Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/24/2018: Demands, Denial, And Ethics Distortions

Good morning, crew!

1. Say please..…. A group of “Dreamers” blocked an entrance to Disneyland yesterday, as part of a protest demanding a Congressional OK for DACA.  I am willing to accept the will of Congress and the President if somehow the illegal immigrants who were brought here as children and never took the initiative to become compliant with the law get a break via DACA.  However, they are supplicants. The US has no obligation to accommodate their predicament. I don’t want any demands from them, and the more they demand, the less I am inclined to be sympathetic to their plight.

Ask nicely. Say please. Their sense of entitlement is redolent of the attitudes of the advocates of the usual, everyday, garden variety illegal immigrants. How dare the country we entered illegally enforce the law? If the “Dreamers” want to ask for a compassionate exception, I’ll listen, just as I’ll consider the pleas of panhandlers and homeless veterans. But don’t you dare tell me I have to give you a handout.  And as non-citizens, “the “Dreamers” have no basis to protest anything.

2. Is it news yet? If you had no inkling that the FBI somehow “lost” thousands of text messages sent between those lovebirds, FBI counterintelligence expert Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page,  at the exact point where their conversations and expressed desire to “stop” President Trump may have been especially interesting, you are not alone. There is an internal Justice Department investigation about the communications that went on during the extramarital affair, in part because both were involved in the Mueller investigation into whether there is some way that Democrats can find a legitimate reason to impeach President Trump. Strzok also helped lead the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s private email server—also now under renewed scrutiny, since more evidence suggests that it might have been rigged; did you know that?— and was initially involved in Special Counsel Mueller’s inquiry into Russia’s 2016 election meddling. Strzok was kicked off the task force after Mueller learned that there was smoking text message evidence that he detested the President, and Strzok and Page had texted about the need for an “insurance policy” against Trump being elected, creating a prima facie case that the investigation included supposed objective seekers of truth who had a political agenda. Page, Strzok’s secret squeeze, was also on Mueller’s team before returning to the FBI. That makes two potential anti-Trump moles.

After being ordered to do so, the Justice Department produced a second batch of the pair’s text messages to six congressional committees last week. These were certainly provocative, including a text from Page that Attorney General Loretta Lynch “knows no charges will be brought” against Hillary Clinton, written before James Comey announced that there would be no charges.   Then the committee members learned that five months of text messages—as many as 50,000 of them— were gone, with the FBI explaining that  the Samsung 5 mobile phones it provided to employees “did not capture or store text messages due to misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.” Although the FBI identified May 22, 2017 as the issued date for Page’s phone,” a new Samsung 7 without the storage glitch, collection of her text messages resumed on May 18, 2017. “The FBI has not yet been able to account for this discrepancy,” the FBI “explained.”

Nothing suspicious there!.

But wait! There’s more! Among the revealed messages that were preserved was a comment about a “secret society” meeting in response to the Trump ascension.  For some reason, Republican members of Congress are concerned about this. (Democratic members, for some reason, are not).

Back to the original question: did you know about any of this? For several days, only the so-called “conservative news media” covered it at all.  The Associated Press and CNN online are finally doing so, but whether a supposedly informed citizen would be aware of developments depends on which sources he or she follows.

All three broadcast networks initially ignored the reports at the beginning of the week while Fox was making them a lead story. CBS finally broke the embargo yesterday morning, with NBC  briefly mentioning  the story last night. ABC, which had deemed Minnie Mouse’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame more newsworthy, has yet to mention any of the text messages mystery. The coverage is still overwhelmingly coming from the conservative end of the news media spectrum. When the mainstream media does this, the effect, and I believe the intended effect, is to undermine  reporting of developments antithetical to the partisan interests of journalists while simultaneously sending the message that the “conservatives” are once again hyperventilating about a “nothingburger.”

Look: this may yet prove to be a “nothingburger.” It is still news. The same news organizations that have instantly reported every action by the Mueller investigation as if it presaged the imminent arrest of the President for treason have concluded that none of the above is worth telling the public about.  Even Sen. Ron Johnson’s statement on Fox News yesterday that there was an  FBI informant corroborating reports concerning the existence of an FBI “secret society” working to undermine President Trump has been buried. Johnson told Fox News’ Bret Baier,  “What this is all about is further evidence of corruption, more than bias, but corruption at the highest levels of the FBI.”

Did you know about that? And isn’t it great about Minnie?

3. And the answer is… I promised last night that I would hold my answer to yesterday’s Ethics Quiz until there were 20 comments to the post.

I woke up to exactly 20 comments (Including a Comment of the Day), so here, briefly, is my answer to whether “NCIS” is sending a responsible message by extolling a 17-year old who takes responsibility for shoplifting actually performed by her habitual shoplifting friend, so her friend’s college prospects won’t be destroyed by another arrest.

No. It’s a terrible ethics message, because:

  • The girl lied to interfere with law enforcement.
  • Her father is head of NCIS, a law enforcement agency. The head of a law enforcement agency is proud of his daughter for obstructing justice. Great.
  • Endorsing the daughter’s conduct supports the unethical “no snitches” mentality that has been a scourge of the inner cities. Recent articles have attributed the exploding murder rate in Baltimore and Chicago to that destructive cultural norm. This is especially irresponsible because the NCIS character lying for her friend is black.
  • Layla’s friend is a repeat larcenist, and shouldn’t be admitted to college. The message that everyone has a right to a college education is destructive liberal trope. How is allowing a student to get admitted to college under false pretenses an admirable objective?
  • The conduct being promoted is anti-police, anti-rule of law, and anti-law enforcement. The mean police are ready to ruin some girls life when all she did is steal—again.
  • If the girlfriend was worthy of such a sacrifice, she wouldn’t let her friend make it.
  • The daughter smugly games the system, calculating the cost and benefits of falsely admitting to a crime according to her status as a minor. Good citizens follow the law because good citizens follow the law. The NCIS message is “sometimes it’s worth breaking the law, of the benefits outweigh the consequences.”

 

91 Comments

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91 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/24/2018: Demands, Denial, And Ethics Distortions

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    1. Unfortunately most organized groups have found that saying please doesn’t get them very far. Maybe it gets them a promise to “look into it” or “take it under advisement” or whatever. But, start making things inconvenient for others, or making others afraid, or breaking stuff, and then they listen. This goes double if those who do those things can play the victim for the camera and the judicial system is willing to let them off with a slap on the wrist. That’s why Philip Berrigan and his troop of traitors kept vandalizing ships and planes and whatever, since charges often got dropped or they would just get a few days or weeks. Then the Feds started getting serious and sending national security vandals away for 4-5 years. That’s why there was that craziness Inauguration Day, for which the US Attorney just dropped charges against over 100 of the people involved. That’s why in NJ we just saw 4 Columbus statues vandalized in a spree. Even if the vandals are caught, the worst they’ll get is a fine which they’ll never pay, or community service they’ll never show up for. Eventually the authorities will either crack down or give these people what they want. More likely it will be the latter, since it looks terrible to be arresting and deporting people who are just looking for a piece of the American life.

    2. It’s only news if the network execs or the publisher decides it’s news, and those folks are only going to decide it’s news if it hurts Trump. If it doesn’t, it goes to the bottom of the pile in the hopes it will turn out to be nothing. After all, they don’t want to be alarmist like those kooks over at Fox. If it doesn’t turn out to be nothing, then they’ll cover it.

    3. To coin a phrase, DUH!

  2. Phlinn

    Anyone else having flashbacks to the IRS having multiple computers all go bad around the same time and losing emails that corresponded to the harassment of conservative groups?

  3. Jeff

    I wonder if we’ll be treated to some FBI flack asking, “What, like with a cloth?” when asked about how the text messages got wiped off the server…

  4. Other Bill

    The Senator from Wall Street weighs in on No. 2:

    REPORTER: We are hearing a lot in the last day or so about the FBI investigation into texts. Do you view that as an effort on the other side of the aisle to pull attention away from the Mueller review?

    SEN SCHUMER: I think there has been a great deal of activity on the other side intending to either divert attention from Mueller or even stand in his way. I don’t think Mr. Nunes has played a constructive role, to say the least, and we’re all worried.

    Mueller has to be allowed to do his job. I have faith in him. As long as he goes forward everyone will abide by where he comes down. But he shouldn’t be thwarted in any way. And the diversion that they are trying to do both with Mueller and with others is not good for the country.

    NICE WORK, Chuck! Did you get that talking point from Debbie Wasserman?

  5. Eventually the authorities will either crack down or give these people what they want. More likely it will be the latter, since it looks terrible to be arresting and deporting people who are just looking for a piece of the American life.

    To whom would this look terrible?

    It’s only news if the network execs or the publisher decides it’s news, and those folks are only going to decide it’s news if it hurts Trump.

    So the media meddles in our elections.

  6. charlesgreen

    You don’t have to be a non-liberal to agree with your ethics points. Count me one liberal who does.

  7. Still Spartan

    Well, America was founded on the notion of lawbreaking and generally causing a ruckus, so I guess I really don’t have a problem with what the Dreamers are doing.

    Ex-convicts and indentured servants and general troublemakers were sent here in droves. Heck, Georgia was a penal colony.

    I don’t recall the Founding Fathers asking “pretty please” while they were committing treason. Luckily for us they chose the violent route.

    I seem to recall a bit of kerfuffle around 1861 — and we still honor the leaders on both sides. Although that is changing a bit. Have any statues been enacted for Dreamers yet? I wonder how they will remembered 150 years from now?

    • “America was founded on the notion of lawbreaking and generally causing a ruckus”

      No.

      It wasn’t.

      “I don’t recall the Founding Fathers asking “pretty please” while they were committing treason. Luckily for us they chose the violent route.”

      After how many years DECADES of seeking amends legally and peacefully. Because the Founders were NOT seeking a society built on rebellion, but on Rule of Law, which time and again they insisted their appeals were a return TO, not a break FROM.

      • Not one of Sparty’s best analogies.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          Far from it, which is too bad. Usually Sparty can do better.

        • It’s an argument I personally cannot stand, and it’s been debunked TOO many times for people to still use it.

        • Still Spartan

          I’m not saying that a nation shouldn’t enforce its laws, but your “please” comment makes me roll my eyes. I am a granddaughter of an illegal immigrant. Should I turn myself over to Canada? Should my mom? Should my grandmother? My grandmother was brought here as a child and never became a citizen. Fun fact — no one cared because she was a white woman who married a white man and had pretty, white children.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            My ancestors all came here legally, except if you count the small English contingent who arrived in RI before there was a US. My grandfather became a citizen when his family saw WW2 brewing, and we still have the faded flag from the ceremony. Most were fleeing either famines in Ireland or restructuring in Italy. None ever took a dime of benefits from their adopted country. None ever broke the law. None didn’t do their damnedest to carve out a place with good old-fashioned work. Some came here not speaking English, but none didn’t learn to speak it pronto. None even considered going back to the old country, and few wasted a lot of time with letters back there.

            We’re all now productive, tax-paying citizens here, paying pretty substantial taxes, a chunk of which go to people who aren’t doing a thing. I have no problem with paying taxes to support those fellow citizens now too old to work. I have no problem with paying taxes to support those fellow citizens too sick or disabled to work. I have no problem with paying taxes to support those fellow citizens who’ve become unable to work because they were injured defending the rest of us. I don’t even have a problem paying taxes to support those fellow citizens who are temporarily out of work…with an eye toward getting them back to work. I have a very big problem paying anything to support those who are not fellow citizens, who don’t belong here, who have broken our laws to be here, and are not contributing thing one to this nation. I have an even bigger problem supporting those folks specifically so that liberal politicians can stay in power for the express purpose of continuing to pick my pocket.

            It’s not about color, Sparty, you know better than that. It’s about fairness. It isn’t fair that those of us who played by the rules and did all the right things should have our pockets picked to support those who broke the rules because those who have the power to pick our pockets see those who broke the rules as a cheap and easy source of favorable votes.

            • Still Spartan

              It is about color. When I go home to my white county, they acknowledge that it is about color. Perhaps YOU don’t see it that way (and good for you), but most people do.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                I can’t speak to the people of one primarily white county’s attitude. I can speak to the economics of a nation carrying huge numbers of non-contributors who don’t even belong there. It’s problematic enough now that there are too few people pulling the wagon and too many riding in it. I refuse to allow those who have no right to do either to weigh the wagon down.

                • Still Spartan

                  I also don’t buy into the non-contributor argument. They are working, buying goods, renting properties, etc. Indeed, they want to contribute MORE by paying income tax and becoming legal citizens.

                  • To be clear: I rank that as a stupid argument for permitting illegal immigration because it’s irrelevant. There are stories about family annihilators and domestic terrorists who move into a neighbor hood and become pillars of the community. So what? You can’t retroactively mitigate or neutralize misconduct. It’s in the books. This is the Ruddigore Fallacy. W.S. Gilbert used the idea because he assumed everyone would realize it was ridiculous. Hey, if illegal immigrants are so beneficial, let’s make all immigration illegal! Similarly, I’m unimpressed with the crime stats of illegals. If not one of them even jay-walked, it wouldn’t change a thing.

                    • Chris

                      To be clear: I rank that as a stupid argument for permitting illegal immigration because it’s irrelevant. There are stories about family annihilators and domestic terrorists who move into a neighbor hood and become pillars of the community. So what?

                      Yeah, I’m gonna have to say that your argument is the stupid one here. The answer to your “So what?” question is, obviously, “So it shouldn’t be illegal for them to come here in the first place.” Murderers and terrorists cause intrinsic harm with their actions; if illegal immigrants’ only offense was crossing illegally, and they go on to become pillars of their community who are net contributors to our country, and you stop at the conclusion “But they still broke the law!” then you aren’t thinking the issue through more than halfway. The logical conclusion is “The law needs to change so that this kind of person is allowed in.”

                      If not one of them even jay-walked, it wouldn’t change a thing.

                      See above. If that changes nothing in your view, then you view is misguided. If every illegal immigrant who crossed went on to steal and murder, that would certainly change my view; I would have no sympathy for them, and would oppose amnesty.

                      If every illegal immigrant was perfectly law-abiding and contributed to the country, and that fact was revealed to a logical person who initially opposed their entry, I would think their view would change to “Oh, then let them in legally.”

                      At least, that’s the logical conclusion.

                    • You realize you just pivoted to “It’s a dumb law,” right? That’s yet another stupid rationalization for breaking laws. See, lawbreakers don’t get to decide which laws are stupid. It’s like the post about the argument that shoplifting from Walmart shoudn’t be punished.

                      You’re embracing consequentialism, which is per se, by definition, dumb and illogical. Break a law, pay the price. The idea that it makes any sense that yu can balance the ledger after the fact makes the rule of law impossible. Where would you ever get such a silly idea? In your world, there are good lawbreakers who should get a pass based on how they act afterwards, and the bad ones, who break more laws. They both broke the same law, and deserve the same fate, because they should be arrested the second they break the law. How much time they have to be good or bad illegal immigrants later is pure moral luck. And it doesn’t matter.

                      You’re essentially arguing for open borders for good people and nice people. Wow.

                    • Chris

                      You realize you just pivoted to “It’s a dumb law,” right? That’s yet another stupid rationalization for breaking laws.

                      No, it isn’t, because my conclusion was not “Therefore, they should keep breaking the law and we shouldn’t enforce it,” it was “We should change the law.” I could not have made this clearer. But you are determined to only think the issue halfway through.

                    • The issue here is not immigration policy. It is illegal immigrants, and I am interpreting your comments in the context in which they are being made. And when “we should change the law” means “we shouldn’t have any,” the opinion is not worthy of debate.

                    • Chris

                      The issue here is not immigration policy. It is illegal immigrants,

                      It’s hard to imagine a more obtuse statement. Wow.

                      Illegal immigrants are illegal because of immigration policy. How is that hard to grasp?

                      I am interpreting your comments in the context in which they are being made.

                      The context was me specifically saying the law should be changed, and somehow you missed it. So no, that’s not how you interpreted them.

                      And when “we should change the law” means “we shouldn’t have any,” the opinion is not worthy of debate.

                      Good thing that’s not what I mean then.

                    • Uh, NO, Chris, illegal immigrants are illegal because they broke the law. Nobody is made illegal BY a law. That’s in the Constitution. Laws make things illegal before someone does them. Immigration policy makes nobody illegal. They make themselves illegal by their own actions. This isn’t just law 101, it’s Logic 101. YOu are exactly backwards. Imagine a speeder arguing that he was onlt speeding because the speed limit was too law. If I had ever heard that argument before, I would have put it in the stupid arguments poll. Now my imagination is going wild with other theoretical applications of the Chris Principle. Bank robbers are only criminals because the law doesn’t allow robberies when people think they need more money! This is GREAT!

                    • Chris

                      Let’s backtrack: you objected to Spartan pointing out that illegal immigrants contribute a lot to our society by shouting “Illegal!” and arguing that whether they contribute to society is completely irrelevant.

                      I pointed out it was relevant to the question of whether the conduct should be illegal. I also pointed out the distinction between acts that are inherently unethical and acts that are only unethical because they are illegal, clearly indicating that most illegal immigration falls into the latter category.

                      You ignored this distinction, so I restated it in a particularly clumsy way—“Illegal immigrants are illegal because of immigration policy”—which I admit was badly phrased. The point is that immigrants who contribute to society and don’t break laws shouldn’t have a hard time getting into this country in the first place, and laws keeping them out are clearly misguided.

                      You don’t want to talk about whether the laws are misguided, and would rather just have us all write “Illegal immigrants are breaking the law” on a chalkboard 100 times or something. I find that unbearably boring. What is the point? Where is your usual level of ethical analysis?

                      To go with your speeding analogy, if it were found that drivers who overshot the speed limit were actually more safe and less likely to crash than those who stayed within the speed limit, would that not make you question the speed limit laws? If this fact were pointed out to you, would you simply shrug, say “So what? It’s still illegal,” and then move on? I think you’re a deeper thinker than that.

                    • 1. I didn’t object to Spartan saying that, and she didn’t say that. She said SHE objected to the argument that illegal don’t contribute. So do I. That argument’s irrelevant too.
                      2. It is clear that this is just changing the subject on your part because you have no valid case to make for not holding illegal immigrants responsible for their actions and letting them benefit by breaking our laws.
                      3. The rest is demanding that I write about something else. This is not a policy blog. I don’t know the ideal answers to how many immigrants the country should take in, how they should be vetted, whether particular skills should be prioritized. I do know that the likelihood of admitting criminals and terrorists and those who would reject assimilation should be minimized, though I’m not sure what the best way to do that is. That’s not my job.
                      4. Your last paragraph is more of the same. I wasn’t discussing the optimum speed limit. A driver knows the limit, and has no excuse for breaking it. “It’s a dumb law” is an argument to be maade by the public, experts and legislators, not the law’s breakers.

                    • Jeff

                      “…immigrants who contribute to society and don’t break laws shouldn’t have a hard time getting into this country in the first place…”

                      That sounds pretty much like a merit-based immigration policy. I think there was a fella on the TV talking about that very thing just a short while ago. I don’t recall who that was, but he had a bad haircut and all the progressives called him a racist because of it.

                    • Chris

                      You recall incorrectly. Perhaps intentionally.

                    • Chris

                      I’m not asking you to change the subject, I’m asking you to consider the ethical root of the problem. I assumed since you write so much about the topic of illegal immigration, you were interested in ethical as well as practical solutions to the problem. You write about the ethics of certain policies all the time, from the travel ban to DACA to the Iran deal to the Paris climate accord. But on this topic, your thinking stops at “It’s illegal, so don’t do it,” with no analysis of the laws themselves.

                      If the speed limit was 10 mph on a freeway, I think you’d have some more sympathy for the speeders, and would see the larger ethical issue as the incompetence of the law rather than the lawbreakers’ actions. I also think your solution to tons of people violating those speed limits wouldn’t be “We just need tougher enforcement of these laws.”

                      I don’t think our immigration laws are quite that impractical and dumb, but they are still impractical and dumb, and as long as they remain so, illegal immigration will be incentivized in the same way moonshine was during Prohibition.

                    • Still Spartan

                      The problem is that Jack Camp and Spartan Camp start with different views, so all of the analysis that flows from those original views automatically can be attacked from the other side.

                      I have legal and (at least one) illegal immigrants in my family. Other than a piece of paper, there is no difference between them. They all worked, raised their families, learned English, fought in ALL of our wars (since arriving here), etc. I can neither emotionally NOR logically argue why one set should be treated differently from the other. My illegal grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter during WWII — she didn’t have to contribute, but she did.

                      I agree that lawbreakers should be locked up or deported — unless the broken law in question is that you physically are present in this country without a piece of paper. (Especially since the German side of my family spent all of 5 seconds at the border — their names were changed and “presto” they became American citizens. So, I am not really all that impressed with the legal/illegal distinction.)

                      I believe there are 800,000 DACA children (now many of whom are working adults) here. 800,000! Of course we have to let the non-criminals stay. I can’t imagine what kind of wasteful money would be spent sending them home — extra courts, judges, immigration officers, police, etc. Plus, such a position would be anti-family since many of them have children now who are American citizens. So we send home just one parent and leave the children to seek social services? Or, force them underground for lower wages? Employers would love that outcome. I am not even appealing to emotion here — economically it makes no sense.

                      As for why they are coming here in the first place, I’ve discussed this exhaustively here — and I get that the Jack Camp people disagree, and I understand your argument even if I disagree with you. I believe I used a zombie hypothetical (since Jack is a fan of zombie entertainment). If Jack was forced to flee from his Arlington home and made it to the Canadian border, he wouldn’t think twice about illegally crossing if it meant saving his life and the life of his family. He knows that. In fact, we would all do it. Jack wouldn’t say — “Hey, zombies are my problem. I need to fix the zombies so I can stay in Arlington.” Jack would say that this is a humanitarian crisis and that he should be allowed to enter Canada — he’d probably blog about it at night while hiding from the zombies. (Oh — and to do that he’d probably be stealing someone else’s WiFi, but he would justify it.)

                      The people who write here are of above average intelligence — it’s obvious from the comments. But we all can’t be experts in all things. Many of the families fleeing here would love to stay in their home countries, but they can’t because of the violence and economic climate. They are facing the equivalent of zombies invading their towns. Please, truly read up on the situation in many parts of Central and South America. So yes, let them in. Give them a chance. See if they contribute. Require them to enter the military, speak English, whatever … I don’t care. You can even just make them documented workers (no citizenship) who have to pay all taxes but cannot receive social services. But I wouldn’t let the zombies eat them.

                    • Chris

                      I have legal and (at least one) illegal immigrants in my family. Other than a piece of paper, there is no difference between them. They all worked, raised their families, learned English, fought in ALL of our wars (since arriving here), etc. I can neither emotionally NOR logically argue why one set should be treated differently from the other. My illegal grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter during WWII — she didn’t have to contribute, but she did.

                      It’s not necessarily anyone’s business, Spartan, and you may not know the answer, but it may be helpful to explain why your grandmother immigrated illegally in the first place. It’s clear she was willing to make sacrifices for this country; what stopped her from entering legally?

                    • Still Spartan

                      I don’t know the answer to that question and she is dead now. She never liked to talk about it. I don’t know why she never became a citizen given that she was married for 40 years to an American citizen.

          • Well, let’s unpack this:

            1. What’s your Constitutional theory that non-citizens have standing to be demanding special privileges? (Speaking of eye-rolling) Do no citizens have the same rights of civil disobedience citizens do? I think not. I think when they are arrested, they should be deported.

            2. Huh? You were born in the US. You’re a natural born citizen. What do your grandparents have to do with anything?

            3. “My grandmother was brought here as a child and never became a citizen.” So that’s fine because..why? Because she got away with it? Because she’s your grandmother? Because she’s old? Because everybody does it? Because she never robbed a bank? Because no one cared?

            • Luke G

              Because post-hoc, we see that she caused no specific harm here, and gave rise to a family of citizens who are (if Spartan is representative of the whole) intelligent and capable and contributing members of society. Emotionally compelling moral luck/consequentialism.

              • Chris

                Which raises the question of why her entry was illegal in the first place. What obstacles did we have in place that prevented such a person from entering legally? Why were those obstacles there? Would our policy be better had those obstacles not been there? Are those obstacles still in place? Are they necessary to keep out people who don’t contribute as much to our country? Or are they unnecessary?

                • John Billingsley

                  My question exactly. Just guessing about the ages involved I suspect she entered under the Immigration Act of 1924. That act had no quotas for immigrants from Canada (or pretty much any other Western hemisphere country). The act provided that all unmarried children could enter with the parents. There would have been no reason to enter illegally other than just to avoid the hassle of obtaining an immigration visa or the fee of $9. The requirements of that act were very racially motivated and set quotas to minimize immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe and prohibit immigration from Asia ensuring that the great majority of immigrants would be white.

                  • Chris

                    I can’t speak for Spartan’s grandmother, but I suspect there will always be people who try to circumvent immigration laws no matter how reasonable or lax we make them. My concern lies with those who would rather come in legally, but who do so illegally because they feel it’s the only way. I am more concerned with people than with laws, as laws are supposed to be designed to serve people. Who do our current immigration laws serve? It seems right now they are doing a great job of making lots of people miserable, but that’s about it.

                    • John Billingsley

                      “… I suspect there will always be people who try to circumvent immigration laws no matter how reasonable or lax we make them.”

                      You are undoubtedly correct.

                      “My concern lies with those who would rather come in legally, but who do so illegally because they feel it’s the only way.”

                      This is basically an open borders position. A person immigrates illegally because the law prevents them from doing so legally. There is then concern that a deserving person had to break the law to get in. Fix that concern by changing the law to allow that class of people to enter legally. There will then be another person who wants to immigrate legally but the new law prevents them so they enter illegally. Fix concern for that deserving class by again making the law less exclusive. Repeat until there is no law restricting immigration. In reality there are going to be some classes everyone agrees should be excluded but these will be small in proportion to the total number of potential immigrants so in effect there would be an open border. You can’t have it both ways. You either restrict immigration or you don’t. If you do, there will always be many deserving people who want to immigrate but are prevented from doing so legally. Creating de facto open borders by simply ignoring the law creates its own problems.

                      “Who do our current immigration laws serve?”

                      I think this is where major disagreements occur. One side seems to believe that the immigration laws should primarily serve the immigrant with the interests of the nation secondary if even considered at all. The other faction, which includes me, believes there should be immigration but that immigration laws should primarily serve the interests of the citizens of the nation the immigrants are entering with the needs of the individual immigrant a secondary concern. This means being able to set how many should be allowed to immigrate, who should be allowed to immigrate, who and how many should be admitted for humanitarian reasons, and who gets priority in immigration among many other issues. Over time the answers to those questions may change and Congress should revise or replace the current immigration laws with new ones to reflect the desires and values of the American people.

                      “It seems right now they are doing a great job of making lots of people miserable, but that’s about it.”

                      The primary people who are miserable are miserable because they are facing the consequences of having broken the law. I have sympathy with some of them. The law was variably enforced lulling some people into a belief that they must not really have done anything wrong or the law would have taken action. After a long enough time an individual may come to believe they didn’t break the law at all or have almost totally forgotten about it. I feel that may account for some of the outrage regarding the case of the doctor you mention below. I think lax enforcement of the law created much of the current misery by encouraging people to immigrate illegally in the belief they were unlikely to face consequences. I am sure there are many people who are miserable because they want to immigrate but are law abiding and will not enter illegally. Any law restricting immigration is going to make some people miserable in that sense.

                      I have some sympathy with the Dreamers and with people like the doctor whose case you mentioned. I hope for the doctor that there can be some punishment other than deportation. There have been various proposals about how to handle the Dreamers and I trust some compromise can be worked out. Regardless of how those cases are handled, it is vital to avoid getting in this situation again. The way to do that is control the borders, consistently enforce immigration law, and never again create a class of people like the Dreamers. If American’s believe the current immigration law is unjust, the proper action is for Congress to enact a new law not simply stop enforcing the current one. I am for immigration but I am also for the right of every nation to make laws controlling immigration and the right of every nation to enforce those laws.

      • Still Spartan

        Revisionist history. America was a colony owned by a monarchy. What the revolutionaries did was treason, but — because history is written by the victors — we skip to the part where we wrote the Constitution and became a nation of laws.

        • Isaac

          Really, no.

          Examine the history of revolutions and rebellions. There are FAMOUS, well-documented differences between the vast majority of them, on one hand, and the American one on the other.

          As historian Joseph Ellis explained, at roughly the same time in history as the Founding Fathers were having long debates in stuffy halls and posing for dignified portraits, the French were filling the streets with blood during the Reign of Terror in the wake of their own revolution, a more typical result.

          The colonists believed that the British laws were in violation of natural law and higher principles of justice. They made every effort to peacefully entreat them, and when that didn’t work, they drafted a dignified letter explaining and reasoning their tortured decision to declare themselves independent states. They weren’t 18th century Anfifa dorks. They weren’t anti-authority. They didn’t think rebellion was cool.

        • The colonists acted much more civilized than the British, who were violating their own laws where and when it suited them. They used every legal method to redress grievances within the system, and had the laws changed in insulting and gratuitous ways.

          That you think they were some sort of rebel scum explains why you do not hold American ideology as sacred as many here. I have to believe you are ignorant of history in order to say such a thing.

          Otherwise, you are an ignorant political hack, and I am not prepared to think that of you.

    • Jeff

      One teensy flaw in your analogy: The founders of America were entreating (and later rebelling against) the British crown – because they were British citizens. The “Dreamers” are making demands of a country to which they are not citizens. This would be somewhat like the founding fathers addressing the Declaration of Independence to Catherine The Great instead of George III.

  8. Steve-O-in-NJ

    “Well, America was founded on the notion of lawbreaking and generally causing a ruckus, so I guess I really don’t have a problem with what the Dreamers are doing.”

    Lazy answer and apples and oranges. The colonists were attempting to assert rights they were already allowed and were being denied, not attempting to shove their way into someone else’s nation against the wishes of the populace.

    “Ex-convicts and indentured servants and general troublemakers were sent here in droves. Heck, Georgia was a penal colony.”

    Not entirely true, it was a place to work off debt rather than go to debtor’s prison, which was in itself a useless exercise. So what? Once they got here they didn’t run wild or throw the law out the window.

    “I don’t recall the Founding Fathers asking “pretty please” while they were committing treason. Luckily for us they chose the violent route.”

    Again apples and oranges. The violent route here would be an invasion, not a separation.

    “I seem to recall a bit of kerfuffle around 1861 — and we still honor the leaders on both sides. Although that is changing a bit. Have any statues been enacted for Dreamers yet? I wonder how they will remembered 150 years from now?”

    Apples, oranges, and pears. Big difference between two regions within a nation coming to political blows over policy, and folks not of that nation trying to force their way in against the law.

    Come on, Sparty, you can do better than this.

    • Chris


      Lazy answer and apples and oranges. The colonists were attempting to assert rights they were already allowed and were being denied, not attempting to shove their way into someone else’s nation against the wishes of the populace

      I expected this respond to Spartan, and it’s a good one.

      Still, you bring up an interesting question: At what point can someone claim a “right” to live on a specific piece of land?

      On the show “Fringe,” young Peter Bishop was kidnapped from an alternate universe and brought into ours by a mad scientist who had lost his son, our universe’s version of Peter. He doesn’t find this out until he is an adult. Does he have a right to stay in our universe? Should he “self-deport” or at least report himself to the authorities?

      If a man with a five-year-old daughter takes a home by force, raises his family there, and then the daughter grows up to inherit the house, can that house be taken from her by the descendants of the original owner? Even if she was too young to even know the house was taken by force? Even if she has nowhere else to go?

      I ask these questions because I lean toward believing many of the Dreamers, having lived in this country most of their lives and not having any other home to go back to, and having not committed any crime themselves, have the right to stay here. I’m not entirely certain that right exists, but that just brings me back to my original question: What gives someone a right to live on specific piece of land? Is it just government? Or is there a “natural right” to such a thing?

      • Chris

        Meant to post this story in regards to my question. Did this man have a right to stay here? Note that this was a legal immigrant. Did he forfeit this right when he committed a couple property crimes as a teenager? Is it fair to revoke this right decades after those small crimes were committed?

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/01/22/ice-detains-a-polish-doctor-and-green-card-holder-who-has-lived-in-the-u-s-for-nearly-40-years/

      • Loved Fringe, until it’s universe/dimension flipping got so confusing that I gave up. Same thing happened with “Dark Shadows.”

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Depends on the circumstances. In an existing state, it’s a legal issue, typically dealt with by the question of adverse possession. Questions examined are how long has the person been there, were they there openly, and did the true owner assert his own rights in a timely manner. If you build a house on my land, I know it, and I don’t assert my rights timely, I may be estopped from tossing you off.

        On the other hand, if I see what’s going on timely, you’re just getting started, I check the plans and I find you are encroaching, you may be out of luck. If you and your daughter have moved into a house I own but don’t use, then there’s also the possibility of adverse possession if I don’t act timely to throw you out. The courts don’t want to make people homeless, but they don’t want to encourage squatting, either, which is what you describe. If you took it by force, on the other hand, then you stole it, and neither you nor your heirs have any right to it.

        Now, if we get into questions of conquest, that’s another story, since we’re dealing sometimes with an international question where the law is much murkier and there is no authority to appeal to. If this is a 19th century war in Europe, and you, a German, seize my Danish house as our nations clash, I may have to wait until the nations negotiate a peace, then make my claim with whoever is writing the treaty and dealing with the disposition of dispute property. If I lose there, then maybe I approach my own nation seeking to be compensated. If my claim fails, I may be out of luck.

        But we really aren’t dealing with ownership of land or property here. We’re dealing with the right to remain in a nation indefinitely and be entitled to the benefits of that nation. There’s no doctrine of “adverse citizenship,” and I don’t think there should be one, since there’s a significant difference between openly possessing a piece of land for years and overstaying your travel visa and then just staying “under the radar” in a nation until the clock runs out.

        I won’t address the question of interuniverse citizenship, since I don’t know what authority would have jurisdiction. Maybe the Time Lords?

        • Chris

          On Fringe, it’s the Observers. But their authority is questionable at best, and they resolved the problem by wiping the illegal immigrant from history.

  9. 2- “Is it news yet?”

    The plot’s thickening.

    ”Some experts say, however, that it may be possible to recover the missing communications.”

    “ ‘A sharp digital forensic expert may still be able to recover them,’ said Andrew Ziem, creator of BleachBit, the software that Hillary Clinton subordinates used to clear information from her private server.

    ” ‘In general whenever any software deletes any information, traces are left on the storage device, though they become disorganized like the proverbial needle in the haystack.’ ”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/bleachbit-creator-ex-fbi-experts-question-loss-of-peter-strzok-texts/article/2646746

  10. Luke G

    Just as a related note, it seems that Boston’s illegal Irish population is shocked- SHOCKED- at how many of them are being detained and deported. They just can’t believe it! But they pay taxes and live good lives!

    It seems to me that, whether one is for or against the current crackdown on illegal immigrants and DREAMers, it should be viewed as a very good thing that being a white English speaker doesn’t protect someone from the enforcement.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      Damn straight. I don’t care if you’re from Oslo or Timbuktu, if you’re not here legally, you need to be someplace else.

    • Luke G

      I knew I could find the article! I didn’t want to post these quotes without being able to back them up, because they’re disgusting, but here’s the source:

      https://www.npr.org/2018/01/22/578930256/undocumented-irish-unexpectedly-caught-in-trumps-immigration-dragnet

      Specifically,
      “It’s really indiscriminate. ICE, in their aggressive tactics of detention, are going after the Irish as much as they’re going after any other nationality,” says Ronnie Millar, director of the Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston.

      and

      “They have no confidence that the color of their skin provides any protection for them,” he says.

      What an interesting example of unintended consequences- the media has been hammering on how Racist Trump’s emphasis on immigration is, how it’s just because he hates brown people, and all these white people somehow got the impression that they were safe because they’re white and from a country we get along with.

  11. DaveL

    I think a good argument can be made for naturalizing Dreamers, without the Left’s ridiculous jettisoning of the rule of law or national sovereignty. They should first stipulate that the American people have a sovereign right to control the admission of foreigners into the United States, and in so doing they have the right to consider their own best interests first.

    So next we need to analyze the best interests of Americans regarding Dreamers. On the side of benefit, these are largely people who are working jobs for American employers and supporting American families. These may not be broad-reaching benefits for all Americans, but we should recognize them as very concrete, readily identifiable benefits to some Americans. On the side of harm, we have the potential harm to the Rule of Law, with the concomitant fear that amnesty shown towards them would result in wholesale disregard for our immigration law, the law in general, and American sovereignty.

    Now, from a study of history I’ve acquired a certain skepticism towards justifying concrete harms to actual, identifiable, living human beings through appeals to preventing some potential, hypothetical future harm to some poorly defined collective or abstract concept. That skepticism is sharper the more abstract the harm becomes, for example “this man will likely kill again” vs. “for the Greater Good”. Therefore, while I am far from discounting the value of demonstrating America’s commitment to the Rule of Law, or the defense of national sovereignty, I am unwilling to write them a blank check against whatever harm may befall individual Americans.

    With all this in mind, I would propose a policy along the following lines:

    (1) That Dreamers without significant criminal histories, stay off the social safety net, and who have either significant American work histories or substantial American family ties be put into a legal status with an eventual path to citizenship. Those with significant (say, more than a misdemeanor or two) criminal histories, or having neither employment nor family ties to the US, would remain deportable.

    (2) So that it may be seen that US laws may not be transgressed without penalty, some penalty other than deportation be imposed on Dreamers, such as a fine, or perhaps treble fees for immigration processing, and also an extended waiting period prior to attaining full citizenship.

    You may disagree with how I weight the various concerns in this analysis, but I hope you’ll at least concede that it frames the issue in the proper light: that Americans have the right to regulate immigration in light of what’s best for Americans.

    • Excellent analysis, and a Comment of the Day.

    • “They should first stipulate that the American people have a sovereign right to control the admission of foreigners into the United States, and in so doing they have the right to consider their own best interests first.”

      “that Americans have the right to regulate immigration in light of what’s best for Americans.”

      Interestingly enough, it would seem the right wing WANTS Dreamers to come in, but not at the sacrifice of not doing anything about future immigration law enforcement. It just seems impossible to get the Left on board with staking a stance in support of American sovereignty and rule of law.

      I think most people are sympathetic with the plight of the so-called Dreamers, but most people also know this is a problem that cannot continue to go un-addressed.

    • Great comment by the way.

  12. Chris

    But wait! There’s more! Among the revealed messages that were preserved was a comment about a “secret society” meeting in response to the Trump ascension. For some reason, Republican members of Congress are concerned about this. (Democratic members, for some reason, are not).
    Back to the original question: did you know about any of this?

    ABC News has uncovered the original text. Are you ready? It’s pretty shocking:

    “Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/exclusive-full-secret-society-text-fbi-agents-meant/story%3fid=52592241

    To be honest, I don’t know what this means, but it seems pretty clearly an inside joke.

    Could the reason the mainstream media is reluctant to pick up on stories that originate in the conservative media be that so many of the most hyped stories there are hoaxes promulgated by people who are at worst shameless lying hacks and at best functional illiterates?

    • The texts, taken as a whole, simply demand investigation. Maybe it was a joke (note that the same media sources never interpret Trump’s obvious hyperboles as anything but literal. Do you remember when he called upon the Russians to find Hillary’s deleted e-mails? Do you remember how many reporters claim that that was proof that he was in cahoots with Putin? ). There’s a reason you get arrested if you joke about bombs on an airplane, and a reason why two FBI employees can’t talk about “insurance policies” and “secret societies” in the context of loyalty to the President of the United States. Joke or not, it was the kind of statement that had to be investigated, alarmed legislators, and set off alarms, and raises the appearance of impropriety. That makes it news. So stop spinning and making excuses. An investigation that may involve the President must be beyond reproach. There were no episodes like this in the Watergate Special Counsel investigation, nor from Ken Starr. I doubt that there is any secret society. ust as I’m sure flight attendants don’t think bombs are on board when some jerk makes a joke. But you can’t take chances. When someone is pulled off a plane for a bomb joke, it’s news too.

      You don’t know that the comment is a joke, neither do I, and no competent investigator would assume that. Not in this context. Not when “the resistance” openly and favorably talks about a coup, the evidence is mounting that the investigation of Clinton was rigged, and Obama Justice Department corruption is coming into focus.

      • Chris

        The texts, taken as a whole, simply demand investigation. Maybe it was a joke (note that the same media sources never interpret Trump’s obvious hyperboles as anything but literal. Do you remember when he called upon the Russians to find Hillary’s deleted e-mails? Do you remember how many reporters claim that that was proof that he was in cahoots with Putin?

        Bad comparison is bad. You’re comparing a private text message sent between two individuals to a presidential candidate publicly trivializing an attack on the United States and chuckling that he could benefit from that attack. If that was just a joke, and Trump had no real desire to benefit from said attack (which is hard to believe, given that we know for a fact that members of his campaign attempted to get intel from said attacker weeks before Trump made this statement), it was still a wildly tacky one. This just isn’t anywhere near that level. They were talking about calendars, Jack.

        • 1. Again, the airplane joke is the standard. Whether the context was private or not, if law enforcement are openly discussing coups and secret societies, it has to be investigated and taken seriously.

          2. The desire to benefit from anything, Chris, is not a crime, and not even unethical. This is as legally obtuse as a statement can be.

          • Chris

            1. They weren’t “openly discussing coups.” Fair and rational conservatives have already dismissed the “secret society” hype as absurd conspiracy-mongering.

            2. No one said the desire to benefit from a crime is a crime. Publicly expressing the hope that one will benefit from a crime is certainly unethical, especially when one is a presidential candidate publicly expressing the hope that one will benefit from a foreign government’s cyber-attack on one’s opponent.

            • 1.No. Thoughts and desires are never unethical. More thought crime promotion from the Left!
              2. Your first sentence is a classic “No True Scotsman” fallacy. They are fair and rational if they agree with your spin.

              • Chris

                1. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

                “Man, I sure hope some Robin Hood type breaks into Jack Marshall’s house and gives me all his finest silver.”

                What is the material difference between these two statements? Is the latter unethical? I’d say that if I considered you my enemy, and if I had reason to believe there actually had been a rash of Robin Hood-style attacks redistributing the wealth from your neighborhood to mine, that statement would definitely be unethical. To call that unethical wouldn’t be promoting the concept of “thought crime,” it would be judging someone for being an asshole.

                2. No, calling people fair and rational whom I believe are acting fairly and rationally isn’t a NTS fallacy. That would be if I said “All real conservatives have dismissed the hype.”

                • Chris

                  I should add that even if I said the Robin Hood line as a joke, it would still be unethical to make in public if you were my enemy and I had legitimate reason to believe that you were a potential Robin Hood victim and that I might be the recipient of the bounty.

                • OK, everyone, let’s explain to Chris why those two statements are materially different.

                  • Chris

                    The best argument I can see is that the e-mails were already illegally obtained by Russia, whereas in my statement I’m asking someone to illegally obtain your property?

                    In which case, let’s amend the statement to “Boy, I hope the Robin Hood type who stole Jack’s finest silver gives some of it to me.”

                    Unethical to think? No. Unethical to say, in public, knowing the Robin Hood type is listening? Of course.

                    • 1) International law and domestic law are not comparable. Have any nations been prosecuted anywhere for hacking and intelligence gathering operations? Has the US? Never. Is it considered aiding or abetting a foreign power or a crime to say something liek waht Trump said? Nope. Nor was it unethical. He was referring to what he believed may be illegally destroyed evidence of a crime. (So do I.)

                      The Robin Hood remark, done in public, by a public figure, could constitute incitement, which is an inchoate crime that doesn’t require anything thing to actually happen. The issue is mens rea. Calling on individuals to attack the property of a named person comes really close. Calling on a foreign country doesn’t come within a mile of incitement.

                    • Chris

                      1) International law and domestic law are not comparable. Have any nations been prosecuted anywhere for hacking and intelligence gathering operations? Has the US? Never. Is it considered aiding or abetting a foreign power or a crime to say something liek waht Trump said? Nope.

                      This is pure pedantry. Hacking and stealing information is a crime, regardless of who does it or whether it is enforced. I agree Trump’s comments couldn’t legally be considered “aiding and abetting.” That isn’t the point. It is still encouraging criminality for his own benefit, and unethical.

                      Nor was it unethical. He was referring to what he believed may be illegally destroyed evidence of a crime. (So do I.)

                      Therefore, using illegal methods to recover that evidence is fine? Even if the goal is to influence a foreign country’s election process and spread chaos? Come on.

                    • The goal, if it was a serious comment, which it was not, is to prevent obstruction of justice. You can’t call something a crime when there is no enforceable law that makes it a crime. All international mischief is in the ethics no-mans land of espionage and nations pursuing their own security interests. You can’t compare it to domestic crimes.

                    • Chris

                      The goal, if it was a serious commnet, which it was not, is to prevent obstruction of justice.

                      Hilarious. So if he meant it seriously, then Donald Trump asked a foreign country who hacked his opponent to release more of their stolen emails because he was concerned about obstruction of justice.

                      When your argument is indistinguishable from the most absurd pro-Trump spinners, you need to rethink your position.

                    • There’s nothing pro-Trump about it. Law is law, ethics are ethics. There was no mens rea, and there was no domestic crime being promoted. Your analogy stinks. Tell me: if Russia announced, “we have the e-mails Hillary illegally destroyed to hide them from Congress and FOIA. Does your Justice Department want to see them?” What do you think the Justice Department (well, an ethical, non-corrupt Justice Department) would say? If Russia made that statement publicly, what do you think the public would want them to say? Congress? If you admit that DOJ would say, and it would, “Hell yes we want to see them!” then you realize your argument is ridiculous.

                    • Chris

                      The DOJ isn’t a political campaign, Jack. A political campaign obtaining the stolen e-mails of their opponent would be corrupt. The DOJ obtaining stolen e-mails of someone under criminal investigation would not be corrupt. This isn’t hard, and you are spinning.

                    • Trump didn’t say that the Russians should give HIM the e-mails. Blatant moving of the goalposts. He said: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

                  • I don’t want to. I tire of Chris continuing to rave about points that have been *thoroughly* debunked AD NAUSEUM.

                    This line, which you posted above should have finished this conversation:

                    “The texts, taken as a whole, simply demand investigation.”

                    Chris is really on a wild-man limb here claiming that when we don’t take a candidate’s humorous jabs at a political opponent’s questionable conduct seriously (and we shouldn’t), that we also should not take seriously communications between agents subordinate to him in circumstances that point suspiciously towards not just insubordination, but mutiny, towards him in a greater context of general resistance towards his authority simply because one of the texts may have also been a light hearted jab at a tangential topic.

                    On the topic of Russia-Collusion, Chris continues beating a dead horse. It is tedious and in this case, he’s completely derailed the main point of this post by refocusing on Russia-Collusion via one of the most asinine comparison’s possible. I’m not sure why even this line didn’t end the race down the rabbit hole: .

                    “There’s a reason you get arrested if you joke about bombs on an airplane, and a reason why two FBI employees can’t talk about “insurance policies” and “secret societies” in the context of loyalty to the President of the United States.”

                    • Nor do I. I was proud of the analogy, because I think it is exactly on point. Alas, I don’t get no satisfaction…

                    • Your comparison wasn’t asinine.

                      Chris’s was.

                    • Chris

                      No, I maintain that Jack’s original comparison was asinine. It is much easier and more rational to read the “secret society” text as a joke than to read Trump’s comment about Russia as a joke. It is hard to believe anyone in an actual secret society would ever say or type “See you at the next secret society meeting.” It is not hard to believe that Trump genuinely hoped Russia would find HRC’s missing emails. If he genuinely hoped that, then his statement wasn’t a joke.

                      But you’ll believe what you want to.

                    • Chris

                      Apparently conservative writer S.E. Cupp beat me to it:

                      Now even the Republican senator who went on Fox News and initially floated the possibility of a real “secret society” based on this text is backtracking. Reporters, including Fox News reporters, have had access to the text for months, and did not report anything, likely because they knew it wasn’t news. Still, after Senator Johnson brought it up, it caused a minor hysteria within the right-wing media and pro-Trump Twitter.

                      My original point stands: the reason this was not reported in the MSM, and the reason many similar stories that originate from the right-wing media are not reported in the MSM, is because so many stories that originate there turn out to be hoaxes from people who are vile hucksters at worst and functionally illiterate at best. You two are neither, and should avoid falling for these hoaxes.

                    • You are aware, of course, the “secret society” text is practically 1% of this whole missing FBI text issue, right?

                      What do we call it when we use a minuscule detail that is irrelevant to claim the entire mess is irrelevant?

                      Is that hasty generalization? Is it cherry picking?

                      Logicians, help me out here.

                      But, by all means, keep overemphasizing the importance of that part as a claim that the Left-wing media has a valid reason not to cover this. Keep on.

                    • Chris

                      No, it isn’t cherry-picking to respond to a specific claim. Jack specifically brought up the “secret society” text as something that demanded investigation and media coverage, and did so in a way that was inaccurate:

                      But wait! There’s more! Among the revealed messages that were preserved was a comment about a “secret society” meeting in response to the Trump ascension. For some reason, Republican members of Congress are concerned about this. (Democratic members, for some reason, are not).
                      Back to the original question: did you know about any of this?

                      But the text in question doesn’t seem like it had anything to do with “the Trump ascension.” I’ve made the case that that text doesn’t warrant further investigation. I never said that the “whole missing FBI texts issue” isn’t worthy of coverage or investigation, and my comments weren’t meant to discredit the idea of investigating or covering that issue as a whole. That said, it looks like at least some of those texts have been recovered, so that’s a start:

                      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/inspector-general-says-he-has-recovered-fbi-officials-missing-texts-during-key-period-leading-up-to-muellers-appointment/2018/01/25/52ab8344-01f9-11e8-8acf-ad2991367d9d_story.html?utm_term=.a922ce0f3e81

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