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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Human Migration

by Sam Huntington

The International Organization for Migration tells us there is no universally accepted definition for migrant, but they debate ad nauseam whether the term identifies those who freely decide to move or whether it also applies to those forcibly removed from their homeland. This is why we question the wisdom of supporting global socialist organizations. One would think there are more important issues.

Migration is a problem because according to the IOM, 214 million people migrated from one place to another in the year 2010. If this number continues to grow at the same rate, then just fewer than half a billion people will become migrants by the year 2050. The causes of migration should concerns us, but so too should the effects. A brain drain has culled out the best and brightest from Italy and Portugal, individuals who now make substantial contributions to other western societies. We might wonder if the economic problems now facing Greece and Spain are in some way related to the fact that all the smart people moved away to other countries, leaving dummies behind to run things.

We cannot begin to address serious issues until we first acknowledge that they exist, and then we must dedicate ourselves to resolving sobering problems —especially when problem resolution demands tough decision making. There are hundreds of reasons for human migration. In some cases, heart-wrenching circumstances push people away from their homeland, in other cases, opportunities available in a new land act as a magnet. I like to think of these as push-pull factors.

Who can blame people for trying to remove themselves from areas of conflict, or from human cesspools? Who in their right mind would want to live in Mexico as part of the peon class? Who can blame anyone for trying to find a better place to work and raise their family?

I once heard a story about an elderly couple that decided to erect a bird feeder in their back yard. It wasn’t long before freeloading birds overwhelmed the property. Squabbling birds disturbed the harmony of the back yard; they deposited their filth on patio furniture and freshly washed clothing; and, on one occasion, aggressive grackles attacked the old woman as she hung up her laundry.

From the bird’s perspective, who wouldn’t want a free lunch? We have to acknowledge the do-gooder old couple started this problem, not the birds. We should wonder how the prospect of a free lunch worsens the issue of human migration. If the United States is struggling with twenty million illegal aliens, must we blame the immigrants, or should we look to government bureaucrats and politicians responsible for creating the magnet effect?

This is not an anti-immigrant rant. America is a land of immigrants. I daresay the best and brightest of the entire world came here to participate in the grand experiment. We can point to America’s greatest successes and offer unabashed credit to immigrants who made success possible in government, national security, law, science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. I believe America’s immigration story helps explain our exceptionalism. But there is a point of diminishing returns. When migrants are not able to contribute to the larger society, lacking either education or skills, then those people become a drain on national productivity. A second issue involves those who migrate with no intention of assimilating the new culture. These problems should concern us, and move us to address them.

Many argue that a review of US immigration policy is long overdue, but should we be prepared to discriminate against others because they lack education, skills, or harbor allegiances to ideologies harmful to the interests of the United States? Should we scrutinize visa applicants long known to lie and give false oaths?

Yes, we should.

People do not have a right migrate to America, or for that matter, any other western society. Political correctness has no bearing on who we allow to live among us. Nor should government allow people to circumvent our laws, such as in the case of so-called anchor babies. Part of our responsibility as citizens is to demand our elected representatives address these issues. Hopefully, they will do this before we hear the loud knocking of a half-billion people demanding their fair share of our milk and honey.

That’s my point of view; what’s yours?


  1. Well, Sam,the interesting point in Spain and it's bailout ... better hope they're right because if this gets screwed up there is going to be an epic shit storm.

    What's frightening about the Spanish banks is that they, more so than other European banks, bundled their crap and sold it all over the world.

    You've got banks everywhere that have no idea what their exposure might be.

    Familiar? The brightest guys in the room must be working for Bankia.

  2. Sam
    People do not have a right migrate to America, or for that matter, any other western society.

    It is, of course, the primary thesis of the open-borders loons that immigration is a right and not a privilege that, to a certain extent, should be earned. Furthermore, immigration into any nation should be deserved. We don't need to let in losers who oppose or would drag down the way of life for those of us already here legally.

  3. When the entire global financial structure is in trouble, then I can’t see how it becomes a push or pull factor —unless some nations are able to fix the problems, while others struggle under the socialist yoke. Government in control of financial institutions is not a panacea for human greed. Few thinking people trust government, which pretty much excludes the EU. There’s a good reason not to trust government, as we have seen again, and again. I agree we are facing a critical situation, but I do not believe more government, more borrowing against future revenue is the answer. No institution is too big to fail, IMO. No country is too big to fail. I argue that letting people fail is how they learn important lessons about future behavior. It won’t be pretty, but it will be chock full of important lessons.

  4. Yes, I agree AOW. Hamilton did not think we should allow persons without property to vote. His argument was that individuals without property had no clear stake in government, and could not therefore be trusted with such weighty decisions. Given the disaster of American government over the past twenty years, it is difficult to argue that Hamilton was wrong. Similarly, individuals to migrate to the USA (or other western society) with no intention to assimilate the predominant culture cannot contribute to the whole. The word “Loon” is an adequate description of the open border crowd.

  5. Well stated Sam, although I do not see migration as a "problem," than money leaving a failed enterprise.

    It is a movement of human capital, and just like bad money chases out good, bad people chase out good, and good societies are the beneficiaries.

    It was a kind of darwinism that built America. Those who came here knew they would be given nothing but a chance to succeed, so we attracted a lot of hardy souls.

    Now, with progressives dangling all kinds of nanny state candies and special protected status, we are turning the hardy souls into wards of the state, and it is a shame.

    People from Latin America are not natural welfare bums. Life is harsh where they come from and their are no safety nets. They are natural-born hard workers used to taking life's knocks and pressing on, but the progressive mommies her in the US receive them and try to turn them into children.

  6. Back in the days when vocabularies were wider and language was more refined, and made more of an attempt to achieve pinpoint accuracy, people who left their native lands were called emigrants. When these people arrived and settled in a new country, they were called immigrants.

    Migration was a term reserved to describe the habits and flight patterns of various flocks of birds.

    Migrant workers were the people who seemed to have no permanent home, but moved from one location to another to pick various crops as they ripened and were ready to harvest.

    People who simply wandered from place to place in the confines of their native lands were called nomads. Certain American Indian tribes and Bedouins in the Middle East were said to be nomadic.

    More and more I see humanity lumped in with all other "life forms" and treated as though we were just another species -- nothing special.

    I believe it's part of the modern collectivist ethos that seems determined to separate us from our native cultural patterns, religions and mores, all the while making us increasingly ignorant, less civilized, less refined, less independent, less creative, more tractable -- and above all -- less individualistic.

    The elitists who've been running the show surreptitiously behind the scenes have been working very hard for at least a century to transform humanity into one, enormous, unified herd that these self-appointed Oligarchs, who feel qualified to play God, can move around at will to serve their needs and desires.

    Even the fashion of referring to people simply as "humans" rather than "human beings" -- as though we were equivalent-to-but-no-better-than apes, chimpanzees, baboons and orangutans is part of this dehumanizing process.

    Terminology is very important more for what it may imply than anything else.

    ~ FreeThinke

  7. The term human migration is derived from the Latin migratio) denoting physical movement by human beings from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. In the ancient past, human movement was nomadic, generating conflict with other human groups, and often resulting in additional human displacement or cultural assimilation. Conflict continues today, as evidenced by American attitudes toward illegal immigrants. Migration can be voluntary or involuntary, the latter encompassing slavery, and ethnic cleansing. People who migrate into a territory are called immigrants; at their point of departure, they are called emigrants.


  8. Kurt, I agree with everything you said, and appreciate the neat way you put it.

    ~ FT

  9. People leaving a failed enterprise is the perfect way to describe it, Kurt. Thanks!

  10. Thank you, FT. I apologize for being inarticulate.

  11. I'm sorry, Sam. I didn't mean to imply any such thing, but I admit to being thoughtless –– certainly less than diplomatic –– in not acknowledging the excellence of your writing .

    However, I have done so in the past, and thought, perhaps, you could take my good opinion pretty much for granted by now.

    Kurt just reiterated my own long-held, oft-stated belief that seductive financial lures, initiated and rammed through the legislative process by Democrats, are the root of the problems we are having with formerly unspoiled, once highly productive Hispanics.

    This "illegal immigration" has been going on probably since the founding days of the republic. It has only become a nettlesome issue since the Democrats initiated proceedings, as Kurt said, to turn illegal immigrants into infants.

    They've done the same thing with our Negroes, of course.

    Democrats have a positive genius for turning once potentially useful individuals into a burden on society and a drag on the economy.

    ~ FreeThinke

    PS: I appreciated your visiting my new blog the other day. Please drop by again. You astute analysis would always be welcome there, I'm sure. - FT

  12. Louie,

    Thank you for providing in fewer words much of the same information I gave earlier.

    It's always reassuring to see one's opinions and assertions corroborated.

    ~ FT

  13. An excellent post, Sam. Migration is also a problem within our own coutry. Think Clifornia or better yet, think Detroit.

  14. Thank you, Louis. If there is a Latin word for it, then it must have been something for people to talk about for a very long time.

  15. FT, I find your blog interesting and informative. I recommend it to all of AOW's readers.

    I’ll frequent it and comment more often as time permits.

  16. COF … you are so right about our “internal migration.” I think it is every bit as complicated, and fascinating, as any discussion involving international migrations.

  17. Sam, when the Founding Oligarchs set up shop America was a plantation economy. Land owner meant plantation owner in most states.

    Now my guess is that back then you wouldn't qualify but why don't you clarify.

    Is it your position that owning a house should qualify you for the franchise while renting would not because renters have no stake in the country? Are you that stupid?

  18. A bilious temperament may shower
    Many a lush and fragrant bower
    With noxious regurgitation
    Withering blooms and vegetation,
    But roots of every sturdy plant
    Remain immune to toxic cant.
    And soon the stench will clear away
    As beauty returns refreshed by decay.

    ~ FreeThinke

  19. @Ducky

    Are you that stupid?

    Actually, I'm not at all stupid. I was writing about Alexander Hamilton, noting that given the fact that most people today have no clear understanding of civic virtue, one could argue that Hamilton was correct. I never said I believed it. Apparently, however, you are unable to comprehend the English language. So let’s try this:


    Get it?

  20. I imagine as soon as human beings emerged on this old earth they loosely organized themselves into tribes, which may have begun as extended families.

    There were no towns and villages then, of course, so it's likely they wandered as hunter-gatherers from one promising area to another. As conditions became overly challenging in one place, they'd start to look for something better.

    At his sage human beings were little more than just another among the various species of wild animals.

    Having the world organized into distinct, definable nations is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the primitive world every bit of ground was up for grabs. As people began to settle down to live in caves, they discovered and developed tools, began to paint pictures, and the long slow march toward Civilization began in earnest.

    But, what-we-know-as Europe is a pretty recent development. I, myself, was astonished to learn not long ago that Italy -- the land of my maternal forebears -- only became a unified nation state in the mid 1800's under King Victor Emmanuel.

    That was shortly before my great-grandparents left to come to these shores. Apparently, life was not so good for the common folk in the newly established Italian nation.

    France didn't really start to become France until the reign of Louis XIV; Before that it was a sort of crazy quilt of of little duchies and fiefdoms.

    So, what's happening with human migration today isn't so very different from what's been happening all along, except that established countries now are less open to "informal" immigration, and all sorts of rules and regulations administered by complex, mindless, heartless bureaucracies make spontaneous migration on a global scale all-but impossible ––- except in the United States where we are positively schizoid on the subject and totally ineffectual in being able to bring spontaneous immigration under control.

    As the Preacher said, "There is nothing new under the sun."

    ~ FreeThinke

  21. Sam, I've lived in Paris and I"ve lived in Germany and traveled to Germany for the last 25 years; I can't tell you the changes that have happened there and it's the immigrants. Paris's problems are not so obvious in the cities but they're far more acute in the outlying suburbs..especially the Arab immigrants stay to themselves in areas around the city. By the way, when we see cars burning in Paris, that's a joke because it's nothing new; cars are burning in the Arabic suburbs EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, believe me. I've heard harrowing accounts of lovely homes people have worked hard for in the country where they have to literally run from the car into their homes now because they're being attacked.

    Germany's affected worse than other countries by immigrants OR it's just that Germany was SO pristine and beautiful and safe that the juxtaposition is the most obvious. One never saw trash on the streets, now it's not uncommon. One didn't lock one's home just 30 years ago! Bikes never had to be chained or locked up, now they're stolen regularly. Restaurants are threatened "either you pay us or you'll be burned down" (that's mostly the CHinese). The bikes are mostly stolen by Czecks,... Russians are the big car thieves; Romanians steal everything.
    Yes, I KNOW NOT ALL of any group does this, but the facts are there and irrefutable.
    Germany will NEVER be the same again. Germans are being beaten and sometimes killed in the Undergrounds and we don't hear much about that, do we. Meanwhile, they're PAYING for these people to tell them, on TV with hidden faces, "You are going to be GONE, Germans...you've stupidly given us tons of money and we're taking over" (that's almost verbatim; my stepchildren live in Munich and send me information hot off the press...I'm publishing something tomorrow from Germany, coincidentally)
    I couldn't agree more with your post. Sad, but true.
    These people are mostly NOT like the old immigrants who moved for a better life and to BE the new nationality! This is an immigrant now who breaks laws or lies to get in, takes as much money as he can get, and tries hard to make the host country the cesspool he escaped from . Go figure.

  22. FT, much of Western Europe was part of the Roman Empire. If you have the inclination, if you enjoy history, then I think you will find the history of Gaul very entertaining. Before the fall of Rome, several Roman consuls were from the region of Gallia. When Rome collapsed, the various peoples began to jockey with one another for supremacy. This continued until the Salian Franks asserted control over much of present-day France. The Franks continued to expand as part of the Merovingian dynasty around 480 AD, ruling for 300 years.

    You may recall the stories of Charles Martel, who we credit with Saving Western Europe from the Islamic hordes. His great-grandson was Charlemagne, the first in a long line of Holy Roman Emperors. After Charlemagne’s death, his sons squabbled over their inheritance, and that gave us re-division of Western Europe. Charles the Younger inherited Austrasia and Neustria, Saxony, Burgundy, and Thuringia; Pippin received Italy, Bavaria, and Swabia, and Louis inherited Aquitaine, the Spanish March, and Provence.

    I think it was unusual for humans to migrate during these early years before formal feudalism. The people learned there was security when staying within one’s community. This idea was more or less reinforced by the Catholic clergy, who wanted the people to stay in place. When marauders came, priests simply explained, “It is the will of God.” So while people may have migrated in these days, I think it was the exception, rather than the rule. Even as late as the mid-1800s, most Europeans died within 25-miles of their place of birth. In modern times, I think one underlying cause of human migration is over-population.

    Sam, I think what you have to understand is that Ducky is mentally ill. He can’t help being an insufferably obnoxious prick, nor rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. I suspect that beyond serious psychotic issues, over-indulgence in illegal drugs has friend his brain. Ducky is to the blogosphere what junk food is to a healthy heart. Vacuous ad hominem attacks are all he has.

  23. The policy that you mention under Hamilton gave birth to the NYC Tammany Societies and the Democratic patronage system we currently call " the machine".

    Action -> Reaction

    The Tammany veterans served as enlisted men in the Revolution. After the war, they became men of property, but before... was it really just for the Cincinnati's and their sons to deny them the right to vote?

  24. FJ said, “The Tammany veterans served as enlisted men in the revolution. After the war, they became men of property but before … was it really just for the Cincinnati’s and their sons to deny them the right to vote?”

    Let’s be clear. No one denied revolutionary war veterans the right to vote. Alexander Hamilton posed vexing questions during the Federalist Debates in order that citizens could work out the essence of what evolved into the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was right and proper for Hamilton to ask questions, and it was right and proper to defeat notions the people found odious. This is why the news script of the day published the federalist papers. Now let me ask you this: Do you think it is right and proper for people to vote when they know less about political candidates, contemporary issues, likely consequences, America history, or government, than newly minted immigrants do?


  25. Our immigration policy should only allow people from cultures that are compatible with our own, not those who will come here and live as enclaves of hostile and unassimilable aliens. I refer mainly to Muslims, whose massive immigration into European nations portend cultural doom for those countries.

  26. The inherent danger of allowing people who don't own property to vote: They will vote their own entitlements -- and to hell with the bigger picture as to just how those entitlements are being paid for.

    It is a FACT that those who own property know more about the tax burden for individuals.

    I also believe that those who serve in our armed forces -- if citizens of America -- should have the right to vote even if those military or military veterans do not own property.

    One of the important of principles of federalism was cast aside via a Constitutional amendment adopted in 1913: namely, the original provision that members of the United States Senate were appointed by state legislatures.

    From this source:

    ...1. The House of Representatives was designed to be the direct representative of the people. As such it was expected to be more responsive to the more immediate or "popular" issues of the people. Being elected every two years members of the House would tend to react faster to such issues in the interest of keeping their jobs. The senate, being chosen by the legislatures of their respective states, and holding office for six years, were expected to be more deliberate than the house. Being composed of more "elder statesmen" the Senate was expected to provide balance on the short term "passions" of the people.

    Is that the Congress you see today?

    2. As the state's direct representatives, Senators were part of the central government. As the state's direct representatives their job was to be the protectors of the state's rights and act to curb attempts, by the central government, to encroach on the rights of the states and individual citizens.

    How is that one working out for you?...

    More at the above link.

    Another analysis HERE.

  27. The unpropertied military veterans of the Revolutionary War in many states could NOT vote until the 1820s and 30s. THAT is a sorry FACT, Louie. Read the history of the Tammany Society. People think that all white men could vote after the war. That is NOT true.

  28. Here is the History of Tammany Hall by Gustavus Myers

    July 2, 1776
    The New Jersey state constitution allows “all inhabitants . . . who are worth fifty pounds” to vote, including women and people of color. In 1807 the requirement is rewritten to specify only white men.

    January 1, 1790
    Ten states have property requirements for voting (Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, and South Carolina).

    November 10, 1821
    New York State ratifies its second constitution. Property requirements are dropped for whites, but “men of color” must have for one year “seized and possessed” a freehold over the value of $250.

    The inherent danger of allowing people who don't own property to vote: They will vote their own entitlements -- and to hell with the bigger picture as to just how those entitlements are being paid for.

    ...and THAT is why we design a bi-cameral legislature. The "Senate" was NOT subject to "popular vote" IT represented the "propertied" classes and protected their interests... but the PEOPLE had the House of Represntatives... to protect THEIR interests. ALL parties in a democracy NEED to be represented... if they are NOT, they are living in a tyranny.

  29. I’m not sure how this makes any sense. FJ said, “The Tammany veterans served as enlisted men in the Revolution. After the war, they became men of property, but before... was it really just for the Cincinnati's and their sons to deny them the right to vote?”

    People who served in the revolutionary war were in many cases rewarded with grants of land. That made them “property owners.” Before the war, they weren’t veterans. How can you deny veterans the right to vote before they were veterans?

    But now let’s turn to Mr. Hamilton to see what influenced him in his thinking, shall we? Here, Hamilton is quoting Blackstone’s Commentaries, book 1, Chapter 2…

    "If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other."
    From Papers of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Harold C. Syrett (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961-79), 1:106.

    The Constitution contains many phrases, clauses, and amendments detailing ways government may not restrict voting rights. One cannot deny the right to vote because of race or gender. Citizens of Washington DC can vote for President; 18-year-olds can vote. The Constitution also requires that anyone who can vote for the "most numerous branch" of their state legislature can vote for House members and Senate members.
    Note that in all of this the Constitution never explicitly ensures the right to vote, as it does the right to speech. It does require that Representatives be chosen and Senators be elected by "the People," and who comprises "the People" has been expanded by the aforementioned amendments several times. Aside from these requirements, the qualifications for voters are left to the states. As long as state voting qualifications do not conflict with anything in the Constitution, states are free to decide what those qualifications should be. Texas denies the right to vote to persons declared mentally incompetent and who are imprisoned felons or on probation. Contrary to Eric Holder’s point of view, the Florida legislature believes it is wrong to allow dead people to vote. It is interesting to note that though the 26th Amendment requires that 18-year-olds must be able to vote, states can allow persons younger than 18 to vote, if they so choose. One final point: mentally incompetent persons should necessarily include any progressive or devout communist.

  30. Do you think it is right and proper for people to vote when they know less about political candidates, contemporary issues, likely consequences, America history, or government, than newly minted immigrants do?

    It is their "right" EVEN if they are too stupid to exercise that right responsibly. Personally, I wouldn't go out of my way to vote if I were oblivious to the candiates and issues, but who are YOU to judge anyone else's level of "preparedness"? I doubt that anyone willingly and voluntarily votes AGAINST their perceived self-interest, no matter the degree to which they have invested their time to try and determine the truth behind their perceptions.

  31. The senate did not represent the propertied classes; it represented the states that today do not have representation at the federal table. This amendment did more to damage federalism than any other single “populist” amendment.

    Does this mean the senate is more or less corrupt today than it was “back then?” I don’t think we can make such claims. What we can say with certitude is that the election of senators has become part of the national beauty contest. Edwards may have been a dapper looking man, but he was (and is) a horrible human being. This may underscore our problem with modern day elections. AOW is correct in her assessment, IMO.

  32. People who served in the revolutionary war were in many cases rewarded with grants of land. That made them “property owners.” Before the war, they weren’t veterans. How can you deny veterans the right to vote before they were veterans?

    First of all, many "veterans" of the Revolutionary War were not Continentals, they remained members of "volunteer" State Militias. These men did NOT receive all the same rewards that "Continentals" received.

    Secondly, Hamilton's Cincinatti fancied themselves a "hereditary" society, passing down their "rights" to their descendents (primogeniture). Hamilton fancied himself a self-made Lord, and the officers of the society, earls and dukes.

    In other words, Hamilton was a self-righteous and elitist *sshole. The American people had had enough of self-righteous elitist *ssholes with George III and "his boys".

    from Wikipedia:

    Some outsiders, including Thomas Jefferson, were alarmed at the apparent creation of a hereditary elite; membership eligibility is inherited through primogeniture, and generally excluded enlisted men and militia officers, unless they were placed under "State Line" or "Continental Line" forces for a substantial time period, and their descendants. Benjamin Franklin was among the Society's earliest critics, though he would later accepted its role and joined the Pennsylvania Society as an honorary member after the country stabilized. He was concerned about the creation of a quasi-noble order, and of the Society's use of the eagle in its emblem, as evoking the traditions of heraldry and the English aristocracy.

    On January 26, 1784, in a letter to his only daughter, Sarah Bache, Franklin commented at length on the ramifications of the Cincinnati and the eagle's image for national character. Because the image was to appear on the medallions of the Cincinnati, he wrote:

    The Gentleman who made the Voyage to France to provide the Ribbands & Medals has executed his Commission. To me they seem tolerably done, but all such Things are criticised... For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly... [The eagle] is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country, tho' exactly fit that Order of Knights which the French call Chevalieres d'Industrie.

  33. The senate did not represent the propertied classes; it represented the states that today do not have representation at the federal table.

    States are "imaginary" entities which were largely owned and operated by the "propertied" classes (as property was a requirement for voting in most "states"/former colonies) Ie - the Penn's were the "proprietors" of the Pennsylvania colonies. And as Louis XIV once said, "Le Etat c'est moi!"

  34. Unpropertied Americans should never be treated as homo sacer. To create a system that renders them so, is undemocratic on its face.

  35. Okay, FJ ... but I don't think the states are imaginary when their bona fides are clearly articulared in the Constitution.

    Thanks for your contribution.

  36. Slavoj Zizek, "Living in the End Times"

    a nation exists ONLY insofar as its members take themselves as members of this nation and act accordingly, it has absoluely no content, no substantial consistency, outside this activity; and the same goes for, say, the notion of communisim - this notion "generates its own actualization" by way of motivating people to struggle for it.

  37. My sentiments are -- and always have been -- squarely in Hamilton's camp on the issue of voting rights. I have no sympathy for populists.

    People in general are not trustworthy, not moral, not wise, but some sort of competency standard ought to have been upheld instead of granting "the rabble" automatic access to the franchise.

    Hamilton said something to this effect: "That fate of the republic should not be decided by the whim of the vulgar populace."

    One should be literate, knowledgeable about history, the Constitution, and aware of who the candidates are and what they stand for before they should be permitted to vote.

    I favor rule by natural aristocracy -- those of proven capability who've demonstrated a clear sense of responsibility in administering their own affairs, who stand for positive achievement, a refined aesthetic, and noble, generous treatment of inferiors.

    We had that at the beginning. too bad we lost it to the bounders, the screamers, the agitators and the crooks.

    The history of Tammany Hall is fascinating, but what it mostly shows is how something well-founded by intelligent, well-bred individuals can too easily become hideously corrupted over time.

    Thanks Sam and Mustang for kind words and good suggestions -- to FJ for sharing once again his boundless fund of recondite lore.

    ~ FreeThinke

  38. "That fate of the republic should not be decided by the whim of the vulgar populace."

    It isn't and never has been. They have "representatives" who despite their "appearances" (ie - Maxine Waters) are mostly "propertied" multi-millionaires. But as you can plainly see, their money hardly guarantees by proxee that they are any less vulgar than their "aristocratic" bretheren.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I agree, FJ, money doesn't buy class, nor does it necessarily confer wisdom. However, what I actually said was:

    "I favor rule by a natural aristocracy -- those of proven capability who've demonstrated a clear sense of responsibility in administering their own affairs, who stand for positive achievement, a refined aesthetic, and noble, generous treatment of inferiors."

    Does that sound like I believe in The Golden Rule? -- i.e. "He who has the most gold rules."

    Unh Unh!

    ~ fT

  41. There's no such thing as a classless society. Never could be –– never will be.

    The vast differences in IQ, physical attributes, and degrees of ambition make that unattainable non-ideal impossible.

    I believe in discrimination. that does not mean one should unkind or uncharitable to those ill-favored by Nature, it just means that we must be free to call a spade a spade, if we hope to have anything even remotely resembling a sane society.

    It doesn't mean we have to call it a shit-shifter, or poop-scoop either.

    Spade will do nicely.

    ~ FT

  42. I've been out of the house for most of today. I come home and read THIS:

    The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

    The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

    I also read that they will be getting work permits. In this economic depression?

  43. I favor rule by natural aristocracy -- those of proven capability who've demonstrated a clear sense of responsibility in administering their own affairs, who stand for positive achievement, a refined aesthetic, and noble, generous treatment of inferiors.

    I don't know FT. The golden rule sure sounds like a description of the outcome of a "natural" (bellum omne contra omnes) aristocracy to me... and the terms positive, refined, noble and generous all sound pretty "relative" to me, as well. Maxine certainly "represents" the pinnacle of "refinement" for her apportioned district.

    She may not be one of Emerson's "Representative Men" in terms of the Philosopher, Poet, Soldier, etc.... but she certainly is "representative" of her Congressional District.

  44. "Don't ask, Don't tell" is the new de facto Obama Immigration policy. That means that ten years from now, America will observe no distinction between citizen and metic...

    As Plato once remarked ("Republic"):

    Yes, I said; and loyal citizens are insultingly termed by her slaves who hug their chains and men of naught; she would have subjects who are like rulers, and rulers who are like subjects: these are men after her own heart, whom she praises and honours both in private and public. Now, in such a State, can liberty have any limit?

    Certainly not.

    By degrees the anarchy finds a way into private houses, and ends by getting among the animals and infecting them.

    How do you mean?

    I mean that the father grows accustomed to descend to the level of his sons and to fear them, and the son is on a level with his father, he having no respect or reverence for either of his parents; and this is his freedom, and the metic is equal with the citizen and the citizen with the metic, and the stranger is quite as good as either.

    Yes, he said, that is the way.

    And these are not the only evils, I said—there are several lesser ones: In such a state of society the master fears and flatters his scholars, and the scholars despise their masters and tutors; young and old are all alike; and the young man is on a level with the old, and is ready to compete with him in word or deed; and old men condescend to the young and are full of pleasantry and gaiety; they are loth to be thought morose and authoritative, and therefore they adopt the manners of the young.

    Quite true, he said.

    The last extreme of popular liberty is when the slave bought with money, whether male or female, is just as free as his or her purchaser; nor must I forget to tell of the liberty and equality of the two sexes in relation to each other.

    Why not, as Aeschylus says, utter the word which rises to our lips?

    That is what I am doing, I replied; and I must add that no one who does not know would believe, how much greater is the liberty which the animals who are under the dominion of man have in a democracy than in any other State: for truly, the she-dogs, as the proverb says, are as good as their she-mistresses, and the horses and asses have a way of marching along with all the rights and dignities of freemen; and they will run at any body who comes in their way if he does not leave the road clear for them: and all things are just ready to burst with liberty.

    When I take a country walk, he said, I often experience what you describe. You and I have dreamed the same thing.

    And above all, I said, and as the result of all, see how sensitive the citizens become; they chafe impatiently at the least touch of authority, and at length, as you know, they cease to care even for the laws, written or unwritten; they will have no one over them.

    Yes, he said, I know it too well.

    Such, my friend, I said, is the fair and glorious beginning out of which springs tyranny.

    Glorious indeed, he said. But what is the next step?

    The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; the same disease magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy—the truth being that the excessive increase of anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction; and this is the case not only in the seasons and in vegetable and animal life, but above all in forms of government.

  45. "If this number continues to grow at the same rate, then just fewer than half a billion people will become migrants by the year 2050"

    I really doubt the arithmetic, but so what? People migrate. That's what people do, whether it is for food, water, money, or for love, they will continue to do it.

    Historically, immigrating hordes have driven existing populations away from their homes. That's why we have regulations about that kind of thing. That's why we should control immigration.

    It's OK to accept immigrants from Latin America, or anywhere else we decide. It is not a sin to turn someone away.

    As I observed, people migrate. When they come, they bring their brains and baggage with them. Part of the deal should be that they assimilate into the culture and economy.

  46. "People do not have a right migrate to America, or for that matter, any other western society."

    That's the most important thing, unfortunately far too many in the west think otherwise.

  47. Sam,

    it may suprise you but I think you wrote a good item and I cannot agree more with the direction you have given.

    I always have believed that immigrants should sign binding contracts that include showing an effort to integrate, support the constitution, respect the cultural norms of society and show loyalty to their new nation. If they fail to do so, there should be a system that can judge and deport if necessary.

    These views also comes from the fact that I believe migrants should come with the view that they "want" to come and should show appreciation that they have been accepted. Migration is not a right and should not be just a "tool" to some other goal.

    If I can add to your item, it should be that the term "immigrant" is not easily defined, but there is an entire international charter that defines what is a "refugee".

    Again, for me, when a refugee comes to a country that person should come with their cap in their hand and head bowed with thanks for being given "asylum". By definition a refugee is there temporarily and is not obliged to integrate and can be treated as a visitor. If they wish and is accepted to stay, then they are no longer refugees but are now immigrants.

    Though I know the subject of immigration in the US is a hot potatoe subject, I can only look at it in one way. Your economy runs on it and that includes your illegals and thus the only solution is to distinguish those that participate in the economy and make them legal and simply work on either making the rest either a part of the American system or throw them out. Imagine what a change it would be if you could actually do that.

    Damien Charles


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