saying the only American value is an individual’s economic liberty? Which libertarians are saying that standing for any other value is anti-American? Van Jones provides not even one example of this. Can you say ‘strawman’? What Mr. Jones is doing is setting up the grounds to make his own “if you don’t agree with me you’re not patriotic” argument. One wonders why people do not end up booing him and chanting “hypocrite” until one realizes he is talking at the “All in for the 99%” rally in Los Angeles which occurred on March 31. But I’m getting ahead of things.

And they, they, they’ve taken their despicable ideology, and they’re using it as a wrecking ball, that they’ve painted red, white and blue, to smash down every good thing in America. They want to smash down American education, but they call themselves patriots. They want to smash down America’s unions, but they call themselves patriots. They consciously say they want to de-fund America’s government. They say they want to be able- Grover Norquist, their great leader, says he wants to shrink America’s government to the point where it can be drowned in a bathtub. That’s their great leader. That’s not a very patriotic statement. They say they’re patriots, but they hate every body in America who looks like us. They say they love America, but they hate the people, the brown folk, and the, the, the gays and the lesbians, the people with all these piercings and tattoos, y’all. When they say they love America, they don’t mean you. They don’t mean me.

And so it’s time for us to take the country away from this cheap patriotism. It’s time to take the country away from this cheap patriotism, and stand for some deep patriotism. Now let me tell you what deep patriotism is.

You know, you’re not a deep patriot if you teach your kid to sing “America the Beautiful” but then you do nothing when the oil-spillers and the clear-cutters and the mountain-top removers come to destroy America’s beauty to make money for corporations. You’re not a patriot if that’s your position in regard to the environment. You can’t call yourself a patriot if all you wanna do is go is go look at the Statue of Liberty, and talk about how beautiful it is, and get your picture taken, and post your picture on Facebook, you know how your cousin does, you know your right-wing cousin, that you can’t even talk to at Thanksgiving, always posting what a patriot he or she is, they love going to New York City, and they love posting the “I, I just had to take my child to see America’s beauty.” You like the Statue of Liberty? Read the poem at the base of that statue. “Give me your tired. Give me your poor. Give me your huddled masses who yearn to breathe free.” You can’t be an anti-immigrant bigot and a patriot at the same time. Those two things don’t go together. Those two things don’t go together. And we’re tired of it.

Libertarians, Van Jones claims, want to destroy American education. Again, he gives no examples of any libertarians saying this. What libertarians, generally speaking, want is better quality education and for students and parents to have more control over the education the students receive. If making education better and giving individuals more control over their lives is going to destroy American education, then it darn well needs to be destroyed and rebuilt into something actually useful. I know, what Jones is complaining about is likely the calls to do away with the U.S. Department of Education. But to say that would destroy American education is to spout fear-mongering nonsense. People got an education before the U.S. government had a Department of Education, and the DoE has done little to nothing (mostly nothing) to help students or improve education in the country over the past several decades. And who was the one who shut down the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program that was helping D.C. area students get a better education? President Obama. Yeah. Is that patriotic, Mr. Jones?

Libertarians, Van Jones claims, want to smash unions. The unions have insisted on deals that have pushed corporations and governments to bankruptcy or to the verge thereof. (For example, what they have have done to pension plans for numerous state and local governments.) Is that patriotic? Unions have fought to make firing any bad teachers nearly impossible, helping to ensure students remain stuck in useless classes. Is that patriotic? Unions have promoted hatred against politicians who fight to keep their government solvent.  (For example, Governor Scott Walker.) Is that patriotic? Unions are guilty of  the selfish greed for power by demanding other people’s money and participation. (For example, their opposition to right-to-work laws.) Is that a value patriots should cherish, Mr. Jones?

Grover Norquist is the “great leader” of the libertarians? According to whom? Anyway, what Norquist said is, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” Jones claims this is “not a very patriotic statement.” Why? Jones does not explain. As best I can tell here, Jones is implying that believing a smaller government is good for America is unpatriotic. Which in turn would imply that Jones not only equates the U.S. government with the nation itself but also that he equates criticism of his political preferences with being unpatriotic. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

Libertarians, so claims Van Jones, “hate the people, the brown folk, and the, the, the gays and the lesbians, the people with all these piercings and tattoos.” Upon what does he base this accusation? We do not know because once more Jones offers no support for his claim. He simply makes the assertion. Where are these libertarians who hate brown skinned people? Or homosexuals? Where are the libertarian tirades against tattoos and piercings? Where? I suggest to you that Mr. Jones cannot provide support for his assertion because there is none. Now, perhaps he was thinking of the fact that some libertarians express a lack of support for things like affirmative action programs. Which seems more like racism to you: the idea that anyone not a white male cannot succeed without generous help or the idea that skin color should not be a focus in employment or school admission?

And then we come to Van Jones’s so-called “deep patriotism.” Let’s be honest here. What Mr. Jones sets forth as “deep patriotism” is basically his argument that only those who agree with him are patriotic. He talks about making money for corporations, and ignores that making money for corporations means making money for all the people who work for those corporations. (Contrary to what you may have heard, yes, corporations are people. Lots and lots of people.) Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying people should not care about what happens to the environment. I am saying that Mr. Jones is making an ignorant comment. And really what his comment is meant to impart is that people who love their country will agree with him about how to handle the environment. If you don’t agree with him, his statement clearly implies, then you don’t care about pollution and therefore do not love your country. Which is, of course, little more than more fear-mongering nonsense.

Then Mr. Jones makes a long, rambling statement apparently about immigration. In the middle of which he seems to make fun of people who think New York City is an example of America’s beauty. Why he would do that, I do not know. What I do know is that the Obama administration has done more to crack down on immigration than the Bush administration. Is that patriotic, Mr. Jones?

Anyway, Van Jones explains that one cannot “be an anti-immigrant bigot and a patriot at the same time.” More nonsense. Of course one can. I am not endorsing it, but it is possible. Many people have done. But Mr. Jones does not care about that. His goal is to demonize those who do not agree with him. Because, as noted before, he wants to claim that criticism of his political preferences is unpatriotic. Or to put it another way, he is accusing all who do not agree with him of being anti-American. If you stand for any other ideas or values, his comments clearly imply, than the ones he espouses and supports then he considers you anti-American.

So what Van Jones has done, in essence is to accuse a “libertarian” strawman of all sorts of political and racial and sexual bigotry to justify his own political bigotry. And people were cheering this. Which means, presumably, they agreed with him. How pathetic and pitiable.

Van Jones made obvious that he knows nothing about libertarians. That he might have even bothered to read up on what they think or even bother to talk to one before this speech seems unlikely. He is ignorant. And I would guess willfully so. Because, as has been pointed out before, a modicum of research would prove his thoughts about libertarians to be wrong, and clearly he has not bothered to do it. What am I to conclude except that he is willfully ignorant?

Luddism in 21st Century USA

Posted in Argumentation, Economics, Immigration, Politics with tags , , , on November 6, 2011 by Xajow

Some days back (on October 26) the Reason website posted an opinion piece by David Harsanyi titled “The Real Luddites.” Harsanyi compares the anti-capitalists of our age to Luddites. The article came to mind after a brief conversation about immigrants and jobs. Why? I’ll get to that.

In case you don’t know who the Luddites were, I’ll tell you. The short version: Back in the early 1800s, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, and some people didn’t like it. They were concerned that all that technological innovation was going to steal all their jobs and leave them unemployed and unemployable and destitute. Some of those people met in secret and decided to start smashing things like mechanical looms and cotton mills and the like as a sort of protest. The long version: the Wikipedia page about the Luddites is at the other end of this link.

Ever since then, people who object to technology and/or scientific advancements are often called Luddites. And sometimes the label is applied when someone wants to paint someone else as anti-science. There are even neo-Luddites.

So what does this have to do with immigration? What was the concern of the Luddites? That their jobs were being stolen. What is one of the complaints about immigrants? That they’re stealing/going to steal jobs from Americans. What was the response of the Luddites? To try to stop the machines being used. What is the response of those who complain about immigrants stealing jobs? To try to stop people from immigrating. It is a Luddite mentality in the 21st century U.S. of A.

What is the proper response? Well, in my opinion, just as the Luddites were wrong to destroy machines, trying to clamp down on immigration (and make no mistake you “I’m only against illegal immigration” folks, the laws we have in place now do indeed clamp down on all immigration, unless the immigrants’ names are David and Victoria Beckham) is the wrong approach to dealing with immigration.

Again, no one is arguing for more illegal immigration. The argument is that legal immigration should be much easier than it currently is. And before you start on, the “I suppose you want to make murder legal too” argument, no, I do not. Murder is a violation of a person’s right to his life. Someone you don’t know and may never meet crossing the border to be put to work by someone else is not a violation of anyone’s right. So no, immigration is not comparable to murder. Or theft. Or most other crimes you might use as examples.

What we need is more just, less strict immigration policy. If someone born and raised in New York can travel 2500 miles to take a job in California, why should we stop someone who travels from Mexico to Arizona to get a job?

Anyway, in my opinion, trying to prevent the use of new technology that has made life better was wrong. And trying to prevent immigrants from coming here to get work and do things that elevate the economy, and us as well as them, is just as wrong. And from now on, I’ll call it what it is. Luddism.

A Rant about Immigration Policy

Posted in Argumentation, Immigration, Libertarianism, Philosophy, Politics with tags , , on October 19, 2011 by Xajow

If you’re expecting a post about why we need a border fence or a wall, or why illegal immigrants should be prevented from getting work, or any of the usual stuff like that, you’re going to be disappointed.

Let’s get one thing very clear. The problem with illegal immigration is not that people are illegally entering the country to get work and to live in a more prosperous society. The problem with illegal immigration is that we’ve made entering the country to get work and to live in a more prosperous society illegal. Oh yes, I know, there is a process for legal entry. But it’s a ridiculous process that can take years to finish. That is not a just system.

I have heard many times over some variation of “I’m not against immigration; I’m against illegal immigration.” That’s nice, but it ignores the fact that the problem does not rest with people trying to come here and work, but with the laws that prevent them from doing so. When people are more willing to risk imprisonment and/or death (crossing the desert is not easy) than the fees and red tape and time needed to simply come into the country to get work, that is a sign that there is something very wrong with our immigration laws.

I am prompted to this rant because most of the Republican candidates for President are all in favor of building a fence or building a wall or manning the entire border with military troops, or some combination of the three. Not one of them ever addresses the problem with the law. For them it’s simple. People breaking the law means we must do more to stop people from breaking the law. They never consider questioning the law. They have missed the point of having law. The point of having law is to protect people’s rights, not to catch law breakers.

Fair warning to people who support the current immigration laws: I’m about to say things that will seem mean and nasty to you.

The only reason to have strict immigration laws that prevent easy entry to the country is xenophobia. Fear of the other. “But I have no problem with people immigrating to this country-” Stop right there. If you don’t have a problem with people immigrating legally to the U.S. then why do you support laws that are intended to keep people out? No one is arguing for more illegal immigration. People want to come here and work, and in many cases then go back home, and you support laws that prevent them from being able to do that. Why? What benefit do you get from those people being kept out? There is no benefit that I can see.

“They’re a drain on the economy because they take advantage of our government assistance programs.” That is not an argument for keeping people out. That is an argument for reforming our system of welfare. Don’t make immigrants a scapegoat for our bloated and immoral welfare system. The politicians and the U.S. citizens who voted those politicians into office and who continue to insist those programs must be protected at all costs are the ones to blame.

So what are the other arguments against immigrants? They’re lazy. They don’t speak the language. They take jobs away from others. They’re changing our culture. Xenophobia. These are the same arguments that have always existed against immigrants. Basically what it boils down to is, they’re different. So what? They’re not lazy. If they don’t learn the language their children will. They generally take jobs other don’t actually want. And the change they bring to our culture makes us all culturally richer and the nation stronger. To oppose them on these grounds is xenophobia. If that makes you uncomfortable, I suggest the problem lies with you, not with my choice of words.

And no, I am not arguing for an immigration policy with no restrictions. I am arguing for an immigration policy that is just. Making people pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars and wait often for years for permission to enter the U.S. is not a just system. There is no reason we cannot establish points of entry where people would generally have to wait no more than a day to enter. We screen for known criminals and terrorists. We test for communicable diseases. We check for mental health issues. And then if they get through all that, we let them enter the country. I guarantee you the number of people illegally entering the country would drop to almost nothing.

Also, do not conflate legally being in the U.S. with citizenship. I am not arguing that we lessen restrictions for citizenship. But legally residing and working in the U.S. is not the same as citizenship. Few arguments are more specious than the ones that conflate residency with citizenship. Making coming to the U.S. easier is not the same as granting citizenship. If you cannot tell the difference, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Until we start letting go of xenophobia and start addressing the problems in the law, we will never find a solution to the problem of massive illegal immigration. Making the borders function like a police state will do nothing but bring the nation as a whole closer to being a police state. And that would be bad for everyone.