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
Archive for Immigration
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
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
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
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.
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?