(You too, Reuben..)
1 The persistence and peril of bad ideas. Civilizations and societies fail in part because terrible ideas take root in the public square, become exploited by cynical and unscrupulous elites and power-seekers, and lead to policy and cultural disasters. The nation’s gradual acceptance of illegal immigration is such an idea: when the pluses and minuses of the Trump Presidency are finally totaled and compared, no one will be able to deny that taking a direct stand against illegal immigration without compromise or weasel words will be one of Donald Trump’s positive legacies.
Nonetheless, the news media continues to indoctrinate the public with the toxic concept that illegal immigration is acceptable, against all logic and experience. In yet another “good illegal immigrant” story—frankly, I’m sick of writing about them—the New York Times gives us this:
Like many of the immigrants detained this way, Mr. de Oliveira, a house painter, had no criminal history. To the Trump administration, the other thing they had in common was more germane: a legal but, until now, unenforced obligation to leave the country that had stuck to them for years, even as they pieced together lives and families in the United States.
In the later years of the Obama administration, the government mostly left people without criminal records alone, focusing instead on immigrants who had only recently arrived or had been convicted of serious crimes.
But the Trump administration emphasizes that everyone living here illegally is fair game for deportation, a policy that has bumped up immigration arrests by more than 40 percent since the beginning of 2017. Those who were ordered out of the country years ago are especially easy marks for an agency with limited resources for enforcement — especially if they walk straight into an immigration office.
Boy, that mean, mean Trump administration, insisting that aliens who steal a place in this country along with its benefits should have to return it even if they don’t break any more laws. There is literally no logical or legally coherent argument or rationale to support any other position. I have never heard one, read one, or been able to imagine one. Would people support a policy that allowed citizens to keep the loot they stole in a single felony as long as they never broke another law? Perhaps they would, if politicians, big business advocates for cheap labor and unethical journalists kept promoting the idea over years and decades.
2. And then there are media-fed false narratives. On Headline News this morning, Lovely Robin and her cohorts were reviewing Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and picking their favorites. Who cares, at this pathetic stage of Time’s existence, what that rag decides? One of Robin’s colleagues designated Chloe Kim, the 17-year-old medal-winning Olympic snowboarder, as his favorite among the hundred. Does anyone really believe a teenage snowboarder is one of the 10,000 most influential people in the US, much less in the top 100? Is Time’s 100 really a list of “people most likely to be on “Dancing with the Stars”? Has any medal-winner in a Winter Olympics ever been particularly influential, except maybe in the Ice Capades?
Robin Meade, for her part, designated the anti-gun Parkland kids, who Time embarrassed by representing with this awful, pompous, menacing photograph:
They look like potential home invaders: if I see kids with those expressions hanging around my property, I’m getting a gun. The HLN crew gushed about how amazing it was that these mere kids could all by themselves use social media and spark a movement virtually overnight! This is quite literally fake news. Take away the millions of dollars they received from celebrities, the organization by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other Democratic Party operatives, and the complicity of the news media that gave them weeks of high-profile interviews and TV appearance without subjecting them to such inconveniences as fact-checks and critical rebuttals, and these five would be appropriately unknown, and getting on with their lives. It is dishonest and misleading to tell TV audiences that the young Parkland anti-gun bullies were more than mouthpieces cleverly exploited by anti-gun activists who don’t care if the high-intensity glare of publicity warps these children’s lives, as I strongly suspect it will.
3. A Pew survey, for what its worth: A new Pew Research Center survey found that the majority of Americans—about 60%— oppose action by the U.S. government that might also limit freedom of expression online, but are more open to action from technology companies protecting us from internet-delivered “fake news.” I find it horrifying that the 60% number is so low, and that so many —56%—would trust the tech companies to filter our information and communications. Not surprisingly, Democrats, members of that party once known for championing liberal values, are more in favor of both kinds of censorship than Republicans; indeed without the 60% majority of Democrats who want Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Google to decide what we should read online, the over-all figure would be anti-tech Big Brotherism.
In the surprising good news category, younger Americans are less supportive of tech company oversight than older Americans, perhaps because older Americans don’t know what the tech companies do. Not so surprising is Pew’s conclusion that the less educated an American is, the less likely he or she is to see the dangers of letting the government or tech companies control the flow of information. Those with a high school degree or less support such oversight 50% to 44% (the missing 6%, I guess, doesn’t understand the question), while grad school-educated Americans, those more likely to know what the Bill of Rights says, oppose government and tech company oversight by more than a 2 to 1 margin. This kind of divide is why both parties pitch their misleading rhetoric at the least intelligent and most ignorant among us.
The whole survey is here.
4. Too stupid to ignore, too absurd not to be funny: According to a new book about Hillary’s Clinton’s campaign, when she was told that she had lost the election, she said, ‘They were never going to let me be President.’” Wow. And they say Trump is deranged. Ethical values implicated: Honesty, accountability, respect, fairness, competence, and citizenship.
5. More on Prof. Jarrar…Ann Althouse, whose iconoclastic, non-ideological analysis frequently meshes nicely with mine, has seldom been more misguided than in her defense of the Fresno CSU prof who tweeted out gratuitous hate toward Barbara Bush on the day the former First Lady died. As a former prof herself, Ann’s orientation is understandable, but still dead wrong.
Dismissing calls to fire Jarrar, she writes in part,
I was taught as a child not to react to attention-seekers because you’ll only encourage them, and Jarrar’s tweeted remarks on the death of Barbara Bush were, to me, the perfect example of the sort of thing you really ought to ignore…People got mad and actually incited the university to “review” Jarrar, who is a tenured professor. ..It’s really a wonder we’ve kept the idea of freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech has nothing to do with this episode. I don’t call for Jarrar to be fired: I couldn’t care less if the school wants it known that they hire vicious, illogical, hyper-partisan jerks who embrace guilt by association. Be my guest: let’s see how many parents want to shell out $20,361 (out of state tuition is $32,241) per year to have their child indoctrinated by such an irresponsible institution. I did write that I would fire her, because her tweets are signature significance: she can’t be trusted as an employee or a teacher. She is free to tweet what she wants, and the rest of the world is free to make fair judgments about her accordingly.