The GOP’s future?

by Rhode

Republicans Left Wondering If Donald Trump Will Kill The Party Or Just Maim It

I’m interested in people’s opinions on this one. Is the HuffPost right about this one? Is the Republican Party as fractured as we are led to believe?

For those of you who lean right and tend to vote for Republicans, what are your thoughts on the Grand Ole Party?

Is a Trump Presidency as dire as the HuffPost believes?

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249 thoughts on “The GOP’s future?

  1. This article was written pre RNC convention…

    From today’s perspective
    1. Right now it looks like the Democrats are equally fractured.
    2. There are an awful lot of smart people who are sounding the alarm over Trump. Not all of these people are liberals. Obviously, there are a bunch of them on the Republican end (Romney, Cruz, etc), but there are also centrists (Hank Paulson, Michael Bloomberg) too. I guess you could say, what do they know, they are all pundits. But the masses have often been pretty wrong in other countries.

  2. I haven’t had time to read the article (busy busy today) but wanted to hop on to comment.

    I agree that the Dems are also fractured as a party.

    I don’t think Trump will be the death of the GOP, but it sure hasn’t helped the party

    I used to vote republican (2000-2012) for president, I’m voting for Hilary this time

  3. Louise – I thought I had responded on the other thread but didn’t see that it showed up. The houses are far apart here and we haven’t met any other kids the kids’ age (the next-door neighbors have kids but they are HS age), but to be fair we never met any kids in our old neighborhood either until the kids started going to school – no one was out and about to meet. I suppose we should go around the neighborhood and introduce ourselves to the other neighbors at some point.

  4. Related to current events but off topic. Today, I was asked where I was from (originally). I get fewer of these questions these days. This year I will have lived half my life in the U.S. So, I wanted to get posters thoughts on the situation in Germany. What is the thought on letting people into in a country inlarge numbers without it seems too much thought on how to actually provide for them in the short term or get them assimilated and successful in the longer term. The terrorist angle adds to the complexity. Thoughts ?

  5. The current Republican Party made of religious nuts/ tea parties, all willing to take away my freedom based on their particular religious doctrines among other traits, gives me the heebiejeebies.
    Democrats have their own problems but are atleadt not looking to curtail my freedom.

    Both parties lack visionary leaders who will put the country first.
    Sad state all over, but I will take so called corrupts over the other choice.

  6. “What is the thought on letting people into in a country inlarge numbers without it seems too much thought on how to actually provide for them in the short term or get them assimilated and successful in the longer term.”

    One of the sources of the great wealth of this country is the rule of law. Letting in large numbers of people from a culture that is focused on tribalism and without understanding/respect for the rule of law without an active, robust assimilation process is dangerous. And, bringing in members of an illiterate underclass without thought of how they will will guide their kids through the morass that is the public education system leads one to believe that those who call for an open border like the idea of a permanent underclass.

    Louise, I thought that you lived in a region with a distinctive accent. If you don’t have that accent, would it be reasonable you came from somewhere else?

  7. Louise: I am a big fan of controlled and thoughtful immigration. The situation in Germany is a mess. I really admire Canada’s approach to immigration, which I wish we would emulate.

  8. The “fracture” in the Democratic party is small beans compared to what’s going on in the Republican party, which is foundational and frankly pretty frightening. I’m hopeful that people who strongly dislike Hillary can see that her personal flaws won’t put this country in jeopardy like Trump could. I’d like to see the Republican party get back to its core principles in a way that is unifying for those who feel left out.

  9. “Letting in large numbers of people from a culture that is focused on tribalism and without understanding/respect for the rule of law without an active, robust assimilation process is dangerous. And, bringing in members of an illiterate underclass without thought of how they will will guide their kids through the morass that is the public education system leads one to believe that those who call for an open border like the idea of a permanent underclass.”

    This is pretty much the same attitude taken in the early 1900’s against Italians and Chinese. It led first to the extremely rascist Chinese Exclusion Act, which pretty much kept all Chinese out of this country from the 1880’s to the 1960’s, and to the Immigration Act of 1924, which severely limited immigration from southern and eastern Europe. And of course, that led to the fact that as trouble brewed in Europe, we refused to take Jewish immigrants, who, keep in mind, were seen as fundamentally unable to assimilate.

  10. Trump’s victories in the primaries revealed an enormous gulf between what GOP leaders believe their voters want and what those voters actually want.

    Why is that? I think political parties always run the risk of being taken over by interest groups who begin to exert influence which isn’t proportional to how appealing their ideas are to the average voter. In the last 3 election cycles I think groups within the Republican party began to exert far more influence than is wise if they want someone in the White House.

    From what I understand, the Democrats went through this in the 80s when they were coopted by labor groups, minority groups, New Deal/Great Society nostalgics, etc. such that they lost touch with the average voter.

    Indeed, one could argue that Trump is doing to the Republican party today what Reagan did to the Democrats in the 80s.

  11. I think there are two things going on in Germany, When I lived there as a kid, it was clear that they were still digesting the aftereffects of the Nazi era. There was a sense of national shame that showed itself in the school curriculum, which was far more liberal than what we had been learning in the US at that time. I kind of suspect that is still going on, that they feel like they have to atone by taking in refugees from another holocaust.
    But there is a second factor as well, one that is more business like. For many years, since the 60’s at least, Germany has had a manpower crisis. In the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, the need for lowlevel workers was filled by gastarbeiters from Italy and Spain. Later it was eastern Europeans. But as the economies of those countries improved, those sources have dried up. Syrians present an entirely new source of workers.
    I think the second factor is more important, but it is all wrapped up in the first factor.

  12. They are coming in such numbers and we are unable adequately to take care of them…It simply amounts to unrestricted and indiscriminate dumping into this country of people of every character and description…If there were in existence a ship that could hold three million human beings, then three million Jews of Poland would board to escape to America.

    -Congressional hearing, 1920

    Sound familiar?

  13. Letting Muslim immigrants is a completely different ball of wax and cannot be compared to any of the previous immigrations. I am with Trump on this one.

  14. Mooshi

    We have an open border with Mexico. There are lots of problems associated with bringing in an uneducated population. The fact that no politicians were willing to address the costs associated with bringing in an uneducated, non English speaking tribal population does not mean there are no costs.

  15. Wow, this quote is from Woodrow Wilson, in 1901. Trump could easily be channeling him
    “Immigrants poured in as before, but . . . now there come multitudes of men of lowest class from the south of Italy and men of the meanest sort out of Hungary and Poland, men out of the ranks where there was neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence; and they came in numbers which increased from year to year, as if the countries of the south of Europe were disburdening themselves of the more sordid and hapless elements of their population”

  16. Given the unwillingness to address and deal with the problems of assimilating a population from a neighboring country it is hard to understand how bringing in people from the Middle East would work better. In that culture it is ok to kill a daughter if she displeases the father.

  17. Dell, I have many Muslim students, and I work with many Muslim colleagues. Your comment makes me feel really sad.

  18. Cordelia, at the time that so many Italians were coming to this country, honor killings of wives and daughters was a feature of that culture too. In fact, until 1981, the Italian penal code provided for a lesser penalty if a murder could be proven to be an honor killing
    “rt. 587: He who causes the death of a spouse, daughter, or sister upon discovering her in illegitimate carnal relations and in the heat of passion caused by the offence to his honour or that of his family will be sentenced to three to seven years. The same sentence shall apply to whom, in the above circumstances, causes the death of the person involved in illegitimate carnal relations with his spouse, daughter, or sister”

  19. Given the unwillingness to address and deal with the problems of assimilating a population from a neighboring country

    What unwillingness? I’m not sure to what you are referring.

  20. Can one of you financial wizzes help me decide if I should buy a house in one year or two? Looking at income and expenses I can save $24K per year. Question is how to divide that. I hope to retire in 15 years. Retirement accounts have $16K. Other savings / rainy day fund = $9K. House price will be approx $250K, so a down payment of 10% is one years savings–unless I put some of my annual savings into my retirement account. I would strongly prefer to buy sooner, so my nearly-HS-age son has more time and stability there. These are much lower figures than most of you are used to dealing with, but can you help me out with comparing time value of money for one thousand per month this year to buying the house a year later? I’m already behind on retirement savings; how much damage do I do by diverting some of that money to the house for a year?

  21. My time here on the Totebag has led me to offline discussions that illustrate to me that there are many people of deep religious views in this country who feel that many of the workplace and housing laws and regulations, and changes in social customs and public behavior, schhols norms, and entertainment, prevent them from conducting their lives in business and public activities outside the home in accordance with their religious beliefs. Although some can wrap naked bigotry or perhaps just fear in the flag or in religious garb, there are others who sincerely believe that the ability to live in accordance with their religious beliefs in daily life has or should have prority of protection under the first amendment and as a moral right over freedom of association, public accommodation, workplace protections of others. To use non Christian examples and avoid the bakery issue, the airlines enforce reseating to accommodate extremely orthodox Jewish men who cannot touch any woman even inadvertently. New York city closes certain public pools and ejects all men for a weekly modest dress women’s swimming hour. Orthodox and Muslim women are equally welcome. To some that is simply live and let live. To others it is commercial or government preference for religion. After all, the airline forces the morbidly obese to buy two seats. Why can’t it do the same for those who practice non touch.

  22. Rhett,

    I am not aware of any programs to assimilate the Mexican or Oaxacan populations.

  23. Mooshi, i am sure one on one they are great. But if we look beyond that and open our eyes at what is happening around the world where there is critical mass of them, it’s a different story. They kill each other for belonging to a different sects even in a Muslim country.

  24. Cordellia,

    Also, why do you think a program is needed? Programs weren’t needed to assimilate the waves of Jewish, Polish, Italian, German, Irish, Portuguese, etc. immigrants.

  25. Can one of you financial wizzes help me decide if I should buy a house in one year or two?

    The investment return on housing has historically been quite low when compared to other asset classes. So, you’d be far better off waiting a year in most cases. However, that would hinge on your current rent. How much are you paying now vs. what will the PITA be on the new house?

    Also, are you a first time home buyer?

  26. I’m also saddened by Dell’s comments. There are many Muslims living in and contributing positively to the US right now. Painting all of them with a broad brush based on the actions of a very small handful is unfair and needlessly creates fear and hatred.

  27. Aspiring – usually, the immediate benefit of putting the money in your 401(k) and reducing taxable income will far outweigh anything else you could do with the money. And then combining that with the time value of having it invested for an extra year is even better. Not sure what rates you can get right now on a conforming mortgage or what your payback period will be, but I suspect that you will not be able to itemize so the mortgage deduction won’t have much benefit. So, I think all signs point to investing the money for retirement. But non-financial reasons are always important and stability for a child is a good one.

  28. “I am not aware of any programs to assimilate the Mexican or Oaxacan populations.

    Um, the US public school system?

  29. stability for a child is a good one.

    Aspriing, is it correct that your child is high school age?

  30. Rhett, thanks for replying!
    Yes, absolutely first time home buyer, have never even financed a car, but others in my family own their own homes. I’m working on getting my credit cleaned up now. I think I’d go for a shorter loan, like around ten years. My current rent is $1200, so rent payments are higher than house payments would be. By waiting a year to purchase, you mean after the year it would already take me to save up the down payment?

  31. Based on my math, PI would be significantly more than the rent #. What interest were you assuming?

  32. Kate, I don’t understand your comment. That is a perfect demonstration of why I’m asking for help.

  33. I did a quick search and saw that 10 year rates are ~2.875%. If you finance $225k, your monthly payment will be a little over $2000 for the principal and interest. Plus you need to add in taxes and insurance (and maybe PMI depending on how the loan is structured. You might want to consider a longer payback term. Is retirement in 15 years set in stone or are you willing to extend that?

  34. I just looked at Zillow’s Affordability calculator. It says that if I have a 10-year loan with a mad monthly payment of $1200 and a down payment of $2500, that the most that I could afford is a $115000 home. Guess I’ll be looking at auctions!

  35. Kate,

    I’m seeing PITI plus PMI of $2,235 month for 250k at 15 years. I’m assuming 3.5% down but that will be eaten up by closing costs and she won’t get the lowest rates due to her impaired credit.

  36. Rhett, translation please? And my writing style must be more feminine than I realized.

  37. Aspiring:

    I think you should fund your retirement first and beef up cash savings before buying a house so I would wait two years. And why a ten year loan? I would go with a 15 or 30 year loan because I doubt the rates are that different and you can always pay it off in ten years if you want to, but would have the option not to. In order to retire you need around 25 to 30 times your annual spending.

  38. I am really saddened by the comments about Muslims here. I hope, and assume that almost all Muslims are peaceful and want peace, health and happiness for their families.

    I sort of wish that we didn’t have this topic on the regular board today because I generally stay away from the election board because I actually don’t want to know what some of you really might say when you’re “anonymous”. I have learned so much from Scarlett, or Milo about different beliefs and I generally respect what they share because they also share the facts or the religion behind their posts. I might not agree with them, but I appreciate that I can see the logic behind a statement.

    I find it challenging to understand when a blanket statement is made about an entire group of people just because of a religion that probably didn’t even choose. I know that I didn’t choose my religion, but my parents happened to both be Jewish and now I am Jewish.

  39. Rhett, thanks for the link. I bookmarked it. I’m going from the opposite direction you are, I think. I can’t change my income at will, so $1200 (my current rent) is pretty much the highest payment I could do, especially because there will be those other things Dell pointed out. Looks like I need to learn to hang drywall and refinish my own floors.

  40. I find it challenging to understand when a blanket statement is made about an entire group of people just because of a religion that probably didn’t even choose. I know that I didn’t choose my religion, but my parents happened to both be Jewish and now I am Jewish.

    This. I always find it interesting (funny, ironic, hypocritical, etc.) when Christians make blanket statements like that about Muslims being violent. How many wars have occurred through history because of differences among Christian groups? The conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland ended less than 20 years ago.

  41. I’m certainly guilty of blanket statements, probably because of the people I talk to. Trump is successful in part because he is addressing the concerns that working class people have about immigration.

    To me, the question of interest is not what percentage of Muslims are terrorists, but about what percentage of terrorists are Muslims, especially for countries like Germany.

    When Cordelia and I expressed concern about what happens to public education when high percentages of the class consist of children with limited English and limited parental support, we were castigated for our improper terminology. People with the resources to send their kids to private school, or to live in expensive districts, have the bandwidth to worry about terminology. Trump’s potential voters are not the sort of people to castigate others for their terminology.

  42. “The conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland ended less than 20 years ago.”

    I’d argue it’s still going strong (and may fire up again in light of Brexit)… but you are right. And I agree. Christians (Catholics, mostly) like to forget their history. The Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, and the decimation of the Native American populations. But those happened hundreds of years ago… the Ireland issue is “over there”… the Muslims are destroying life here and now. Blanket statements are just as dangerous as reactionary policies.

    The more I read about Trump and the GOP, the more I think the Huff Post is right. The party is in turmoil. The Dems aren’t far behind either. I almost want to vote 3rd party, but I know that’s a vote for the GOP.

  43. Mine may certainly seem like a banket statement, but I would rather believe people who are actually living it-because who will know better than them than someone who is sits far away and wishes for utopia.
    Also, condemning one group does not mean condoning the others.

  44. When Cordelia and I expressed concern about what happens to public education when high percentages of the class consist of children with limited English and limited parental support,

    You’re obviously talking about America’s millions of Chinese immigrants and their American Born Chinese children?

  45. Keeping in mind that of America’s foreign born population the #2 country of origin is China and #3 is India.

  46. Adding to Meme’s list of accommodations, blue laws and liquor laws are other examples where religious beliefs are accommodated at the local, rather than national, level.

  47. All of my people who are staunchly republican because of social issue, and consider the republicans to be the party of traditional, Christian values. I am a Catholic Democrat email list (although I don’t consider myself a democrat), so I know I’m not the only who disagrees with that view of the Republican Party. There are people I respect who, despite disliking Trump, do intend to vote for him because they don’t think he will be that bad, like I think Milo has indicated. They view democrats selecting the next Supremes to be a very threatening thing.

  48. “How many wars have occurred through history because of differences among Christian groups?”

    Plenty. But warfare is not embedded in the New Testament. In fact, nowhere in the New Testament does Christ exhort his followers to violence against the unbelievers. Those who picked up swords in religious wars were violating Christian teachings.

    Islam is completely different. Those who kill the infidels, including the majority of terrorism victims who are Muslims regarded as heretics or apostates, can point to hundreds of verses in the Quran or hadith that justify their actions. That is why Islamic jihad is so dangerous. The terrorists cannot be written off as a handful of fanatics who are twisting and hijacking Islam. They are following it. When substantial numbers of Muslims living in WESTERN countries support that imposition of sharia law in those countries, there is a problem, and we in the West are completely within our rights, both legal and moral, to insist that those who want to live among us must respect our legal system. There is nothing discriminatory, hateful, or intolerant about that approach, and comparing those who have raised concerns about unchecked immigration from the Islamic world with anti-Semitics who resisted Jewish refugees is absurd.

  49. The Old Testament has a heck of a lot of violent things about it. Is that part of the bible no longer part of Christianity?

  50. Is there anything that Trump has said or done so far that would indicate that he won’t be that bad? I just totally don’t get that line of reasoning. I mean, you could apply the same analysis to HIllary after all – “yeah, she says she will nominate a liberal justice, but she doesn’t MEAN it”

  51. Mooshi, I don’t think Trump will be that bad because Republicans won’t support his ideas. If elected, he will be an impotent bombast in office for a single term.

    Hillary, on the other hand, could implement social programs for federal daycare and college education that would have horrible budgetary implications for decades after she leaves office. Public schools have 30+ kindergartners in a class here. Regulated, private daycare does not have 30+ five year olds in a class. What is promised in a federal program and what is implemented are not usually the same thing. I fear high cost and low quality.

  52. Hillary, on the other hand, could implement social programs for federal daycare and college education that would have horrible budgetary implications for decades after she leaves office.

    How will she get congress to go along?

  53. Aspiring – I checked the other thread and saw the comment about the inheritance. Could you give a little more info about that? Enough $ to supplement retirement? If so, I would probably buy now and do a 30 year mortgage. Once you are closer to retirement or when you child leaves the nest for good, you can reassess and decide what to do. Interest rates are low. One year isn’t going to make a big deal either way and if owning is something you want for your child, I would do it. I would spend the least amt possible (how are condos where you live)?

  54. “Mooshi, I don’t think Trump will be that bad because Republicans won’t support his ideas.”

    WCE – are you sure of that? That camp has gone ridiculously quiet. For a Republicans Senator or Congressman looking for re-election, openly defying your party’s president is political suicide.

    And how are you so sure that the House and Senate will fall over HRC passing her bills? The Dems aren’t in charge of either side of the Hill.

  55. With the projections for how the elections will shake out in Congress, I don’t know how you can conclude that Trump won’t get anything done but Hillary will.

  56. The lasting legacy of some presidents is actually the Supreme Court. If Hillary wins, I think she will probably have a chance to nominate at least 3 people because I bet Ginsburg is just waiting to see if a democrat is elected to step down. Her health seems fragile. Not sure about Kennedy and Breyer, but they’re getting up there.

    I wonder if the justices would try to hang on as long as it is physically or mentally possible to stay in Trump wins the election.

  57. “How will she get congress to go along?”

    She won’t Rhett. At a minimum, I don’t think she’ll go off on a hair-trigger (is that the right term?) as I fear Trump might do. Conservatives, I think, should be assured that if Hillary is as awful as they think she is, her election at least bides time for the Republicans to grow up, get their shit together and nominate somebody in 2020 who is not a bombastic buffoon. I mean, think about it. Anybody even remotely reasonable– even my silly junior senator–could beat Hillary this year, and certainly in 2020.

  58. “The lasting legacy of some presidents is actually the Supreme Court.”

    That’s just as scary if Trump wins. We have an empty seat now. The Senate is refusing to look at candidates because they want the next president is in the White House. They hope it’s a Republican pres. Though, I wonder what they’ll do if HRC gets in… continue to block nominations until her term is over?

  59. Agree, PTM. I am convinced HRC will be our first woman president, and I’ve already thought of two positive things about her.
    1) She is far less likely to go off on a hair trigger and nuke North Korea than her primary opponent.
    2) She is unlikely to sexually harass the White House interns.

  60. WCE, I am equally convinced that Hillary will NOT be our first woman president. Too strong. I think our first woman president will be a docile, appropriate vice president that will be the current version of a Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Liddy Dole. We’ll see. But Trump really makes me afraid simply because of the inherent powers of the president.

  61. “The Old Testament has a heck of a lot of violent things about it. Is that part of the bible no longer part of Christianity?”

    Indeed, the Old Testament recounts many acts of violence. But, for the most part, those passages are tied to a particular time and place, and have never been regarded by Jews or Christians as justification for violent behavior today. And that is obvious, because Jews and Christians do not leave their prayer services and commit violent acts in the name of God. But Muslims do, all over the world. More than 2000 people were killed by Islamic terrorists last month.

  62. Of all the things that I find disturbing about Trump, his sexism is the most appalling to me. He is a pig, plain & simple. His low opinion of women is one of the only viewpoints of his that has never wavered over the decades. I cannot possibly vote for someone like that, and I have a hard time wrapping my brain around how other educated women can hold their nose and vote for him either. His daughter did a very nice job in her speech painting the picture of someone who I do not believe exists. I wonder if she believes it.

  63. Aspiring . I was only able to buy a residence in my 50s after the kids were grown. It was a lifelong dream to be free of landlords. I composed a very detailed reply as I sit in the airport and it disappeared, so here are a few thoughts. The question of whether to wait a year or buy now is not IMO important. You really have to run feasibility on the numbers taking into account all of your housing costs, taxes, utilities, payment, insurance, repairs allowance or condo fee. If that works, I understand the desire for security and stability.

  64. PTM,

    I get the sense that some on the right think the Cruz, Rubio or Jeb! were nominated. They haven’t quite wrapped their head around the idea that Trump has hijacked the party and pulled it in an entirely new direction.

  65. I think a vote for a third party signals Congress that HRC’s leftist impulses need to be moderated.

  66. Trump may be a sexist pig, but some of the victims of Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults regard her as an enabler, so neither candidate is covered in glory on that issue.

  67. Rhett – Limited English proficiency is not only for primarily Spanish speakers. In Texas, only 65% of the population speaks English as the primary language at home (2015). The remaining 35% speak 160 different languages. The top 10 other languages in order: Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Tagalog, German, French, Hindi, Urdu, Korean and Arabic.

    My neighborhood elementary school is the Vietnamese Bilingual School for my school district. If you are in an area with a large population with a common first language other than English, you are more likely to have resources that support a bilingual program rather than and ESL program. If more people speak your first language, you are more likely to get help in navigating the system and have a support systerm in the community.

  68. Slight hijack – MBT or Houston (can’t recall who posted) – My DD passed her drivers test on Friday. I had gone online after your post about how far in advance you have to schedule an appointment. The same day the news had an article about the ONE office in our area taking walkins. They are lining up at 3 am for a 7:30 am opening and not everyone in line is getting an appointment. Anyway, we just kept looking at all the offices anywhere close to us and were able to get the ONE apointment in less than a month online.

    However, several people advised us to call or go to smaller offices on the outskirts. For Houston something like Alvin or Angleton.

  69. Rhett, I agree. My sisters, of a certain age, are all, but one, reasonable people. All are smart. Very smart. All are in varying degrees successful. All can conduct a reasonable discussion of politics. Only one is a wing-nut. None will vote for Hillary. Not one. Ever. Under any condition.

    I love my family, but this is almost too much to bear. I try to put the thought of who they are voting for into the bowels of my mind, never to be retrieved.

  70. Austinmom, you may know more about it than I do, and I cannot find the citation for an article I saw. But there was a study that showed that immigrant children in ESL programs learned English and adapted more quickly than those in a bilingual program, I guess out of necessity. I remember when we were moving to Houston and looking for schools, seeing an article saying that one elementary had children speaking 21 different languages. I cannot even imagine how that works.

    Aspiring, if your son is approaching high school age, then you may be less concerned about the size of the yard. Condos/townhomes might be a good option, and would have less maintenance.

  71. I’m out of here for the rest of the day. I think when you try to blame HRC for Clinton’s sexual behavior that you are really stretching.

  72. Austin: Thanks for the info. In order to take the drivers test, my DS would actually have to complete the online class that we signed him up for several months ago. And actually, you know, want to practice driving. Someday, I hope to use your good advice.

  73. Austin, it was me. At my son’s first appointment, scheduled six weeks out, he had not watched the video that is now required. At the next appointment six weeks later, he did not leave enough room before pulling out and failed, for the next six weeks later he was sick and had to miss. We tried Hempstead for a walk-in, but are not willing to line up at 3am. He has an appointment next week, two days before orientation for his senior year. He still has no desire to drive – finds driving in Houston traffic very stressful, but he does not want his mom dropping him off. I hope he passes. He will be really miserable if he does not. Im glad for your daughter!

  74. Houston, I made my son get his permit before he was sixteen. He had no interest in driving much until last fall, but even then only wanted to practice minimally. Now being the last of his friends without his license, he wants it NOW. Houston locations, for us, all had 4-6 week lead times.

    When my daughter got her license, we did parent-taught driver’s Ed and just had to sign an affidavit that she was qualified to drive. No test. He is very jealous.

  75. I believe that there has been a spread of the more radical version of Islam in recent years. Countries where women went about without headscarves slowly began to transform into societies where women were forced to cover their heads and their bodies. Formerly young girls never had to cover their hair but now have to dress like the older women. It is a melding of religion with the most regressive aspects of culture. Not religion alone but culture as well. And that culture may not be native to the population but it is imported and imposed as being morally superior and the one true path to salvation.

  76. Rhett, the Planned Parenthood shooter was a nut job. He wasn’t part of a Christian church or a prolife organization. He hasn’t been tried because he was determined to be mentally incompetent, and his actions were universally condemned by Christian and prolife leaders. Yet the same media that bends over backward to find other motives when Muslims commit terrorist acts — maybe Mateen was secretly gay, maybe he was poisoned by living among conservative Christians in Florida — leaped instantly to the conclusion that prolife groups were responsible for the Colorado Springs shooting. Amazing.

    Again, Christians who kill in the name of God are VIOLATING the teachings of Christ. Muslims who do the same are FOLLOWING the teachings of Muhammad. That is the difference.

  77. All I can say is God bless the founding fathers for not trusting us. I think the Donald has a tough time getting to 270, made a big tougher by Kasich and Kaine.

  78. My grandmother went to kindergarten not knowing a lick of English in the 20’s. They lived in an enclave within a city with people from the same country. She & her sister learned English at school and then taught their 3 younger siblings. She also translated for her mother pretty much her whole life. Her mother learned some English but never mastered it. She was the first of her family to graduate from HS (which was a feat for working class women in the 20’s & 30’s) I don’t think it’s all that different from today, really. In fact, that neighborhood is now an enclave for more recent immigrants. (some from Mexico and some escaping some pretty bad situations in their home country)

  79. Houston – April 2015 I signed my DD up with driving school, she didn’t really want to do it. School was very backed up on the behind the wheel, so between her busy schedule and their ineptness at scheduling, her 7 drives weren’t complete until March 2016. Yes, then getting the driving 30 hours with the day/night requirements was like pulling teeth. Then this summer, we just said we are going driving NOW. Still, awful, until about the last 5 hours of the requirements because by then she was driving every day.

    Maybe because we did the driving school, but they gave us a detailed list of what we had to bring. We didn’t know that the VOE expires in 30 days, but we were able to get that thankfully!

    Oh….and when she said “My driving isn’t for me, its for you.” I said, “Yes, yes it is!”

  80. MBT – I, too, have read that ESL is more effective. However, my observation in my little part of the world is that when there are enough speakers of one language, the school district and other community services often have adults who speak that language to help the adults in the family. That help can be figuring out the school system, health care, etc. This is not limited to lower income non-English speakers.

    So for example, where the program is bilingual Vietnamese it is often easier for the parents to interact with the school than if there are only a few Vietnamese speakers.

  81. None will vote for Hillary. Not one. Ever. Under any condition.

    Why? I could see if it was Hillary vs. Romney, Rubio, Jeb! or even God help us Ted Cruz. But, when it’s between Hillary and Trump? What is their rational?

  82. Maybe the fact that it’s hard for us to discuss politics politely is part of why the country is so divided. If you’re in a private or good public school, it’s hard to relate to the frustrations of people whose children attend public schools heavily impacted by disadvantaged immigrants with limited English.

    I agree that having translators in the community helps parents navigate the local schools. One of the reasons Arabic, Chinese and Korean speaking families do well here is that there are educated speakers of those languages willing to help out parents who are not fluent in English.

  83. If I hadn’t gotten my license on my 16th birthday, my mother would have implemented a policy of never driving me anywhere ever again. (Of course I was desperate for my license back in the day, so it was not an issue). Can’t you folks simply tell the kids that you’ll just never drive them anywhere if they don’t get their licenses?

  84. Warning: Lengthy anecdotes ahead! If it drives you crazy when someone tries to illustrate a broad issue by using a personal story, or when someone just writes way too much, skip this post. Otherwise, please indulge me.

    I’ve mentioned before that I’m a child of immigrants. My mother was an infant when she came here; my father was an adult. I’m not sure, but I have reason to believe that both my maternal grandfather and my father might have been illegal immigrants.

    Mom’s father came in 1914, before the visa system was in place; back then, if you could pay for passage to the U.S., and meet some other basic requirements, you could come. One of the requirements was that you had to list someone in the U.S. as a responsible party for you. I looked up the ship manifest for my grandfather’s ship on the Ellis Island website, and I noted the name that my grandfather had used as his responsible party. It was someone who shared Grandpa’s last name, so I figured it was a relative. Well, I asked a bunch of family members who this person was, and no one had ever heard of him. Now, we come from a very “tribal” culture where people knew all of their cousins, aunts, and uncles many times removed, but no one had ever heard of this guy. So I’ve come to the conclusion that my grandfather probably didn’t have anyone here, and he just made up a name to get into the U.S., and hoped for the best. Illegal immigrant?

    My father came over to do some post-graduate work. He had a visa, but it was an education visa, and one of the requirements for an education visa is that you need to pledge that you are going to return to your home country after your studies are over. I suppose it’s possible that Dad intended to go back and later changed his mind, but I highly doubt it. His native country had been ravaged by war, and I think that when he got a chance to leave, he saw it as being for good, even if he didn’t say so in his visa paperwork. Illegal immigrant?

    As I mentioned, the native culture was very tribal, and my brother and I faced a lot of pressure from our parents to keep the old ways, even though they did not mesh well with life in Boston in the 1970s and 80s. To a point Mooshi made upthread, the schools were the great assimilator for us. To my parents’ credit, they did not put us in ethnic- or religious-affiliated schools — we went to mainstream schools. Over time we became more and more American, and Mom and Dad came to accept that fact more and more over time.

    My illegally-immigrating grandfather had five grandchildren. Two of us are lawyers; one is a surgeon; one is the CIO at a major corporation; one is a teacher. Four of us have married, all of us outside the ethnic group. Our own kids are totally mainstream Americans.

    I don’t write this so that you can all say, “Wow, NoB, your family is amazing!” Because we’re not amazing at all. Ours is a story that you hear over and over and over again from immigrants of every origin. We are quite typical in our American immigration experience.

    I admit that ironically, there are times when I worry about immigration too. Many new immigrants seem so different from the American “norm.” But then I realize that if our family was able to make the transition into mainstream American life, why wouldn’t other families be able to do so as well? As I said, it’s not like we were all that special.

    Sorry to ramble. I guess I just take it very personally when people talk derisively about “illegals” and “tribal people” and such. Because that was my family, not long ago. And we’ve done OK, both for ourselves and for our adopted, and beloved, country.

  85. “1) She is far less likely to go off on a hair trigger and nuke North Korea than her primary opponent.”

    I didn’t see Sanders as likely to do that.

    “2) She is unlikely to sexually harass the White House interns.”

    But she is likely to smear and persecute White House interns who her husband harasses.

  86. My FB post with Hasan Minaj’s excellent bit in Cleveland at the end of the GOP convention.

    They’re voting for someone because they assume he won’t do what he says? The idea that anyone could be so caviler about choosing serious danger for so many people makes me unbelievable angry. And sad. There are times when being far from home makes me feel more American than ever. This feels like that. Never been so sad for my country, or felt more connected to it.

    There was an article recently in the NYT (I think, but am not positive) about Republicans being “frightened” if Clinton is elected. I found it absolutely insulting. They wouldn’t like her policies, but there have been none of the threats made by and Democrat that come anywhere near the life upheaval and injustice that the GOP candidate and his supporters promise to unleash on the majority of the US population.
    The possibility of him being elected is getting more real, as the Dems seem clueless as to how to fight Trump. They keep coming with facts, statistics, and logical arguments, as though proving for the millionth time that what the man and his supporters are saying is not true and is based in lies would somehow make any more difference than the first 999,999 times. Logic is clearly not the way to go with these people, but neither I nor the Dems seem to have any idea of how else to sway people’s votes. Ignorance about Islam and post-Islamic peoples, foolish insistence that the context of god in the bible promising to smite enimies somehow mattering but similar types of context in other holy books do not, and the stupid, ignorant insistence that Isis is somehow primarily concerned with the West when the gigantic pile of Muslim bodies they have killed shows otherwise is just one example of how looking at things logically and without prejudice simply is not a tool that works with them. And so many of us are afraid for our lives and our loved ones’. That cannot be compared with “fears” that Clinton might put through a tax code that’s disadvantageous to them.

    I am no fan of HRC. She is a hawk and a warmonger who would have zero hesitancy to continue the drones and start other attacks. But neither would her opponent, and he threatens the lives of many Americans. The list of agencies and programs he would decimate, from the EPA to the NEH and many more is also terrible. No matter who is elected, the next four years do not look rosy. I choose the candidate who is least likely to decimate the country, its values, and its people.

  87. I am still not getting why people think that Trump will somehow turn out to be different from his current persona? He has said over and over what he plans to do: expel all illegal immigrants, build a wall on our southern border, and keep Muslims out of the country. He said it over and over in his speech on Thursday. He doubled down on the illegal immigrants as murderers thing. The next day, he was back after Cruz’s father with his conspiracy theory. Thinking that he is somehow going to be different when elected would be like believing that Ted Cruz, if elected, would suddenly support transgender bathroom rights.

    Sorry, but when I choose my candidate, I go by their record and what they say they will do. I don’t try to make up fantasies about what they *might* do.

  88. One more thing that I find really chilling, the more I think about it: the “jail Hillary” chants. And Christie’s nasty attack. It would be one thing to agree with the FBI head’s assessment that Hillary was recklessly careless, or even to state that you wish the FBI head had recommended an indictment. But to scream “Jail Hillary”over and over? Jailing your defeated opponent is what people do in Other Scary Countries. Plus, it is a bit rich, coming from Christie who narrowly escaped indictment himself, and Trump who faces a lawsuit for fraud.

  89. “Plus, it is a bit rich, coming from Christie who narrowly escaped indictment himself, and Trump who faces a lawsuit for fraud.”

    Amen.

  90. “Condos/townhomes might be a good option, and would have less maintenance.”

    I agree, you should consider these. Your financial situation may not allow you to buy a house and/or retire in 15 years.

  91. Again, Christians who kill in the name of God are VIOLATING the teachings of Christ. Muslims who do the same are FOLLOWING the teachings of Muhammad. That is the difference.

    Excellent summary of the hypocracy and twisted logic.

  92. Rocky, I would agree with your comment at 3:16, but seeing as we will be up against this in just over two years, I’d better bite my tongue until I see how it goes, lest I sound like the sanctimonious costumer service guy I got when I called the cable company re parental controls on the wifi. There aren’t any. When I called Apple, I learned about the fire vault, but even better, I got a very helpful & supportive customer service guy whose kids are all in their 20s!

  93. One other pernicious effect of the GOP candidate and his supporters: a Facebook friend of mine today.

    So. I have to vent about something. In my online human geography class, I have five writing assignments where students have to synthesize news, video and other sources and then analyze using concepts from the textbook. Then, the essays are posted as “blogs” for the rest of the class to discuss. Standard stuff, no big deal, the way I’ve done online classes for years.

    This past week, the unit covering race/ethnicity, language, and religion was due (summer class = accelerated). I’ve been trying HARD to comment on the blog entries that my students have submitted, but this time, they are RAMPANT with blatantly xenophobic, racist and otherwise Trumpian ideas… some even to the point of citing obviously anti-Islam websites, white supremacist websites, etc.

    You want to know one impact of Donald Trump being taken seriously that’s already happening? His idiotic, outdated and just downright WRONG ideas are now mainstream, and either students are parroting it, or they’re finally comfortable enough to profess it semi-publicly. And yet, because of the neoliberalization of the university — which includes treating students as consumers, and tying tenure and promotion so strongly to student evaluations — I can’t actively debunk this garbage because my evaluations will suffer and my career will be threatened as a result.

  94. N of B, thanks for sharing your story. You’re right that it has been repeated millions of times in other immigrant families. You didn’t mention your ethnic background, but how successful do you think your generation would be today if your family had been willing and able to live in an ethnic enclave, send you to a private ethnic school, and otherwise prevent you from embracing American values? ITA that ANY immigrant can assimilate and thrive in this country, but they need to have the desire to do so.

  95. ” send you to a private ethnic school, ”
    That is what all the Catholic immigrants did. They sent their kids to Catholic schools, which were almost always set up on ethnic lines. My DH’s father and grandparents went to the French Catholic school in town, and his mother went to the Polish Catholic school. My DH himself went to a Catholic school that spoke English, but was overwhelmingly Franco-American kids. Italian immigrants tended to go to Catholic schools where all the kids were Italian-American. And so on. I think all those groups did OK.

    Keep in mind too, in the 20’s, people regarded those Catholic schools in much the same way you might see Muslim schools today – as cesspools of Papist ideology, profoundly anti-American.

  96. My dad is the son of (probably illegal) immigrants. His parents came to the US as young adults. They never assimilated, though he did. I mentioned the other day that my extended family has a lot of working class/people with no college educations and that my nuclear family growing up was an anomaly compared to my very large extended family (that is mostly my mom’s family). I am certain it is because of my dad. He was pushed to do well, study hard, work hard and he did the same to his kids. My grandparents and my dad saw the US as a huge opportunity. I know we have problems with immigration. But they are complex and nuanced and require a willingness to listen to people. I have a very visceral reaction to Trump’s characterization of immigrants and the stupid wall. I don’t know how anyone thinks he is up for the task of our immigration problem.

  97. Meme, thank you for your encouraging note. I wish I’d been able to see the long version!

  98. For a long time, the border with Canada was pretty porous. It is highly doubtful that anyone one of DH’s Quebecois ancestors every obtained visas or immigration papers. They were loggers who went back and forth seasonally and at some point decided to stay and work in the New England mills. They did not adopt English until DH’s father’s generation.
    My grandmother was born in Canada and never had her papers in order, which caused her some hassles later in life. It was never clear if she was actually naturalized or not.

  99. reading back on my post, boy is it filled with typos. I am working on a final report for a grant and have typed too much today

  100. Myou grandparents also immigrated illegally through Canada and my grandfather’s citizenship papers from 1904 are full of inaccuracies if not outright falsehoods. They went to Denver then just
    Kansas before Chicago, so they lived as far from in enclaves as possible. Everybody could speak and read English in time, including my greatgrandmother. My great grandparents who immigrated at the sAmerican time were grocers.

  101. A funny (if you think it is) note from my life. DS has grown his hair long and he combs it over and pretends to be Boris Trump. To this he adds Michael Cove glasses so now he is the Asian Boris Trump Cove. He has his supporters in the neighbor kids. Of course, DD cannot be anyone else than HRC. She has her loyal supporters as well. 2016 in the Louise house.

  102. MM, my parents went to those Catholic schools, along with just about every other Catholic kid regardless of ethnic background. But the classes were all in English and there was a heavy emphasis on all things American, such as going to the cemetery on Decoration Day and memorizing the Declaration of Independence and The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. The nuns insisted that they learn the catechism but patriotism was a big deal.

  103. Louise, that is too funny! DH has taught kid to say Donald Drumpf. Every time DT comes on the kid goes excitedly That’s Donald Drumpf…That’s Dnald Drumpf. It sounds like drooomph.

  104. A bunch of my friends have older kids. They come from different religions in the home country. Now, looking at the pictures as their kids have gone through school, high school (prom, graduation, awards) and on to college they seem assimilated to me. Some of the high schools are in areas with high concentrations of immigrants and the student body reflect that but from a country/tradition point of view they are all American. I for example am a naturalized American. I just don’t have the same cultural foundation as someone of my age born and raised here. My kids are American born and raised, they share the same cultural identity as all other American kids (this is stronger than their ethnic identity).

  105. “But, when it’s between Hillary and Trump? What is their rational?”

    I think they are of the age when they are misogynists, Rhett. I really do. There is something about a strong woman to them as competitive strong women that they simply can’t abide. I am in my early 60’s and I see this a lot among my seemingly strong female friends. My sisters and my friends would tolerate a subservient woman, but not a strong woman. Under any condition. Period.

    It’s a big dick thing.

    I find it more than ironic as the only male and the baby of a family of strong, accomplished women (with only one wing-nut) I am the feminist.

  106. I think I have mentioned what I call Queens human before. Usually it is seen on teens, and consists of head scarf, tunic that barely covers the rear (or teeny mini skirt) and ultra tight leggings. The other day, I saw a real doozy on campus. The girl was wearing the style of head scarf that drapes down completely over the torso, ending at about the waist. The wind was blowing it up, and I realized she was wearing a black, shiny, utterly form fitting, catsuit. It was like CatWoman in Muslim dress

  107. @Mooshi – I don’t get the point of dressing that way and adding a head scarf. It is the opposite of modest dress.

  108. I would tend to agree with you, but it is a look you see here. I lump it in with Catholic school girls who hike up their uniform skirts so short, you can see flashes of their undies. That is also a look I see here.

  109. Mooshi – Catholic school uniform here is skorts and polo shirts for middle schoolers and none of the girls I have seen wear their skorts short. Any make up is also very minimal.

  110. PTM, maybe your sisters will write in Mickey Mouse?

    One of the downsides to our new ballots is that that would be impossible here :(

  111. Scarlett, I think that if I were the Absolute Dictator of America, I would require that all immigrant kids and first-generation kids go to public school. Families could send their kids to whatever religious classes or ethnic-language classes they wanted to after school or on weekends, but the kids would have to go to regular American school for their basic education, learn from teachers licensed under the American system, learn the common core curriculum, etc. I really think the schools play the key role in integrating newcomers. Once a family had “grown up” in the American system, and thus been exposed to American culture outside their ethnic or religious group, then if they wanted to send their descendants in the next generations to religious-based school, fine.

    I know, I know, there are all sorts of things that are wrong with that position. Maybe I’m Trumping here — saying something outrageous without really meaning it. But I do think that somehow, the key to making immigration work is for young immigrants and first-generation kids to learn about life outside their ethnic/religious group in some sort of meaningful way. If they then decide to embrace their culture of heritage, fine. At least they know what else is out there.

    Regarding my own ethnicity, I’d rather not say specifically, as it could be identifying. My ancestors were ethnic minorities from an area that they always referred to as “Asia Minor.” Some migrated out of Asia Minor to other nearby countries over the years; my mother and father actually were from two different countries, even though they shared the same ethnic identity.

  112. I want to thank everyone. I know not everyone was thrilled with a political post. But the conversation was and is very civil. Increasingly, I find the only “safe” place for me to discuss politics, religion, and their intersection is the Totebag. Thank you all for that.

  113. I think one of the reasons I wanted to post about Queens hijab is to show the diversity, and just basic humanity, of Muslims in the US. Even girls in Islamic dress are not a uniform blob of headscarves. I think of the girl on DS1’s cross country team who competed in a headscarf, with the too-revealing uniform (too-revealing for everyone, trust me) over a baggy tshirt and sweats. I think of the girl in DS2’s class who showed up at the moving up ceremony with sparkly gauze headscarf barely hanging onto the back of her head, whose family consisted of a mom and many female relatives even more glittering than her, and many male relatives in spiffy suits with big moustaches, all beaming. I think of my college roommate, who was Iranian and only wore a headscarf at mosque, and who had a Vespa. And the fat jovial Egyptian professor in my department where I was a grad student, whose fat jovial wife totally covered (in the most appalling shades of pink) and taught at another university and always brought the tastiest Egyptian food to the department potlucks.

  114. Mooshi, thank you for your post. It brought back good memories.

    Perhaps the root of the diversity question, like the root of the inequality question, is to what extent the 1% should drive policy. Immigration policy, unlike same-sex swimming pool policy in New York City, must be decided at the federal level.

  115. NoB,
    I agree that attending public or nondenominational private schools might be helpful for immigrants from some cultures to assimilate. Would the American teenager from a devout Indian Muslim family have been arrested at O’Hare airport as he and his siblings tried to travel to an ISIS contact in Syria if he had attended public school instead of the Islamic school across the street from his home? I had always thought that the Muslims living in the US were much better integrated into our society than those living in many European countries, but that may not be the case. My Pakistani nanny sent her kids to public school, but also arranged a marriage for her daughter, who was otherwise completely Americanized. A Jewish Orthodox friend here has moved her son from the Jewish day school because it is too insular and fails to teach modern science, and the schools that some Hasidic sects operate in the NYC area seem to be even worse (at least from the perspective of those who escape and write memoirs). I believe that parents are the primary educators of their children, and should be free to choose religious schools, but these kinds of situations make it more difficult to support total freedom.

  116. WCE, how is anything but encouraging diversity consistent with American values?

  117. And I should add that some Christians also operate schools that seem to brainwash the kids instead of educating them.

  118. NoB, so you would mandate that immigrants would have to attend what conservatives often refer to as government schools? What about school choice? Immigrants from Poland couldn’t send their kids to St Stanislaus Parochial School?

  119. Scarlett, an interesting phenomenon is the rise of Jewish religious schools. When the big Jewish wave came at the turn of the century, they overwhelmingly chose public schools for their kids, unlike their Italian and Irish peers. That led to the big secular Jewish population. But the population growth today among Jewish people is among the ultra Orthodox, who always send their children to Yiddish speaking private yehivas. They are a people apart, much like the Amish but their population is swelling, especially in Rockland County.

  120. Saac, what are “US values”? What is “diversity”? I could argue the question either way depending on definitions.

    When Meme mentioned single sex swimming pool hours as a controversial religious accommodation, my thought was, “Why would I value religious diversity and then refuse to accommodate the practices that religious diversity entails, even if I think they are wrong? Why should I, as a West Coaster, be able to set national policy that affects swimming pools I will almost certainly never visit?” The principles of religious accommodation and subsidiarity are somewhat at odds with the principle of nondiscrimination.

    I don’t have a strong opinion about which principle should win out, but nondiscrimination law and its selective enforcement is a problematic issue to me, as everyone knows by now.

  121. There was a bit of discussion about Germany early on, and the fact that Germany took more refuses than other European countries. That’s true, but it is also true that Germany has a negative population growth rate. France, which is not friendly to migrants, has one of the highest growth rates in Europe. You can also see that Sweden, which also took in a relatively high number of migrants compared to its population, is also losing population.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/06/23/map-where-europe-is-growing-and-where-it-is-shrinking/

  122. Another map of European population change, this one aggregated at the national scale. europe population growth rates

  123. MM, do you mean Jewish day schools that prepare kids for college and professional careers, or the schools that teach primarily religious subjects and whose graduates are barely literate in English?

  124. It is frightening to see terror attacks in Germany. The guy with the ax in Wurzburg, the shooter in Munich, and today’s murder in Ansbach were all in Bavaria, known to be a conservative state. My Black friends in Germany (whose advice I should have listened to before moving to Thuringen) have said for years that Munich is fine, but not to move to other parts of Bavaria with Isaac. I believe them. I think that the shooter’s exchange with the racist on the balcony who called him a nasty word for foreigners gives a good clue as to what’s going on. He replied that he was not a foreigner, that he was born and raised in Germany. I’m sure that didn’t satisfy the guy on the balcony. To him, appearances likely trump legal status and ancestry, so whereas most of us would see Louise’s kids as American, someone like them would always be a “Passdeutscher”–German by passport only. Until that nativism/racism is overcome so that people can integrate, I don’t see how these issues can be settled. They were there 20 years ago when I lived in Berlin. I’m hopeful that now that they have been brought to the fore, they might be resolved.

  125. WCE – you’re using logic again. Some people who support the first amendment do so only if it jives with their religion. They are the most vocal.

    Scarlett’s earlier comments got me thinking. She wrote how Christians who murder are violating their religious laws yet Muslims are not if the apply to sharia law. Yet how many people who claim to be religious follow all their laws? I certainly don’t. Mooshi’s examples show me I’m not alone.

    I think those unrelated thoughts link up because I do agree with you. I can’t fathom a country where only my religion is the one that’s allowed. Does this mean the country is asking for trouble? Probably. But IMHO that’s the price of freedom.

  126. Houston, thought of you tonight. I had to go into Houston tonight, so had my son drive home – 36 miles, including 45, Beltway 8, and 290 with its hideous construction, at night. And now- there will be wine.

  127. Just noticed the date on that last, global map. This one is more recent, but doesn’t have data for all countries. Wish I could figure out how to get the pix to just show up instead people needing to click through.
    https://goo.gl/images/k8NGu4

  128. Saac, I have limited familiarity with European population but I’m curious about why you think birthrates are below replacement levels.

    My parents lived in Bavaria and my parents dealt with racial fights among American soldiers and the racism that was then common in German culture.

    Rhode, I like Catholic thought and used to read a Catholic religious magazine but one of the reasons I figure I can never be Catholic is that I support contraception. To me, to claim to follow a religion but then to pick ‘n’ choose which tenets you accept is not to follow that religion but to create your own subreligion. Your comment was informative because it helps me understand why other Totebaggers have been frustrated with me for accepting teachings I don’t personally understand or agree with.

  129. North of Boston, your suggestion is completely reasonable. A liberal democracy has the right and the obligation to protect its own perpetuation. Public education serves that purpose.

  130. Scarlett – One consequence of the prevalence of Catholic schooling in the 50s (often second or third generation Americans) was that very few Catholic children went to public or non parochial private school. I knew only a handful, and aside from a few foreign low level diplomatic service children, those in public school were usually poor or from broken homes of some sort. In New York the public schools were primarily Protestant, Greek/Russian/Eastern Orthodox, and Jewish, but also with less advantaged Catholic children as well, especially in certain neighborhoods. The separate educational system may or may not have been good for the Catholic children, but it was certainly a loss to me in the breadth of my acquaintance, not really remedied until I moved to Boston and became acquainted with a full SES range of Catholics overnight by immersion.

  131. Sac mama I partially agree with you about German situation. Europe is not America! It is extremely racist and surprisingly still welcomes these refugees! I don’t understand that dichotomy. Having said that, I don’t necessarily find their nativism so reprehensible. None of the European countries is a country founded on migration. It will be hard to mfp right natives to adjust to these disruptive new “intruders”.

    And you are wrong about Koran not encouraging violence, but I know there is no point in having any discussion about it.

  132. WCE, it isn’t what I think. Did you look at the maps I posted, showing population rates by country and at a much more local level?

  133. Saac, I didn’t see any explanation of WHY birth rates have decreased over the past few decades. That was my question.

  134. Dell, And you are wrong about Koran encouraging violence, but I know there is no point in having any discussion about it.

  135. Rhode, you are right that many people don’t actually believe or follow all of the teachings of the religion they profess. The concept of cafeteria Catholics is well known. Many Muslims, likewise, do not embrace all that appears in the Quran. But those verses are still there, and Muslims who reject or question those teachings put themselves at risk in many Muslim societies ruled by sharia, which mandates death for apostates.

  136. Just watched Michelle Obama. Wow, what a head rush. I feel sorry for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie, having to follow her. Who made that decision? Wow, Michelle, when are YOU going to run for president?

  137. WCE, I’m sorry. Really sleepy here, read your question and wondered why you of all people would ignore a map. Should have looked again and figured it out. Sorry.

    In East Germany, birth rates were high as childcare was free and there was no financial disincentive to having children. Childcare is still inexpensive, but there haven’t jobs in the region since unification. West Germans who move there still receive a higher wage than East Germans. Emigration from that region is predominantly young women. In the West, I honestly can’t tell you factors that would not hold true for other Western European countries. It has been a problem ever since the end of the baby boom. (My African friends used to joke that no one liked the Germans, not even the Germans, and that’s why they didn’t have enough kids).
    On the flip side of your parents’ story, I met the father of my landlord in East Germany. His dad’s job brought them to the US in the late 1930s, so he spent a good portion of his childhood in Philadelphia. He was kind; he and his son both strike me as gentle, thoughtful people. We spoke in German, but telling me about Philly, he said kids chased him down and beat him up, calling him lots of swear words and racial epithets in English that I can’t remember exactly, but he clearly still knew all the words and he spat them out venemously.

  138. Meme, older Catholics have told me that bishops used to require Catholic kids to attend parochial school and it seems to have been virtually universal in certain communities. We moved right before first grade and the only reason I went to public school is that the parish school was full. When they started charging tuition in the early 1970s, lots of spaces opened up. But by that time the parish schools had already started losing their iron grip, and there were lots of Catholics in our public school.

  139. MM, I doubt that Warren will have a hard time bringing the passion. Sanders has a difficult job only because he’s trying to get those people to quit following him, so he has to be careful to get them raring to go for HRC, not for him.

  140. WCE, the map in Washington Post is accompanied by some good analysis, and was also printed and discussed in other publications. I can’t get back to it because I’ve used up my articles for the month (so much for cookies if they can’t tell it’s the same thing I just looked at), but you could probably Google up more info pretty easily

  141. I felt sorry for Elizabeth Warren. She is better on Twitter. She should have gone before Micehlle. However, Bernie is up to the task

  142. My Mennonite ancestors immigrated to avoid being drafted, since they were strong pacifists. The US military has a pretty long history of accommodating pacifists, in contrast to where they came from in Europe. That’s another example of religious accommodation somewhat unique to the U.S.

  143. School choice – here there is fluidity between Catholic and public schools for some families. Cost has been a factor, with some families choosing to come in from middle school onwards, some in high school. Other families have left at various points. Yet some other families choose to homeschool because they want to avoid what they perceive to be public school negatives but don’t want to pay private school tuition. Before I moved to this area, I had no idea that people in other regions were moving their kids so much between schools. In the Boston area all I had heard of were the town public schools and buying a house in a well regarded school district was what Totebaggy parents aimed for.

  144. Louise, I have noticed the same school fluidity both here and back in DC. And families with the logistical flexibility may have kids in different high schools too. All of those families are Totebaggers, and they aren’t all Catholic. But most parents in our extended family haven’t switched schools unless a move was involved. Your comment made me realize that, though Totebaggers often cite school stability as a reason for carefully researching the choice of neighborhood, many of us are willing and able to be “fluid” with schools to meet the changing needs of our kids. Needless to say, this was a completely foreign concept to my parents and inlaws and most families I knew as a child.

  145. Ah yes, J.D. Vance. He has been all over the place. I recognize a lot of what he talks about from the kids I knew growing up. Even more, DH has often told me that in the working class French-Canadian-background he grew up in, families didn’t want their sons to do better than their dads.

    An editorial he wrote the other day, which has a lot to say on why the white working class distrusts Obama
    “But most of the people I know dislike Obama for reasons that have nothing to do with skin color. They think of him as an alien because, compared to them, he is.”
    and
    “Obama strikes at the heart of our deepest insecurities: He is a good father while many of us struggle to pay our child support. He wears suits to his job while we wear overalls, if we’re lucky enough to have a job at all. His wife tells us that we shouldn’t be feeding our children certain foods, and we hate her for it—not because we think she’s wrong but because we know she’s right.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/25/how-the-white-working-class-lost-its-patriotism/

  146. MM – that anti-better-life attitude (which IME went along with anti-intellectualism) was a big thing where I grew up.

    My wholly unscientific opinion is that Islam as a culture is maybe 600-700 years behind “Western” culture in its values (bc of when it was founded?). Too bad I won’t live another 600 years to see if I’m right or not! :)

  147. In order for Islam to “catch up” to western cultural values of individual freedom, the dignity of the human person, and tolerance for other religious beliefs, it will have to honestly confront its foundational texts. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, herself under death threats as an apostate:

    “As I see it, the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts. It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been “hijacked” by extremists. The killers of Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct.

    Instead of letting Islam off the hook with bland clichés about the religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-reformation-for-islam-1426859626

  148. WCE, thanks for the link. Now I want to read Vance’s book. I think that there is a lot of truth to this observation:

    “The first is that humans appear to have some need to look down on someone; there’s just a basic tribalistic impulse in all of us. And if you’re an elite white professional, working class whites are an easy target: you don’t have to feel guilty for being a racist or a xenophobe. By looking down on the hillbilly, you can get that high of self-righteousness and superiority without violating any of the moral norms of your own tribe. So your own prejudice is never revealed for what it is.”

    This article from the Atlantic, “The War on Stupid People,” reveals a similar mindset. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/the-war-on-stupid-people/485618/

    “Even in this age of rampant concern over microaggressions and victimization, we maintain open season on the nonsmart. People who’d swerve off a cliff rather than use a pejorative for race, religion, physical appearance, or disability are all too happy to drop the s‑bomb: Indeed, degrading others for being “stupid” has become nearly automatic in all forms of disagreement.”

  149. “DH has often told me that in the working class French-Canadian-background he grew up in, families didn’t want their sons to do better than their dads.”

    This was the attitude toward both my FIL and my Dad who grew up in very working class families. One family was heavily involved in a trade union, the other scraped by in various manual labor jobs. They were not encouraged to go to college, but both went & got advanced degrees anyway even though it was disappointing to their families. It’s really hard for me to imagine sometimes that we are only one generation away from that because both DH & I grew up in the exact opposite type of household, in reaction. The “being smart is being uppity” attitude was definitely prevalent sometimes in our schools & neighborhoods though. We both grew up in socioeconomically diverse areas.

  150. I finished reading Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon. Highly Recommend it. Heavy Reading. Lots of resources are mentioned, that I would not have known of.
    Mooshi – I thought of you. There is mention in there of RIT as a college.

  151. Louise: I just checkout out that book, based on your recommendation. Very interesting, so far.

  152. “Instead of letting Islam off the hook with bland clichés about the religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice. We need to hold Islam accountable for the acts of its most violent adherents and to demand that it reform or disavow the key beliefs that are used to justify those acts.””

    Scarlett – I have a truly honest, possibly naive question. How are we, as the United States of America, to do this and uphold our Constitution? We can’t use religion as a reason to keep people from immigrating. So until (if it ever happens), Islam becomes “enlightened”, how can the USA strike a balance between our First Amendment and immigration?

  153. I actually think that it is possible that we could legally discriminate in immigration. I don’t think there is any case that has prohibited it (Supreme Ct hasn’t spoken to it) and our Constitition generally protects citizens and to some extent people who reside here. We certainly have a history of quotas and limits with certain countries that have a very similar religious profile. Not saying we should. Just that we might be able to do so.

  154. Of course, in my ethnic background, it was ever onward and upward. It was your duty to exceed the financial, educational and social status of your parents – why else would they have slaved and deprived themselves for your benefit. The immigrant who first push a peddler’s cart and later opened a small business and his wife who worked beside him wanted their son to have a big business or become a professional. Their daughter should marry well and not have to work at all. With the women’s movement, even if there was no room for the sons to exceed their fathers, the daughters could assume the obligation for another generation. And believe me, it was an OBLIGATION for the children to fulfill their parents’ dreams.

  155. kate, we set strict limits on Chinese immigration because we thought they were subhuman heathens, and we set strict limits on immigration from southern Europe (Italy, Greece, etc) because we believed that Catholicism was incompatible with American values, and we set strict limits on immigration from eastern Europe because we beleived Jews could never assimilate into our culture. Do we want to go down that path again? I swear, a lot of what I am hearing people say about Islam right now sounds awfully similar to what people around 1900 were saying about Catholicism.

  156. Rhode – your question has made me think a little. On a multiple choice test, I think I would pick the answer that says, “case is dismissed. No standing to challenge.”

    Curious as to what others think.

  157. MM – I am absolutely not saying that we should do it/that it is in the spirit of the US/moral choice. Just that I am not sure that there is a compelling legal case to be made.

  158. Potential immigrants, especially those who aren’t already here, have NO constitutional rights. It sounds harsh, but a moment’s reflection reveals that extending such rights to aliens would preclude us from any meaningful immigration laws. The executive branch has tremendous latitude in deciding whom to admit and whom to exclude.

  159. Unless we are prepared to transform our immigration system into a random lottery, we will be forced to make choices. In the past, immigration laws were based on ignorance and prejudice. No question. But I don’t think that current questions regarding whether we want immigrants who adhere to sharia, and who support its adoption HERE, are in the same category as anti-Chinese/Jewish/Catholic sentiments. Sharia is completely and totally incompatible with western culture and our legal system, and insisting that those who point out that fact are Islamophobes is absurd. There are plenty of Muslim reformers who say exactly the same thing, when they are allowed to do so.

  160. Just read that an elderly priest was murdered by a friend of ISIS during morning mass in France. Not a good start to the day – very sad.

  161. “Potential immigrants, especially those who aren’t already here, have NO constitutional rights”
    Yup. You are right. But we have Muslim citizens here and now. Some may believe in sharia and adhere to it. The Constitution protects them. How can we say we are all for religious freedom but tell those people “I’m sorry we don’t want that here”? I’m asking honestly because I don’t know. We have laws that will prosecute after sharia has been committed. We have no prevention laws (and if we did, it would be like living in Minority Report).

    “But I don’t think that current questions regarding whether we want immigrants who adhere to sharia, and who support its adoption HERE are in the same category as anti-Chinese/Jewish/Catholic sentiments”
    Maybe not. But it brings up an interesting question. How can we know for sure that immigrants are telling the truth when they agree that sharia is bad and they won’t adhere to it? People lie all the time. This board told of at least 3 stories of ancestors lying to get in this country.

    My question still stands – how can you make these choices and still argue that Islam needs to reform? The only way is to say “no more Islamic people allowed in until reform with proof of reform.” Is that a viable solution? Does that jive with the spirit of the USA?

    I’m really not asking to be snarky. I’m truly asking. The complex nature of the situation of Muslim Citizens and potential immigrants is not solvable with simplistic measures.

  162. From a NYTimes editorial in 1891, after a lynching of 5 Italians in Louisiana
    “”These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cut-throat practices, and the oath-bound societies of their native country, are to us a pest without mitigation. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they… Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans to stay the issue of a new license to the Mafia to continue its bloody practices.”

    How can we be so sure we aren’t any different when we talk about Muslims? In 1891, people were CONVINCED that Italians were going to bring Mafia values to this country. And of course, some did – but we got over it.

  163. Regarding sons not surpassing the family status, this is an issue in my inlaw family. He is the first in his family to graduate high school (another later received a GED), and was expected to learn a trade. When after a year working in a machine shop he decided to go to college, secured a scholarship for tuition, and moved out, it was a bit of a surprise. His mother did come around to wing very proud, but it also sort of made him a foreigner to them to some degree, and it is clear they are not comfortable visiting our house (which is not particularly fancy). When my husband is out of the room, his brother will ask me how much he makes now. It’s just weird. On my side, the fact that all 16 of her grandchildren graduated from college before she died delighted my grandmother. I wouldn’t say it was an obligation to fulfill your parents dreams, but there was an expectation that you would continue down the path that others had put effort into preparing for you.

  164. Rhode – for legal immigrants who are here on a visa, I think DHS has some leeway in targeting people (although not for religious reasons, but for political) that do not apply to citizens or greencard holders. A lot of the rights that citizens have (right to remain silent, need a warrant, etc) still apply. I don’t think lawyers have to be provided to those who cannot afford them.

  165. Rhode, you are right that people lie, and those who are intent on harming others or infiltrating our legal system will not be too concerned about lying under an oath that they do not regard as binding. So Trump, who is an ignorant buffoon, is off base with his proposals to ban Muslim immigration. But because it will be ineffective, not because it will be illegal or even immoral. Recent terrorist attacks by American-born Muslims demonstrate that those who want to destroy the west are already here.

    I suppose one could start by identifying and barring any prospective immigrant who has written or spoken in support of sharia. And I would not be opposed to a proposal to deport those already here who have done the same. Certainly those who support a legal system that advocates the beating, stoning and beheading of infidels or immodest women should not be given a pass because such practices are part of their religion.

  166. “DH has often told me that in the working class French-Canadian-background he grew up in, families didn’t want their sons to do better than their dads.”

    Around here, that’s referred to as the crab in the bucket syndrome.

    “In my ethnic background, it was ever onward and upward. It was your duty to exceed the financial, educational and social status of your parents – why else would they have slaved and deprived themselves for your benefit.”

    Do you think that has anything to do with resentment toward those of your ethnic background?

  167. “how can the USA strike a balance between our First Amendment and immigration?”

    Well, for starters, individual rights come first.

    E.g., if honor killing is a religious tenet (and I’m not sure that it is), the individual rights of the individual killed comes first, and honor killings here should be prosecuted as murder, with any religious basis for killing being irrelevant in prosecution and subsequent sentencing.

  168. “In 1891, people were CONVINCED that Italians were going to bring Mafia values to this country. And of course, some did – but we got over it.”

    Interesting comparison.

    Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of The Untouchables, but there seem to be parallels between the gangland hits associated with the Mafia, at least as portrayed in TV and movies, and the mass killings connected with ‘radical Islam.’ And ‘getting over it’ required, to my understanding, a huge effort on the part of the FBI that put many of its agents in harm’s way.

    I guess I can see not wanting to repeat that.

  169. “we set strict limits on Chinese immigration because we thought they were subhuman heathens, and we set strict limits on immigration from southern Europe (Italy, Greece, etc) because we believed that Catholicism was incompatible with American values, and we set strict limits on immigration from eastern Europe because we beleived Jews could never assimilate into our culture.”

    Setting aside, for the moment, the rationale for the limits, do you think that the limited immigration was a factor in the assimilation of those who did immigrate? I.e., mass immigration on the levels of what’s going on in Europe now will be much more difficult to assimilate?

    “Unless we are prepared to transform our immigration system into a random lottery, we will be forced to make choices.”

    Even with a lottery, which IMO is a valid option, choices must be made.

  170. No, because there was virtually no immigration from those places once the limits were in place. The Chinese Americans you see today mainly all came after 1965, with a smattering who have been here for a very long time, whose ancestors came before the 1880’s. It was almost impossible for a Chinese person to come after 1880. The same is true for Italians, Greeks, and Eastern Europeans after 1924. That is why we wouldn’t let Jews in during the 30’s, even though it was increasingly clear they were in grave danger.
    The limits were changed dramatically in 1965, resulting in the current wave of legal immigration from Asia and Africa.

  171. L and others who are “waiting for Islamic cultures to catch up”, for heaven’s sake, make friends with a few Muslims, or accept that those of us who have Muslim friends are not lying to you. Over 1 billion Muslims are bound to have variation, and they do. There are post-Muslims just like post-Christians. Muslims who refuse to focus on the context and history of their holy book are just as rare as Christians who do the same. And if Islam was actually intent on destroying the west, they would have done it by now!

    Scarlett, check out the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other agreements the US has promised to fulfill. Human rights are a thing, and if this country wants to call attention to itself as a beacon of them, then refusing to fulfill treaties that protect individuals from harm is, to say the least, a very strange, counter-intuitive way of doing that! How many people have you spoken to who say they follow Sharia?

    On looking down on smart people: I was in my 30s before I realized that for many people, “interesting” means something so strange they don’t even want to talk about it.

    The whole notion that being born in a certain place at a certain time gives a person automatic rights to higher income levels and infrastructure than the majority of the world’s population, and that it is somehow morally defensible to block others would work to get to what you were born into just stinks. It is absolutely foul.

  172. Wine, really? I can’t stand when people around here start talking politics. Look at all the ugliness, entitlement, and insistence on not learning that comes out whenever conversation turns that way. This conversation isn’t as bad as some have been, but certainly has its jaw-dropping pieces of prejudice.

  173. “it was ever onward and upward. It was your duty to exceed the financial, educational and social status of your parents”

    BTW, this seems to be a common theme among the parents of my kids’ classmates. Not a big surprise, given what it costs to send them there.

    I imagine that’s true at non-religious private schools all over the country (and other countries as well), as well as at competitive entry public schools.

  174. “The Chinese Americans you see today mainly all came after 1965”

    That may be true in your area, but around here, there are a lot of people of Chinese ancestry with direct lineage to people who were here before 1965.

    I think we’re somewhat unique in that respect. In NorCal, there are also a lot of people with similar lineage, but even more whose lineage in the US only goes back to 1965 or later.

  175. Well, that is certainly a compelling argument. The teachings of Islam can’t possibly support violent jihad, because if they did we would surely all be dead or converts to Islam.
    Most Muslims we westerners encounter are lovely, peaceful people. But it is the millions who openly support violent jihad, and the tens of thousands and probably many more who are willing to act on it, who are the problem.

    Pretending that terrorists are somehow twisting the peaceful passages in the Quran, and that YOU know the tenets of Islam better than its adherents do, is not particularly productive.

  176. “That may be true in your area, but around here, there are a lot of people of Chinese ancestry with direct lineage to people who were here before 1965.”

    Then their ancestors probably came in the first wave, from the 1860’s to the 1880’s. That is true of many West Coast Chinese Americans.

    This is something I have read up about, since I have a lot of interest in the history of the Chinese in America.

    http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/chinese-immigrants-united-states

  177. Finn, aren’t you in Hawaii? Perhaps the immigration laws did not apply there because it wasn’t a state?

  178. “How many people have you spoken to who say they follow Sharia?”

    Another compelling argument. Because “I” don’t know anyone who supports sharia, those people simply don’t exist.

    “A new Pew Research Center survey of Muslims around the globe finds that most adherents of
    the world’s second-largest religion are deeply committed to their faith and want its teachings
    to shape not only their personal lives but also their societies and politics. In all but a handful of
    the 39 countries surveyed, a majority of Muslims say that Islam is the one true faith leading to
    eternal life in heaven and that belief in God is necessary to be a moral person. Many also think
    that their religious leaders should have at least some influence over political matters. And
    many express a desire for sharia – traditional Islamic law – to be recognized as the official law
    of their country.
    The percentage of Muslims who say they want sharia to be “the official law of the land” varies
    widely around the world, from fewer than one-in-ten in Azerbaijan (8%) to near unanimity in
    Afghanistan (99%). But solid majorities in most of the countries surveyed across the Middle
    East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia favor the
    establishment of sharia, including 71% of Muslims in Nigeria, 72% in Indonesia, 74% in Egypt
    and 89% in the Palestinian territories.”

    The vast majority of American Muslims — some 92% — do not support sharia, but that leaves 8% who do. That’s at least 160,000 people, who exist even if you haven’t spoken to them.

    Pew puts a very positive spin on the numbers, but subtraction reveals some troubling truths.

    http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/04/worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-full-report.pdf

  179. This is buried in an appendix to the Pew Report:

    “More than eight-in-ten American Muslims say suicide bombings and other forms of violence
    against civilian targets are never justified (81%) or rarely justified (5%) to defend Islam from
    its enemies. Worldwide, most Muslims also reject this type of violence, with a median of 72%
    saying such attacks are never justified and 10% saying they are rarely justified. Just 1% of U.S.
    Muslims and a median of 3% of Muslims worldwide say suicide bombings and other violence
    against civilian targets are often justified, while 7% of U.S. Muslims and a global median of 8%
    of Muslims say such attacks are sometimes justified to defend Islam.”

    Which means that 19% of Muslims believe that such violence CAN be justified. If there are 2 million Muslims in the US, that is at least 380,000 people, probably understated because some may be unwilling to admit to these attitudes in a face to face interview.

  180. And probably a similar percentage of Italians back in the 1900’s had Mafia ties or sympathies – should we have excluded all Italian immigration? Imagine a US without Italian-Americans…

  181. “Imagine a US without Italian-Americans…”

    I guess some other movie would’ve won the Best Picture Oscar in 1973.

  182. I think immigration is a very complicated issue. I certainly don’t have all of the answers and do not think the approach we should take is a ban. However, a country has an obligation to protect its citizens. That has to be weighed against not becoming isolationists for moral and other compelling reasons.

  183. “However, a country has an obligation to protect its citizens. That has to be weighed against not becoming isolationists for moral and other compelling reasons.”

    I’m thinking that a limit on the number of immigrants addresses both of these concerns. A flood, like they’ve been experiencing very recently in Europe, makes it difficult to assimilate.

    Admittedly, it would be a tough call to turn away people in a situation like Jews fleeing Europe in the early 40s.

    I’m surprised that European countries have not been more proactive in addressing the situation in the middle east that is driving much of the immigration.

  184. I agree that immigration is a complicated issue and there are no easy answers. But it is troubling that neither political party seems able to have a serious conversation on how to balance our competing goals of welcoming new arrivals while protecting our current citizens. Also interesting that Obama has deported more people than any President in history, even as he issues questionable executive orders on enforcement of immigration laws. Imagine how many MORE people he would have been responsible for deporting absent those orders.
    Immigration reform, like comprehensive tax reform, seems impossible in the current political climate.

  185. I agree Scarlett. Quite frankly, I wish we could vote out most of Congress (both parties) and start over. There has been a tota breakdown in the system and I am not sure how it gets better in this climate. Their entire job is to compromise and get some stuff done. No one should be digging in their heels just for the fun of it. I think I blame the Tea Partiers for starting this. And the elimination of earmarks (as crazy as that sounds)

  186. Mooshi, Hawai’i has been part of the US since the illegal overthrow in 1893, but I don’t know if the same immigration laws applied.

    Most Asian immigration here stopped at about 1920 or so. Between about 1880 and 1920, a lot of plantation workers were imported from places like Japan, Okinawa, Phillipines, and Portugal (yes, I know that’s not in Asia, but workers were imported from there too). I don’t think workers were imported from China.

    Where I think we are a bit different from the west coast is that the portion of the Chinese ancestry population here tracing lineage to pre-1965 immigrants is higher. We probably also have a much higher %age of mixed-race people with Chinese ancestry.

  187. “I agree Scarlett. Quite frankly, I wish we could vote out most of Congress (both parties) and start over. ”

    Nice touch.

    I think this sentiment is a big reason Trump won the nomination.

  188. I don’t think there is a chance in hell that Trump makes anything better. And he could get us in to a whole lot of trouble. Our problems are really complicated. Trump has no ability for nuanced thinking. Everyone is either good or bad to him.

  189. “I don’t think there is a chance in hell that Trump makes anything better.”

    As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining.

    I think there’s a decent chance that Trump causes some level of implosion of the GOP. It’s also possible that what emerges from that could be at least a partial reversal of the increasing polarization between parties.

  190. “Quite frankly, I wish we could vote out most of Congress (both parties) and start over.”

    Me too, but then we do that every two years with the House as it is. It’s hard to complain about Congress. Who put them there? We did. Those who have the courage to tell us the truth (that there is no such thing as a free lunch, for example) don’t seem to get elected. So how can we blame Congress for giving us what we say we want? We want a lot of Good Stuff, but we want Someone Else to pay for it, or to bear the burdens associated with it.

  191. I am happy to pay for it! I think that there should be an automatic out for Congressmen. You have to pass X amount of legislation or you are barred from running again. Figure out a way to compromise or go home.

  192. “Those who have the courage to tell us the truth (that there is no such thing as a free lunch, for example) don’t seem to get elected. So how can we blame Congress for giving us what we say we want? We want a lot of Good Stuff, but we want Someone Else to pay for it, or to bear the burdens associated with it.”

    Back in the 2008 campaign, there was talk about a tax reduction or tax holiday for the gasoline tax (remember, gas prices were very high back then). Most of the candidates, and I specifically remember Hillary being one, enthusiastically embraced that.

    Obama, OTOH, declined to endorse or promise that, and quite soberly questioned whether that would be a good policy decision.

    That’s one reason I was quite happy when he defeated Hillary.

  193. Finn – You must know some old money types at your school and their children have no need to be strivers – maintain position and do good works are their job. And striving takes place in public school and homeschooling families. I am talking about culture. The filial duty to make your family and clan proud by achievement and upward mobility is found in many of the groups that were in the past and are today derided as pressured and not well rounded and that were subject or today are subject to academic quotas in elite institutions. Other groups or regions prize a different sort of family/clan solidarity – never leaving the larger neighborhood, or following in the family business, or not getting above one’s roots.

  194. Did anyone here listen to any of Trump’s kids’ speeches at the convention?

    A local pundit just back from the convention mentioned that he was impressed by the kids’ speeches, especially Ivanka’s, and said something like if they were a reflection of their father, that bodes well for us.

  195. I did. I thought that Jr and Ivanka did very well. Everyone says that he has had very little to do in the raising of the kids. The mothers did it all. He even says that.

  196. Méme, a lot of the kids are the children of public school grads, and going to an upscale private school is another step in a logical progression started several generations ago with immigration. A lot of them have the same cultural expectations you mentioned, that each generation will build on previous generations’s accomplishments and do better than their parents.

    There are also the old money types; many of the most troubled kids come from that background, and many of them are only there because of their lineage (and as Gladwell says someone needs to fill the bottom quartile).

  197. I don’t think I would be against reasonable ones although I haven’t though through all of the implications. I wish they all would just get along better. Maybe we should make them mix and live together on Capitol Hill. No more Dems with Dems and Reps with Reps. Share a kitchen with your biggest Congressional adversary.

  198. Kate, OTOH, it appears his kids have been taking an increasing role in his candidacy, and would have major roles in a Trump administration.

  199. Scarlett, how about diluting power, as either a complement or alternative to term limits?

    E.g., increasing the size of the House would reduce the power of any given rep. It’d be harder to increase the size of the Senate, although splitting CA into more than one state could do that.

  200. BTW, the same pundit said Michelle Obama’s speech was so impressive, we can look forward to hearing it again in 4 years at the RNC.

  201. Or maybe they should continue to live among their constituents, with regular trips to DC for some meetings and votes. Reversing the current pattern of DC area residency/frequent trips back “home”.

  202. Don Jr and Ivanka are of course Ivana’s kids, and their characters probably have far more to do with her than with The Donald (said term was coined by Ivana, btw). I remember her well from the NYC of the late 80’s and 90’s. I always thought she was much brighter than The Donald.

  203. Scarlett, in your 3:18 comment you misconstrue the my point in asking you how many Muslims you have spoken to who follow Sharia. There are plenty of Muslims who do, and if you would speak with some of them, your impression of what Sharia is and what it requires would be totally upended. At 3:23 you comment that apparently 19% of Muslims may consider bombing to be defensible in some cases. What proportion of people in the US think that bombing is defensible? Look at how many people US attacks and attacks by others using US weapons are killing in Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Afghanistan. I find this absolutely reprehensible, but am apparently in the minority.

  204. Scarlett, in your 3:18 comment you misconstrue the my point in asking you how many Muslims you have spoken to who follow Sharia. There are plenty of Muslims who do, and if you would speak with some of them, your impression of what Sharia is and what it requires would be totally upended. At 3:23 you comment that apparently 19% of Muslims may consider bombing to be defensible in some cases. What proportion of people in the US think that bombing is defensible? Look at how many people US attacks and attacks by others using US weapons are killing in Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Afghanistan. I find this absolutely reprehensible, but am apparently in the minority. Certainly more than 19% of people (of all faiths) in this country think it’s ok.

  205. Saac, the basic tenets of sharia are available online. The best source is The Reliance of The Traveller, the full text of which (in English translation) can be found here. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/the-reliance-of-the-traveller.pdf

    Some highlights, all direct quotes from The Reliance text:

    (o8.1) – When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.

    o9.0) – Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion…

    The scriptural basis for jihad… is such Koranic verses as:
    -1- “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2: 216);
    -2- “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4: 89);
    -3- “Fight the idolators utterly” (Koran 9: 36);

    (p17.3) – The Prophet (Allah Bless him and give him peace) said: “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”

    (m5.1) – It is obligatory for a woman to let her husband have sex with her immediately when he asks her… and she can physically endure it.

    (o1.2) – The following are not subject to retaliation: … -4- a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring or offspring’s offspring

    (o9.13) – When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.

    It’s all there. No need to twist it.

    And to argue that government-led strikes against armed combatants or terrorists is comparable in any way whatsoever to suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against innocent men, women, children, and 86-year old priests, is seriously beyond comprehension.

  206. “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”

    I wonder about the definition of “sodomize” in this case. Would that include Bill Clinton and Monica?

    The dictionary definition suggests that in many cases, m5.1 would lead to p17.3.

  207. Finn, no worries. Fornication (zina) is punishable by flogging with 100 lashes. Adultery merits death by stoning.
    Or perhaps it’s the other way around. So hard to keep track. Or maybe it depends upon what “is” means.

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