Tuesday assorted links

1. Rich Lowry on separating families, a contrarian view.  Some good points on broader context, but in my view even if he is completely right this is still a major PR disaster for the United States.  Nor does the law have to be the way it is.  Here is more on the precedents of family separation.  This is a longstanding issue.

2. Daniel Klein criticizes Jordan Peterson’s PoMo bashing.

3. A meta-analysis on whether education improves intelligence.

4. Uber is hiring economists.

5. Canadian court recognizes three legal parents.

6. IBM debater (NYT).


#1 - It seems that for the author of the current family separation "crisis," bad PR is the goal, not a problem


In the 2016 Presidential Election campaign if it wasn't for bad press Trump would have had no press at all.

Trump 2020!

The desperate, drooling dems think they will win on this bull shit in November.

Breitbart would beg to differ.

Or do you not consider them part of the press?


Concomitantly, a minute ago, I saw on Facebook a picture (posted by my vet hospital) a picture of an albino giraffe.

Or Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, ... Need I go on?

Separating families: Does this concern include the recently jailed Paul Manafort?

A simple and logical solution to the separation of families crossing the border. Book them, fingerprint them, take mug shots. Then warn them that they broke a law and if they return they will be prosecuted for a felony and open the border gate and push them back where they came from. Make it a policy that all illegal ialiens must be returned within 24 hours.

This essentially is what happens, unless they claim amnesty. That's when the problem arises.

"Concomitantly ..." hahahahahaha ...

How is this being reported in the countries of origin for most of our illegal immigrants? On some level, it's extremely important that this message get out there: "If you love your children, don't be stupid! Don't do this to them! Don't try to enter the US illegally. Follow the law."

Maybe that's bad PR for the US, but parents who are considering attempting to evade border control and immigrate to the US illegally should be aware of the consequences of that decision and -- hopefully -- deterred from breaking the law.

Let's have speeders executed in the street by the police when they are pulled over. If their kids happen to be with them, well sorry kid you have to see mommy and daddy's heads blown off. Parents, if you're thinking of speeding leave your kids at home! That's all on you, not the policy!

You . . . you do realise, don't you, that people are sometimes put in jail for speeding? And, ah, that when this happens, they are separated from their children? Yes, that *is* on you for doing something dumb when you have children to think about.

(Yes, yes, I know it's unpaid tickets for speeding that people get jailed for most of the time, but the underlying offense is still just speeding.)

If you are pulled over for drunk driving, you absolutely will be jailed and the children will be removed from your custody.

But will there be a photo op of your kids crying?

Ohhh well then let's do a zero tolerance for speeding policy. Arrest and prosecute all speeders and throw their kids in foster care regardless of the human cost.

There already is a zero tolerance policy, we don't just let parents go for DUIs and other traffic offenses if they have children

There's a huge number of people with DUI's on their record. There's a huge number of people with kids who have DUIs on their record. The portion who lost their kids due to the DUI are a very small subset.

Can anyone point to a time series that actually presents the data about children separated from their families over time (preferably a few Obama years and the Trump years)? I see numbers from DHS presented here and there, so they must be coming from somewhere; I just haven't found the source. Also, here is an interesting graph on the trend in criminal prosecution of border crossing, comparing Obama to Bush 2. I find that most Trump-haters found the pro-immigrant religion (which good on them) only after Obama was out of office.


That shows prosecutions not separations. You can be released and prosecuted. So we'd need to know how many were (groups with children detained + prosecuted) or separated since they are the same thing.

Aren't "family detention" and "family separation" different things?


There are overlapping issues to be sure, but there is no denying that the policy of aggressive separation is new.

They even invented a new word: unaccompaning.

That is when you break a group and call a kid unaccompanied.

The policy was to immediately release family units and to not prosecute adult members of family units who crossed the border illegally.

That was the policy. You’re either being obtuse, lying, or trolling.

Due to Flores v Reno, you cannot hold minors for more than 20 days.

You have two options: immediately release family units, who will fade into the Hispanic community if their amnesty chances do not look good, or separate children from whatever adult they are traveling with.

The third option is the one that is moral: do not keep laws on the books which you have a moral issue with enforcing.

Open the damn border and let these families in.

What did I lie about?

Aren't "family detention" and "family separation" different things?

Even if Flores didn’t exist, the government would be very constrained in how many family units it can accommodate. ICE has only about 3,000 family spaces in shelters. It is also limited in its overall space at the border, which is overwhelmed by the ongoing influx. This means that — whatever the Trump administration would prefer to do — many adults are still swiftly released.

In some circumstances not returning library books is a crime. Yet libraries have very limited space to hold the thousands of families that don't return books properly. Therefore there's no choice but to rip the children away from book mooches or set aside hundreds of billions of dollars so libraries can build massive family jail cells above their facilities.

These were pretty good links, but in the second one, I think that immigration lawyer accidentally on purpose mixed up policies of family detention with separation.

If we really had to detain families, we could just spend money and do that. We are separating because we are doing it on the cheap. Boys in cages.

Boon you’re making my own argument for me.

It’s not worth the human cost at all to enforce these laws.

To further your analogy, it’s closer to:

11 million people live with stolen books from libraries. 100,000 more every month.

The chance of being caught is small. However, although the selection is arbitrary the consequences of punishment are brutal and devastating.

11 million people also have to steal others’ identities to continue living in the shadows simply because they have a library book.

Amnesty and open the border. Every day that we wait one more family gets screwed over.

There is a moderate center who wants formal immigration procedures, rule of law, and no kids in cages. That ain't it.

"There is a moderate center who wants formal immigration procedures, rule of law, and no kids in cages."

How can we have formal immigration procedures and rule of law when non-detained illegal immigrants by and large simply opt out of showing up for court?

Seriously Thomas? How can we have a law against jaywalking when people jaywalk?

The analogy would be, "how can we have jaywalking enforcement when the people who jaywalk have nothing to lose by not attending court, and we release them on their own recognizance by default". The answer, of course, is that we can't. You won't answer the question because you don't want to admit that your "centrism" is actually de facto open borders.

False choice as the library example demonstrates. While it is technically 'the law' that libraries could do many more criminal charges than they do, it does not mean we are not enforcing the laws about stealing books from the library. It does mean that enforcement is on a continuum with the idea you should get the most good from the least amount of effort. Probably 80% of library books are *not* stolen simply due to the library suspending the cards of people who aren't returning the books and sending them polite notes. The call to the police should be not even 0.1% of cases, but it need not be 0%.

AS I pointed out below, you can easily design a soft policy that limits immigration but doesn't require us to behave like East Germany.

"It does mean that enforcement is on a continuum with the idea you should get the most good from the least amount of effort."

Do you support deportation of illegal immigrants? If not, where on the spectrum of justice does 'not having to return the book you stole' fall?

"the library suspending the cards of people who aren't returning the books and sending them polite notes."

What is the analogous penalty to having your library card cancelled for illegal immigrants who enter illegally? How about those who skip court?

"AS I pointed out below, you can easily design a soft policy that limits immigration but doesn't require us to behave like East Germany."

You 'point it out' but you can't articulate what it is because without force the government enforce the law and you advocate a no-force policy on illegal immigration - no detention, no deportation. As always, you are profoundly dishonest.

"Do you support deportation of illegal immigrants?"

Sure, see my suggested policy below.

BTW, are you under the impression that under Obama, Bush and Clinton there were zero deportations? That the US-Mexican border consisted of a sign attached to a wood stake and nothing else? That ICE's budget was $0 per year until Trump took office? Please move beyond the straw men.

I’m just following the arguments as made. The left seems to have evolved on this issue and now it is a crime against humanity to deport or detain illegal immigrant families.

AS I pointed out elsewhere, if the US decided to push arrest and criminal charges on every speeder, there would be thousands of children left without parents. Ditto for people that don't return library books. The decision to file criminal charges all the time for the purpose to terrorize people's children as a deterrent is immoral and wrong. It can be stopped just as easily as it was started, without changing a single law.

You need to spell it out, Boonton. You've been pretty clear, but type the words: you want no penalty for illegal immigration. open borders.

I'll ask again are there no penalties for speeding or taking stuff from the library? If you really pushed those buttons hard enough is there no chance you might not end up in jail and if you have children have no one to take them?

Stop with the open borders bullshit. We didn't have open borders a year ago, four years ago, eight years ago etc. While hardly perfect even rolling back the clock slightly would hardly be an embrace of open borders.

The third option is the one that is moral: do not keep laws on the books which you have a moral issue with enforcing. Open the damn border and let these families in.

That's idiotic. There are 4.4 billion people in the "developing world." Probably 30 - 40% of them would emigrate to the US, Canada, and Europe if they could. And that would be the literal end of the US, Canada and Europe.

It's very likely that a small fraction would have the means and the inclination to move to the US. However, we certainly should allow more immigrants into the country though to keep strategic parts of our economy ahead of our competitors.

Pre-1980 the US-Mexican border was essentially open. Net migration was marginal even though living standards in the US exceeded Mexico's for a long, long time. There's more money to be made living in the US but it also costs a lot more as well. The world isn't coming to the US with open borders anymore than all of the US population is going to migrate to NYC.

But lots of people apply for lotteries etc., right? It's just that a lot of people are law abiding and won't come illegally.

Well the other natural experiment we have is Puerto Rico where the borders are 100% open between the island and mainland. Last I checked their population hasn't zeroed out.

This too is consistent with what I said:

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

"Open the damn border and let these families in."

Why? So you don't feel sad.

They drag their children 500 miles when they [as required by the treaty] should ask for asylum in Mexico.

They are just economic migrants who ruthlessly use heir children to gain US admittance. [of course a good number are just coyotes, not parents of the children at all.]

A DNA test is like $50 tops and takes a day or two, right? Shouldn't a parenthood test be the very first step in the procedure?

It has occurred to me, other anonymous, that they've messed up this splitting of families and small children so badly that they will need a big DNA project to get them back together again.

OK DNA test came back - the kids are legitimate offspring of the parents. The parents are still being held for criminal proceedings for illegal entry. We don't hold the kids "in cages". What do we do now?

So, after all this, would you believe "family detention" is actually cheaper than "family separation?" Apparently so. It just doesn't scale so fast, so separate infants with the possibility that they'll never be matched with parents ever again.


"bad PR is the goal, "

Yes, its a warning to people not to drag their children 500 miles as props.

You should really think more about that.

What you are endorsing is not a punishment for anyone found guilty by a court of law. You are talking about infants and small children separated from mothers as they are charged, not found guilty, for a misdemeanor.

Should the white women in your town lose babies on the same basis?

Isn't that what is happening right now, and pretty much forever? If a white woman breaks the law, she goes to jail without her children.

I would hope not. I would hope that mothers were sent home on their own recognizance unless their misbehavior represented a danger to others, including their children.

(I assume Bob started as a fairly normal guy, but this is actually how an idiot-authoritarian drags people even close to the same condition along with him. We start punishing children when their parents are suspected of lying about their persecution and asylum request.)

2. "I find Peterson, Saad, Dennis Prager, and other PoMo-bashers stimulating, charismatic,
often inspiring. I share a classical liberal political outlook. But in making sense of challenges
facing liberalism, the PoMo bashing is misleading. It dumbs down understanding of the
challenges. By positing a demon that believes an absurdity ("no interpretation better than
another"), PoMo-bashing gives easy hope of correcting the belief and undoing the demon"

#1- Like most news, the whole "separating families" issue is quite simply an elaborate lie. There's basically a set of loopholes in our current immigration policy and those are the actual cause for the current policy. Trump is not doing anything "radical" or extraordinary. He is basically trying to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country. That is basically it. Children being separated from parents is a very unfortunate consequence of their parents choice. On top of all of that, you have that irresponsible/irrational push back from people who say "let them in" without really coming out for free borders. It is truly an empty debate, and Dems are definitely using this as a political weapon.

It's amusing to read a comment that begins complaining about an 'elaborate lie' and ends with a false choice between free borders or separating children from their parents.


That is BS and you know it.

LOL, the hypocrisy.

Lowry proposed a very simple solution- Congress passes a law to increase funding for border enforcement (or whatever the exact agency is) and gives the government the legal authority to hold child for as long as they hold their parents, so that they can hold them together. Maybe it is the case that Democrats are really trying to make that deal, but I highly doubt it (and I am a partisan for Democrats, voted for Hillary, etc., so its not like I am some conservative who only sees evil and mendacity in the left.) It seems to me that the observation that Democrats want to use this as a political weapon is likely to contain a large degree of truth. If Democrats truly believed this to be as morally outrageous as they claim, they would put aside partisan advantage and just pass a simple bill that gives the government the resources and legal authority to detain families as a unit. As Lowry points out, the only alternative to not breaking up families without that additional funding and authority is to essentially let the families stay in the US indefinitely, regardless as to whether they are doing in so in accordance with US law, which appears to be what the Democrats want (though for political reasons, as Democrats seem to fear that if they actually admitted that we should have border enforcement they would receive negative press, protests, etc., a lot of Democrats just 10 years ago are on record saying that an amnesty for real immigration enforcement deal is something that they would gladly accept).

Good post, I agree. I was pointing out Dick's own personal hypocrisy, as he's one of the biggest BS artists here.

OK - I'm six-foot and 200 lb - all 68 year old muscle.

Dick, overcompensating much?

Lowry proposed a very simple solution- Congress passes a law to increase funding for border enforcement (or whatever the exact agency is) and gives the government the legal authority to hold child for as long as they hold their parents, so that they can hold them together.

Question: Someone pull me the border enforcement spending today versus 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. Adjust for inflation, has it decreased or stayed the same?

Do you have to actually pull the numbers to know the answer?

Here's a simple solution.

You show up at the border, not a criminal, not a known terrorist, etc. You register and get 6 months 'free'. At the end of 6 months, you can reset your 6 months by leaving the US for at least 90 days or you can pay $2500 for another 6 months.

If you ignore the 6 month limit and overstay then your subject to being deported and after a 3 year ban, you can come back under the 6 month visa system but now you pay $3500 every 6 months.

Border patrol should be about welcoming visitors to the country, screening for actual criminals and terrorists, and facilitating commerce. It's not supposed to be a mobilized armed force but a subdivision of the Chamber of Commerce & Department of Tourism.

You’re going to force families with young children to go back and forth across the border?

How can kids go to school if every 6 months they have to leave for 90 days?

And then what, we have to deport millions of families ?

One thing you might be missing is that families applying for political asylum may be housed, voluntarily, pending their claim.

They might agree to that, if the alternative is immediate return.

You wouldn't really need political asylum anymore than someone being 'persecuted' in New York needs to apply to New Jersey for asylum. If the home country is so bad stay in the US and pay $2500 every 6 months.

The question of political persecution would be raised, if necessary, when it comes to deportations but economically my proposal would work a lot better with asylum issues.

Not that I disagree with your suggested policy, but could you imagine a single Democrat voting for this?

Yes and I can more easily see it than the current regime in Congress and the White House voting for it. If you're not disagreeing then what exactly are you doing?

"You’re going to force families with young children to go back and forth across the border? How can kids go to school if every 6 months they have to leave for 90 days?"

Actually the school year is typically about 175-180 days so a 6 month window would work.

Before the 1980's the borders are enforced roughly the way speed limits on rural roads are enforced at 2AM. Migration was almost net zero. People would cross the border for either day work or a few months of seasonal work and would then return to their families. Children would most likely remain at home.

But here it is pretty simple, what is the benefit of living and working full time in the US? Is it $416 a month ($2500 / 6 months)? If it is then they would just pay $2500 a month because not doing it would put them at risk of having their lives screwed up for 3 years plus afterwards paying a higher rate.

If you want do what health insurance does. Charge a lower rate for children, say $750.

So when 99% of the families say no thanks we rather live here in the shadows until the next amnesty bill ?

You’re coming up with laudable ideas in theory, I just don’t think any poor immigrant family would follow the law.

Now we’re back to families in cages and deportations.

The problem is the border and a law that, as of today’s polling, 2/3 of America refuses to agree to enforcing.

If you use your jaywalking analogy, then ok. Now let’s say we have 30 million people living in the shadows in a gray market economy. Limited rights, two tiers of populations. They can’t be deported, they get a ticket. Of course they don’t show to court.

Much easier to just let them in and make them citizens. You’re going to anyways with another amnesty bill, or another DACA, so just skip the humiliation/inhumanity part and go straight to citizenship.

Wouldn't Democrats need to control the House, a supermajority in the Senate, and the White House to pass an amnesty bill? I suspect that it will be a while before we see that constellation again.

If you use your jaywalking analogy, then ok. Now let’s say we have 30 million people living in the shadows in a gray market economy. Limited rights, two tiers of populations. They can’t be deported, they get a ticket. Of course they don’t show to court.

We already have those people. They're US citizens that can't pass a background check for employment, housing or a loan.

"So when 99% of the families say no thanks we rather live here in the shadows until the next amnesty bill ?"

You don't think your living in your country is worth $2500 every 6 months? I feel bad for you.

Let's do a reality check. Some people may like living 'off the grid' their whole lives but that does get tiresome after a while...especially if getting on the grid is not all that taxing.

You show up at the hospital ER - do they have to treat you? This is a serious question: my wife works at a hospital in SW New Mexico which is being crushed by the costs from pregnant women who cross the border to give birth in the US, and are not only uninsured and unable to pay, but also cannot be bothered to fill out and file a couple of forms so that the hospital can get a partial payment from state programs. They have no SSN, no address, and often provide only a name (no ID), so you cannot put the debt in collections - not that it would do you any good.

So what do you suggest? Do these hospitals go bankrupt? Do they have to check your immigration status before they treat you? More broadly, who bears the cost of social services that these immigrants would consume?

Also, under your proposal, what happens if a mother gives birth in the US, and then 6 months later does not renew? Do you deport the child too (it is a US citizen)?

Immigrants, illegal and not, do not get Medicaid but they can have emergency Medicaid which would only cover a crises like having a heart attack in the street or going into labor but wouldn't cover you after that. What happens if you go on vacation to Europe and get hit by a car or have a stroke?

What happens if a US woman goes to Mexico, gets pregnant and has a baby there but then gets hit by a bus. Does the Mexican father get citizenship so he can come here? Does the baby have to wait to return to the US despite being a US citizen? The law would work that out.

I would say in the case of the mother who overstays the 6 months and refuses to pay you could work that the way the library works unreturned books or motor vehicles works people who don't renew their license. You could hit her with escalating criminal sanctions that would allow her to care for the baby, mostly, but mess her life up. (Examples, probation, claiming tax returns, bank accounts, other property, community service, locking you up on weekends, maybe longer sentences etc.). The nice thing about the 'library fine' model is most of the time people will align with the system because it's not worth the pain to keep poking the system in the eye when the cost of compliance is not that bad.

I can't promise that no one will never ever push the system to the limit. There will probably always be someone who will turn a $0.49 stamp into a major Federal Case but it won't be the norm.

If Democrats truly believed this to be as morally outrageous as they claim, they would put aside partisan advantage and just pass a simple bill that gives the government the resources and legal authority to detain families as a unit.

Excuse me, but the Democrats don't control Congress. That seems like a flaw in your plan.

Another flaw is that Trump is apparently trying to use these kids as hostages to get his idiotic wall and a host of other xenophobic laws.

Our current laws simply don't provide a "middle ground". Or to be more precise, the middle ground is basically Obama's status quo which was simply not deterring illegal immigration. The only real middle ground would be new legislation that allows border enforcement to either return illegals immediately (including asylum seekers that don't qualify) and at the same time allow families to be detained together while awaiting for any legal procedure for cases that cannot be decided on the spot.

They already had a plan in place for illegal families, immigration courts. The Trumpy change is referring them to federal courts now:


I agree with P Burgos above, the Dems are using this as a political gift but the Reps are the ones giving them the gift. And before you call 'gotcha' on the Dems making political hay, let's not pretend the Reps don't do the exact same thing. That's our polarized world, no one wants to do what's right if it helps the other team.

Republicans play the same game, that's for sure. But to be clear, immigration courts were not working because people would be let go while waiting for trials and simply not show up. That is just not something we can go back to if we really want to enforce our immigration laws...

Isn't all this still against the background of negative net immigration from Mexico and South America?

Yes, we are experiencing a net outflow of illegal, undocumented workers from America back to Mexico

So what's the logic, that we have to be especially cruel now that we're winning?

Anonymous, this is even idiotic for your usual level of confirmation bias.

Indeed from the very article you link:
"The overall number of illegal immigrants in the United States — from all countries of origin — held steady from 2009 to 2014 at around 11 million, Pew estimates."

The US has had roughly 11 million illegal immigrants for a decade. There hasn't been any significant negative immigration.

The article discussed Mexicans, not those from Central America.

Its people from Honduras et al not Mexico that are the largest illegal immigrant category.

My recollection is that they are all in decline, and why wouldn't they be? Opinion of the US is falling in these countries, and Trump and Trumpites are making it clear who is not welcome.

The question is whether they really need to go to this level of cruelty is necessary.

(Mexican government reports that a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome was separated from her mother. )

"they are all in decline, and why wouldn't they be?"

They're not, and the reason is simple. Compare GDP/capita in each country. People are not idiots, they know in the U.S. you get free handouts etc.

Yes, if you want to enforce your laws you do in fact have to enforce your laws, even if people suffer (modestly) from their own bad choices.

Then I don't understand either one of you. My links support what I said.

Net negative immigration (even if at small net levels) and falling attempts at the border.

Your links don't discuss Central Americans

What a weirdo. You argue the opposite of Politifact, which says:

Kind said more unauthorized Mexican immigrants are returning to Mexico than coming into the U.S.

Immigration data gathered by a respected group shows that is an accurate synopsis of the trend since 2007.

We rate Kind’s statement True.

And you blame your disagreement with Politifact on me.

Learn how to read, he's not arguing the opposite of Politifact. Your quote is in no way contradictory to what he said.

Then we all agree. Illegal immigration is falling.

Dude, seriously. Illegal immigration *FROM MEXICO* is falling. Illegal immigration *FROM ALL COUNTRIES COMBINED* is level. Not that complicated.

So you aren't worried about families intercepted at the southern border any more?

From the cited article: "Overall, illegal immigration was largely static from 2009 to 2014, as the drop in Mexican immigration was mostly offset by an increase from other areas, such as Central America and Asia."

So .. not the Hispanic families?

More data:

Arrests along the Southwest border fell by nearly 24 percent in fiscal 2017

This figure is generally used as a benchmark for measuring illegal immigration overall at the Southwest border. Through the first four months of the Trump presidency, the number of people arrested dropped by 40 percent compared to the same period the year before, which means there were fewer illegal immigrants to arrest.


So that's even better than what I said. That is falling attempts at border crossings.

As though we have any idea what the baseline number is. You have to have a breathtaking faith in government to imagine that they could count them, or have any motivation to.

I don't think they're making libertarians like they used to ...


You are theoretically right. In a vacuum, we could pass a law overturning the Flores agreement and allow families to be detained together indefinitely.

But let’s be honest, the number of Dems who would vote for that is zero.

So yes, the current dilemma is between separating families and open borders.

What % or deportation judgements for “asylum seekers” do you think are in absentia? You’re being deliberately obtuse.

Change the damn law and let them in. All this bs about asylum, we are causing such a massive waste of resources: ICE, federal immigration courts, border patrol...the mind boggles.

The cost of unskilled labor will go down even farther if we let them in. Everyone wins.

Okay, but you don't need any Dem votes to pass this. If you get to the point that Dems are fillibustering this in the Senate, then maybe you have a talking point. Until then, this is all on the Republicans and administration. And they've held all 3 branches for over a year now so really no excuse for not having the right legislation in place.

Good point about Republicans having the votes to pass this. Why they don't is something that I don't entirely understand, as it would seem to me to be very good politics and also a policy win for them. Would Democrats really filibuster a bill that dramatically increased funding for border enforcement and ICE that kept the families together? They might, but they would look awfully bad doing so. The more I learn about this issue, the more it looks like 11 dimensional chess and the less respect and confidence I have in US politicians (not that it was very high to begin with, but more information confirming my prior assumption).

+1 to mpowell and P Burgos. It seems the GOP is positioning this as a "bundle" of legislation that addresses these humanitarian issues while simultaneously tightening the border (i.e. wall.) Why don't they craft such a bill and pass it? If the Trump wave is to be believed, it's a political winner.

No one ever seriously contemplated sending 11 million illegals home. Something like 8 million of these people work, and we all like nice strawberries etc, so a path here makes sense, but only if combined with tighter controls going forward.

They don't even need the votes. Just like DACA, Trump needs to propose to give them everything they want and a bit more. Suddenly you don't hear another word about DACA. It's almost like it was more about pissing and moaning than about DACA.

"The cost of unskilled labor will go down even farther if we let them in. Everyone wins."
Well, except for unskilled laborers...

"So yes, the current dilemma is between separating families and open borders."

In some circumstances, not returning library books is a crime. But libraries have limited space and cannot jail thousands of families of book mooches. Therefore we must have library police rip babies away from book mooching mammas OR spend billions installing thousands of family sized jail cells above all libraries. Anything less means libraries aren't enforcing the rules.

I'm confused. If someone is stealing library books the police arrest them and their children are separated from them.

More likely the police will issue them a summons to appear in court a few weeks to a few months into the future.

How is this anything but an argument to not enforce immigration law, aka open borders?

How? Because you lack the reading comprehension to follow an argument.

Are libraries empty because people rob them blind? No. Do we have a library police force and system of detention camps breaking down the doors of book moochers? No. Yet amazingly it is illegal to steal from the library AND the law is enforced.

The actual police serve as the library police force.

Actually, nobody wins and everybody loses because the U.S. falls apart, killing the goose that laid the golden eggs

Yep, falls apart.

Just like with the Irish.

And the Italians.

And Eastern Europeans.

And Jewish refugees.

And chicanos.

And Chinese Americans.

And the scary boat people from Vietnam.

But sure, they wrong about this every time so far. But this time...!

The governments at all levels of the United States obviously can't continue to spend $22k per capita for an unlimited number of residents...

They may have been wrong every time before and they may be wrong now but eventually they will be right. When?

The difference is that all the ones you cite are/were legal and controlled. Stop accusing people you disagree with (or arguments you can’t understand) as being racist.

You're the one who used the R word. I merely listed examples of the many times this argument has been used before, and America clearly has not fallen apart.

Thomas, there is clearly an answer to your point.

1. Block grant Medicaid to the states, per citizen not per capita
2. Block grant TANF and Section 8 to the states, per citizen not per capita
3. Phase out these programs by changing the % of federal vs state money over the next 25 years. By 2045, or whatever, it is entirely 100% state money
4. Restrict franchise to property owners who are net tax payers and military veterans

the end

Hmm, you didn’t seem to grasp my distinction between legal / controlled immigration (your examples) and illegal / uncontrolled. Don’t feel bad, after years of media conditioning (‘undocumented workers’ and all that) most people don’t seem to understand the distinction. Anyway, is your proposal an attempt to resolve Milton Friedman’s observation that ‘you can have open borders or you can have a welfare state but you can’t have both’? Since your proposal has zero chance of implementation let’s not open the borders, much simpler.

2. Klein has been taken in. The pomos talk out of both sides of their mouths. https://philpapers.org/archive/SHATVO-2.pdf

The Peterson worshippers are the ones who are being duped. How often will they encounter oppression by transgender pronouns in life?

Trump's policy has only one real purpose, which is to inflict suffering on migrant and asylum seekers so as to both delight his base and terrify potential immigrants.
All of Lowry's evasions and lies doesn't change that fact.

I think a good first step toward making political debate more civil — and more conducive to improving policies — would be for everyone to stop asserting that they know the motives of other people.

Assuming that no one here is either Donald Trump or an actual mind reader, then no one here knows exactly what motivates this policy.

The most civil thing is to speak the truth clearly.
We do know exactly what excites and animates Trump's base, and that is animosity to immigrants. No mind reading necessary, they advertise it freely.

...and clearly you just like the smell of your own brand of smug.

If you think he's being smug, doesn't that mean you think he's essentially right, just being a dick about it?
Are you conceding that he's right?

No, he's wrong and he's smug in his ignorance. It's lazy bigotry to declare that all of Trump's base is hostile to immigrants & delights in their suffering .

First, this is specifically about illegal immigrants. Second, there's absolutely no chance the "base" completely agrees on anything. Indeed, a bunch of prominent Republican's have spoken out against the policy and several Republican Senators are already pushing to change the law.

But hey if you want to be bigot, then knock yourself out.

Those Republicans who disagree with Trump's immigration policies aren't Trump's "base". There are lots of Republicans who don't support Trump, as you well know. Trump's "base" consists of his diehard supporters (generally what people call a "base" in politics - people who are dedicated to voting a certain way and unlikely to change), not the Republican party in general. But you know that.

"Those Republicans who disagree with Trump's immigration policies aren't Trump's "base"."

Here's evidence that directly refutes that assertion:
"Rep. Mark Meadows, the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is offering a new bill that that would allow children to be detained indefinitely with their parents, would raise the threshold for asylum seekers and is a far more limited in scope than two other pieces of legislation GOP leaders hope to bring to the floor this week."


I'm definitely not part of Trump's base, but completely agree with him that we have to prevent masses of illegal immigrants from invading. It's a pity that so-called liberals have become so extreme on this issue.

I'm the biggest BS artist around.

So, here goes. There is legal and there is illegal.

If these families (sure!) are fleeing for their lives, they should be accorded asylum in and by Mexico, or Venezuela, or Costa Rica, or Cuba . . .

They travel what? 800 miles through Mexico because Americans give them the most money and you knuckle-dragging, drooling Dems need more dependable, dependent voters.

And, you are correct. Most of us are opposed to any form of amnesty for illegals. It rewards bad behavior. If that stand makes us BAD people, that's your problem. That's how Donald J. Trump got to be President. And, how he will be re-elected in 2020.

Illegal immigrants should NOT get to make asylum claims AT ALL. You want to make an asylum claim, do it legally!

Just as the clear truth is that what excites and animates judges who find people guilty is animosity to fellow humans. Not rule of law.

Anyone who takes their bias and prefaces it with "The most civil thing is to speak the truth clearly" is a worthless piece of trash. If you said that at a bar I'd likely punch you in the face.

And I support open borders and didn't vote for trump, so congrats.

"All of Lowry's evasions and lies doesn't change that fact."

I'm a libertarian who would prefer much more open immigration in principle, but what, exactly, are Lowry's 'lies and evasions'? I felt like I understood the nuts-and-bolts of the situation better for having read his piece. What did he get wrong?

Lowry tries to make the case that this is not a willful choice, that somehow it is mandated either by Flores or law, neither of which is true.
He states that the administration " desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly."

This is a baldfaced lie.

The larger evasion is related, which is motive. he wants us to believe that somehow this is a neutral enforcement of law, when it was a deliberate policy to inflict suffering.

Again, Donald Trump is president today only because he broke out of the pack by braying his hatred of Mexican immigrants, and his support directly correlates to animosity to them. It is his open animosity that courts noted in overturning his Muslim ban.

Yes, last year, IIRC, administration officials said the policy was intended to be a "deterrent". If something doesn't cause suffering, it isn't much of a deterrent.

The deterrent is prosecuting the adults, not separating the families

You are the liar. Trump did not "bray his hatred of Mexican immigrants"! In fact he said he loves the Mexican people and Hispanics. What he criticized was ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

"When Mexico sends it people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people"

Sounds like he hates most Mexican immigrants to me.

He is talking about illegal immigrants from Mexico. Either that or what, people Mexico dropped into the U.S. on parachutes?

He states that the administration desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly. This is a baldfaced lie.

Is it? Why? I believe the administration would prefer to hold entire families while asylum claims were being processed. Why wouldn't they? Certainly, they'd greatly prefer that to having to release the kids or have HHS hold them separately (and they'd certainly prefer it to releasing entire families in the U.S.)

I don't doubt that the administration (and its supporters) hate illegal immigration (and don't like legal immigration much either), but I don't see any reason why that would mean that they actually like the current rules under the Flores amendment.

They like it because the prospect of losing one's children (or have them abused in custody - who the hell knows what could happen to them) is something that would scare parents away from coming to the US.

Ehhhh. No, I'm not buying it. My sense is that the admin wants to get rid of the incentive to bring kids along as a way of forcing a release during the asylum process, but I think the bad publicity over separations is hurting more than than any fear-factor impact is reducing the flow.

Put it this way, who would be more opposed to changing the law to allow families to be kept together in detention -- Democrats in Congress or the Trump administration? Unfortunately, I think it's the Democrats (who find the suffering useful as a way to embarrass Trump).

Peterson sets off my BS sensors, by being an academic who writes in dense academic text, but read mostly by laypeople who don't understand it, but find enough buzzwords to validate their pre-existing beliefs and find in it a Theory of Everything.

Peterson's ideas for synthesizing Sumerian mythos, Jungian psychology, Nietzche, etc is a little interesting but in the end its intellectually no different from a DJ at a local club banging together hits from 80s and 90s to produce a Friday night mix. Being a remix artist is fine way to make a living but its no substitute for originality.

Probably lots of what Peterson writes is BS but there is enough good stuff (at least 1/3) to justify reading his book.

There's still much better stuff to read if you're a young man looking to make an effort. For example "Extreme Ownership" by Jocko Wilink is a good one without the whining about postmodernism or other attempts to sneak in politics.

Dude, the fact that you compare these books tells everyone you haven’t read them.

100% disagree. I spent decades as a "scientific rationalist", but always with a nagging sense that there was something not quite right with that worldview.

The beauty of Peterson is that he absolutely understands history and science, and nothing in his worldview gainsays an intelligent understanding of history and science, but he's putting his finger on the same weakness I've always felt with this worldview in a way that resonates with me.

He doesn't have everything figured out be a long stretch, and he admits as much, but there is something important there at the core.

1. There are two different circumstances that are being conflated into one: children who come to the U.S. by themselves and mothers who come to the U.S. with their children. The children in both cases are "separated" from their families but only in the latter case is the separation the result of direct U.S. policy.


Of the 12,000 kids in detention (mostly teenagers), an overwhelming 10,000 of them traveled to the border without parents.

Actual separation in detention refers to 2000.

PR disaster for the United States? You mean, people won't want to come here anymore?

It's a good thing the US is the country that the people who want to change countries prefer to come to. Not that we should admit them all, but being the preferred destination is kind of the whole point. We have the best country in the world (for now). No one wants to emigrate to Bolivia, or Burundi, or Myanmar, you prefer that?

"best country in the world"... lol

Obviously I will respond, name one better.

Israelis seem to think Israel is pretty cool.

I bet if you ask the Germans, they'll tell you Germany is the best, most sensible, disciplined, ethical, and hardest working country in the world.

You're another one of those people who's so wrong it would take a whole book just to get you to wrong.

Most people think their own country is the best. But unless they are Americans, they are wrong.

So what does the A-G think, is the US the best country in the world? I think so.

Like I said, the problem is not that you're in error. It's that you're in a different ballpark, shouting the answers to questions nobody asked.

So you decline to answer the question? My point had to do with the comment that implied it would be a good thing if the US went from being a place everyone wanted to join to one few people did. To me, that's bad.

It would be a good thing if economic migrants from Central America stopped trying to sneak their entire family across Mexico and into the U.S.

Depends on the why. If they stopped trying because the US became just as shitty as all the other countries, I'm not so sure.

Maybe my sarcasm didn't come through. I highly doubt that this is a "major PR disaster," although the faculty lounge may be agitated. The proof will be in the pudding: on the day when immigrants stop wanting to come here, then I'll take Tyler's blathering about PR disasters seriously.

Israel and Germany are in fact pretty cool, which is why people are lining up to get into both countries. But a much larger number of people are trying to get into the United States. The market of voting with your feet says that the U.S. is the most desirable country in the world. It's a nice problem to have. We could be Madagascar.

Sure, but there is a huge logistics problem with our current laws that needs to be addressed. Especially with asylum seekers. The way this works now is basically a pseudo open borders for these people and that is why Trump has decided to work around it and has created this situation. Both Europe and the US need to be more explicit on their immigration policies and own it. What we have now is just a mish mash that allows people who are willing to break the law to benefit from something that law abiding immigrants don't.

Agreed, the current immigration system is a mess and needs fixing. The problem is, like so much else, the sides are too polarized and no one is willing to anger their base by compromising and actually making a deal. Look how the Reps treated the guys that tried to get an immigration overhaul accomplished (the Gang of Eight which included McCain and Rubio).

"PR disaster for the United States? You mean, people won't want to come here anymore?"

North Korea, East Germany, Cuba....these are all nations that have a habit of calling themselves great but no one really wants to go there (not on a permanent basis...a few curious types are willing to go to gawk). It's a sad thought that some people think a country like the US would do well to aspire to being the type of place no one wants to come too. Sadder yet that their President seems on track to accomplish almost nothing else but that.

"this is still a major PR disaster for the United States." Serious question for Tyler: has anyone changed from a pro Trump/USA opinion to a negative one because of this? Isn't this just another giant excersize in in confirmation bias by all concerned?

Has 'anyone'? Hard not to think someone has. There's a fair amount of condemnation from some evangelical Christians who probably were pretty pro-Trump before.

Most of the 'Evangelicals turning agianst Trump' in media stories never actually supported him, and the few actual supporters quoted who disapprove of the policy all still support Trump. See recenct Christian Science Monitor for perfect template for this.

"The Rev. Franklin Graham, one of the president’s most outspoken evangelical supporters, called the policy “disgraceful”. But he blames Washington politicians as a whole, not just Trump, whom he still supports.

Hardly. The 2016 election was an odd moment when Americans above a certain age snapped to, and recognized that they were being asked, for the only time in their lives - and certainly the last time - their opinion on immigration. It was a referendum. Trump himself was incidental, beyond the genuine novelty of his candor, and doesn't become more important to those blessed with a bit of common sense, just because he looms so large to the left. He is nothing to the rest of us.

Now why the Dems aren't more content to just bide their time until this cohort dies out, I dunno. They do themselves no favors in the short run, but it feels good, I guess.

it's generally not a good idea to ask Americans above a certain age, their opinion on anything that touches on race and ethnicity, I have found. Maybe the Democrats are just , you know, giving them some rope to hang themselves with.

You're suggesting that Democrats have given away the presidency, both houses of Congress, and a majority of state legislatures and governors' mansions as part of an elaborate plan?

Hardly. The 2016 election was an odd moment when Americans above a certain age snapped to, and recognized that they were being asked, for the only time in their lives - and certainly the last time - their opinion on immigration. It was a referendum. Trump himself was incidental, beyond the genuine novelty of his candor, and doesn't become more important to those blessed with a bit of common sense, just because he looms so large to the left. He is nothing to the rest of us.

So the 2016 election was about immigration? Or was it about 'draining the swamp'? Or was it about cheap healthcare for everyone? If it was a referendum what are we to make of the fact that Trump lost the popular vote?

"Now why the Dems aren't more content to just bide their time until this cohort dies out, I dunno. They do themselves no favors in the short run, but it feels good, I guess."

So the vision of Democracy Trump voters have is roughly:

"We won't defend our policies, we make no coherent arguments why they are good policies, we just want them. After we are dead please do as you please"?

And the opposition Party is supposed to what now? Not actually criticize the Party that's in office just like do nothing for 4 years...or 8 years...whenever you're scheduled to have the tube pulled by your annoying kids who are tired of you and would just like to get the inheritance going rather than waiting.

Well, as Chip Daniels points out, most of Trump's base appears to enjoy watching immigrants suffer, so probably not.

The terrible images from the media going around right now will have the effect of scaring would-be immigrants. Couldn't ask for a better gift for deplorables.

Exactly. Trump's base is composed of people who see images of crying children on television and think "good. that will scare away those low-IQ mexican rapists".

The scary images may help bring about the result of getting Palo Alto soccer moms to the polls in 2020 with gusto, but at the cost of frightening away immigrants. But I suspect that's a price Dems can live with, for obvious reasons.

LOL. Or the electoral base composed of perimenopausal women and their feelz.

Just saw a video of a detention center in Texas courtesy of ABC News. Tai Chi, comfy beds, burgers and fries. Maybe the images going around aren't as frightening to Central Americans as I thought.

Yes, as I like to say, one must have a heart of stone to listen to the media, pols and commenters without laughing. And amongst all the Godwin Law fails, General Hayden takes the cake if only because he was once the free world’s top spook.

Trump's approval ratings are higher than ever. Are you asserting that his base is half of America?

Not immigration but eliminating the state and local deductions did it for me. Tired of this Trump GOP.

The most Republican comment in the thread.

Biggest RINO comment on this thread.

Well now that Trump has decided he can suspend taking people's children away...a few days after he decided some 'Democrat law' required him too...where are his people today here?

Do we now have 'open borders' and no laws anymore? Should we be impeaching Trump? How is this magic explained, what previously could only happen by either establishing open borders or spending billions to build concentration camps for families now just happens when Trump gets enough angry tweets....or a handful of tweets from family members he actually cares marginally about.

I don't follow. Of course we have an open border. What on earth do you think just happened or changed? How much power do you think Donald Trump wields or cares to wield? You actually believe he's the second coming of Josef Stalin?

9000-odd unaccompanied teenagers (separated from their parents ... er, by their parents, and/or perhaps themselves parents) plus an additional couple thousand children (or 3000 small children-and-parents, depending on the source) showed up at the border, and now they are in the country, joining the 16,000 mostly Central Americans who entered through Mexico (what should be their country of asylum from fear) last month. Did you really imagine this goes other than one direction? You've worked yourself into quite a lather for nothing.

Me, June 18, 2018 at 11:55 am:

"Many of the horde being brought to the border ... will soon be living in my city (hopefully, here on MR, there is no need to pretend there will be any other outcome?)"

If you are in favor of dispensing with the hearings, though, I'm with you. That's a lot of play-pretend, no need to delay things for show (probably at random too). [The editor of The Atlantic, yesterday: "The facts are often complicated, since some of those expressing fear of criminal gangs were themselves previously involved in those gangs in one way or another. It takes longer and longer to adjudicate cases ..."] People might as well be getting along with finding their jobs in the shadow economy.

"I don't follow"
- Agree you don't.

"9000- odd unaccompanied teenagers...3000 small children...joining 16,000 mostly Central Americans....horde being brought to the border"

The population of the US is 325 million. 16,000 is roughly the number killed by texting and driving from 2001 to 2007. Or 16,000 is the number of people with dementia who went missing in 2017 in Japan, a smaller country. If you visited Japan in 2017 would you expect to see 'hordes' of wandering, lost people with dementia?

" Did you really imagine this goes other than one direction?"

Of course not. There's a lot of US Citizens living in Mexico. https://internationalliving.com/countries/mexico/one-million/ indicates nearly a million. Some are duel citizens, people living in retirement, working at jobs, or your fugitive. Given Mexico's population is about 1/3 of the US this is pretty significant. Granted the US gets more immigration of all types even if you adjust for population but then is that a bad thing? Would you like to live in a country where everyone wants to get out but no one get in?

"How much power do you think Donald Trump wields or cares to wield? You actually believe he's the second coming of Josef Stalin?"

Kind of a fusion between the 2nd coming of Stalin with the competence of Dennis Rodman it would seem. But then Trump started this 'zero tolerance policy', defended it as being required of him by law, defended it as good policy, then suspended it because he has a 'big heart'. So which is it? Required, optional, unchangeable or changeable?

"The number of people killed while texting and driving from 2001 to 2007 ..."

The number of economic migrants from Central America who arrived at the southern border in the month of May.

Uh, you've got me with your rhetorical sleight of hand there!

"So which is it?" Why the Sam Hill do you think it is on the anti-immigration crowd, to figure out what to do with people who were invited here by your crowd? It's your party, cry if you want to.

The Twitter thread on 1 is interesting and disconcerting. It does look like no one cared about immigrants when a Democrat was in charge and doing similar stuff (just like no one cares about the deficit when a Republican is in charge). This partisanship makes me not hopeful for the prospect of positive reform if the Democrats come back to power; the best we can hope for is to block the status quo from getting worse.

Well the best we ought to reasonably hope for is that blame is passed on to Congress who then *gasp* fixes some shit laws they helped write.

3. The more time I spend get exercising, the easier it is to exercise; the more time I spend reading, the easier it is to read; the more time I spend with intelligent people, the easier it is to be intelligent; etc. Part of it is attributable to mimetic desire. Part of it is attributable to exercising the right part of the human body. The problem with many people is that they don't get enough exercise, especially of the brain.

#3. Big if true!

This is clearly the most important item (and would have been no matter what the result). The summary is that two way of measuring life-long gains in IQ show about 1 point per year of education, and that one way of measuring the immediate gain (discontinuity design) show about 5 points per year. The simplest interpretation is that one year gives about a 5 point immediate boost, which declines to about 1 point in adulthood.

There was no discussion of g-loadedness, so the 1 point is probably equivalent to 2 points to the non-g parts of IQ (i.e. Flynn effect material), and 0 to the g-loaded parts.

From #2: "McCloskey's trilogy has profoundly influenced Econ and discourse generally." I'm going to label this statement as false. Also, McCloskey's (like Klein's) writing is so verbose such that the meaning gets lost in the deluge of words. Klein (like almost everyone in the stupid debate over post-modernism) doesn't really define post-modernism; Klein only seems to suggest (I can't really tell) that Peterson didn't define it properly.

Point taken on "profoundly influenced." I've struck "profoundly." Thank you.

2. If Jordan Peterson can motivate boys with his simple rules, that's a very good thing. My observation is that his simple rules are a substitute for the Biblical rules that were effective in an earlier more religious time. But I don't see how resorting to conspiracy theories and insults (politically correct, cultural Marxist, social justice warrior, etc.) helps. Sure, it helps with Peterson's popularity among a certain segment of the population, but not with the young men he is supposedly trying to help.

I'm wishy-washy on the Peterson boogeymen.

I think there is an obvious rise in collectivist, anti-male, and (in as many words) racist viewpoints being embraced by powerful and visible institutions and actors, and it's clearly part of the reason why welfare for men and young men seems to be (or perhaps, measurably is) decreasing.

On the other hand, I don't see it as necessary to the message. Maybe there's some value to the polarizing us vs them thing, but why not just have a purely positive message -- why couch it in real or imagined opposition to nefarious forces?

Can't Peterson's virtues of essentially "doing the right thing" stand by themselves? Do they really need to be juxtaposed with or cast as the opposition to some sort of nefarious conspiracy?

If Peterson didn't take controversial positions, he would never be famous in the first place. For better or worse, it seems like a lot of people need to be assured that you are on their side, or one of their own, before they will seriously listen.

Definitely agree with you that Peterson's ability to generate controversy played a critical role in his amassing of followers. But now that he has the spotlight, I think he has an opportunity to provide more nuance, more clarity, and more compassion when engaging with his ideological enemies.

“If Peterson didn't take controversial positions, he would never be famous” — what are these controversial positions you talk of? That hierarchy is natural, that the sexes are different, ...? Specific examples please.

I think the specific issue that thrust him into the spotlight was his opposition to Canada's Bill C-16. From there, his influence seemed to snowball?


Right. But my point is who decides that this (and the other positions) are controversial when 99% of people agree with said positions. Answer: the 1% academic industrial complex.

Peterson's 'controversial statements' are basically performance art and publicity stunts. The Canadian Bill is a good example. A Bill that would put you in jail for using a pronoun someone takes offense too? Was that it?

But the bill passed a year ago plus. Anyone go to jail for bad pronouns? The Bill wasn't even new, it only added trans people to a list of other categories like race and religion to an anti-discrimination bill that was on the books for decades. So race and religion has been covered for decades. Did anyone go to jail for refusing to call a Mormon a Christian or saying someone who identifies as white is black because they have a black parent?

Like the yearly 'War on Christmas' that makes the rounds of Fox and Russian Facebook territory, Peterson's controversies are essentially intellectual professional wresting rather than real fights for the right thing or real disagreements.

If there's one thing Peterson is, it's authentic. Thank God, the Ann Coulter media-whore ghouls are so tiresome.

The issue was the University sending letters pushing the rule on professors.

You mean to say "sounds authentic". The issue was not the University sending letters. He objected to the Canadian government passing an amendment to existing human rights/anti-discrimination law. Since he works at a government sponsored university he would be covered by the law. He was not objecting to a University based rule, which would not carry the force of law.

His objections were not authentic. The law passed anyway over a year ago. No one has been jailed for using 'wrong pronouns'. The law that was being amended had been on the books for decades and covered race and religion. In all that time no one was jailed for calling someone the wrong race or wrong religion (and it's easy to see how that could happen, many Christians, for example, do not consider Mormons real Christians...many Jews reject 'Jews for Jesus' as a Jewish denomination. If the law said that it would be easy for Mormons or Jews for Jesus to use it to press their assertions against critics).

"Can't Peterson's virtues of essentially "doing the right thing" stand by themselves? Do they really need to be juxtaposed with or cast as the opposition to some sort of nefarious conspiracy?"

I think Peterson is trying to create a dragon for his followers to slay. The quest to slay a dragon can generate a lot of meaning and purpose in one's life. But I think the dragon he created is an illusory one. There are real and bigger dragons to battle!

I am not really into Peterson, he seems to be an academic high-level self-help therapist, which has most of the negatives of that approach, but more of the positives than garden-variety self-help because he actually has some intellectual substance compared to the usual shallowness of that field.

I think the main reason Peterson criticizes social justice, Marxism, postmodernism, etc. in such negative fashion is because the practical fruits of those ideas are so widely out there amongst people under 30 who went to college, and a lot of young men who are trying to get their lives together, but who also want to feel like they belong, paralyze under social pressure and don't know what to do when someone accuses them of being a part of some socially designated bad group, either on the basis of what they said or even who they are, so they just cave, bow their head, and take a massive self-esteem hit. Self-help rules are worthless when the broader society is hostile to them, which is why the usual self-help solution ("ignore your critics", "serenity now", "just take a meditation class") often fails. Peterson is trying to give young men an intellectual basis on which to respond to and criticize the various ideas about privilege, -isms/-phobias, structural "X" which are out there so that young guys don't lose faith in themselves and can actively follow his rules. Given how the more traditional liberal education has declined at all levels of education, and how little this current generation of young people read anything substantial or sustained, Peterson's toolkit of explanations and identifications ("that's an argument Foucault would make, his thought is nihilistic, don't take seriously people who use his arguments") are the most a lot of young men are going to get.

Good points!

Ray et al

Can you guys knock it off already? Enough with the rational discussion.

We're trying to have a conversation about whether brown people are humans.


"We're trying to have a conversation about whether brown people are humans."

Really? I don't see that anywhere

You forgot the cardinal rule, any talk of restricting or regulating immigration to the West whatsoever is equivalent to promoting "master race" theories a la Mengele, and possibly even constitutes a physical attack on "brown people".

#1. Major PR disaster? Compared to Singapore's mandatory minimum 3 cane strokes and 30 days? Australia's offshore detention? Both of which are vastly superior to the negligence practiced by the EU and the US in creating attractive nuisance hazards that have killed countless thousands. The perpetrators of open borders should be held liable for the deaths for which they are responsible just as we would the owner of an unfenced swimming pool in which children drown. Trump' s wall is the only intelligent solution on the table.

Yes. The outrage is not over the detention, it's over the end of catch-and-release.

Indeed, the Obama administration released immigrant children to human traffickers, and none of the people currently opposing Trump were bothered in the least.

"The perpetrators of open borders should be held liable for the deaths for which they are responsible just as we would the owner of an unfenced swimming pool in which children drown."

Um... if there were open borders you probably wouldn't see that many deaths because immigrants could just use standard transportation.

If there were truly open borders, people would stop paying taxes to the now-irrelevant central governments and start drawing their own borders.

What would be bad about that?

Not a thing. Then there wouldn't be immigrants and detention; only trespassers being ordered to leave.

So, you're in favor of open borders then?

Only the State can maintain Open Borders. In the absence of the State, there are No Borders, so people draw their own. There is no such thing as an immigrant in the absence of the central State. You're either an owner, a tenant, or a trespasser. The State's extruded, rococo due process does not exist; you either belong there, or you don't.

I've been amazed that Merkel (merely because she's "Mama"?) has eluded serious blame. What could more demonstrate her attitude to the people lost in the Mediterranean, than her staying the course? They don't represent "human potential" to her. The sea could swallow half a million people and she wouldn't care, all that matters is that she nets enough - it matters not who they are or where they're from - to make her feel she is honoring the tenets of her ideology.

Strangely, it doesn't seem that far from isolationism, to me.

Um...I am pretty sure all the babies Merkel is getting drowned don’t come from families with credit cards that can just buy plane tickets. Same for the Hondurans dying out in the desert.

BTW, the family separation 'crisis' is three weeks late. It was supposed to kick off right after Memorial Day but Samantha Bee derailed it when she called Trump's daughter a c#nt.

Yes you’re right. Although it does manage to deflect from the House Oversight Committee interview of the FBI IG. Nothing to see there, move on.

The correct take. The media has had plenty of time (years, in fact) to kick off this particular moral panic, so the timing of this effort is undoubtedly significant. Anyone remember that there's a potential amnesty vote in the House this week?

#1 - All these places in the world that are, as usual, failing, need to grow the eff up and join the world of serious States, or they need to be allowed to fail. No more aid from taxpayers of other States, and no more exporting the dregs of your country to go be somebody else's problem.

If they can't be accountable and livable for their citizens, then they shouldn't be sovereign.

If by "fail" you mean "be invaded and taken over by a more competent government", then I agree.
In a rational world, the United States would just absorb most of the carribean and central America as US states, all of their people would become American citizens and their governments could be reconstructed with a bicameral legislature and a bill of rights similar to those governing other American states.

Yeah, that worked so well in Iraq.

Iraq wasn't an American state last time I checked.

That would be a catastrophe for the entire world

The drug cartels (and their coyote subsidiaries) wouldn’t allow this absorption.

Lowry writes: "if an adult is released while the claim is pending, the chances of ever finding that person again once he or she is in the country are dicey, to say the least. It is tantamount to allowing the migrant to live here, no matter what the merits of the case." This is false. Empirical studies show that 88 to 95% of asylum seekers who are released return for their court dates, particularly if they have been provided legal counsel. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/humane-approach-can-work-effectiveness-alternatives-detention-asylum-seekers

From your link: "A 2000 study, commissioned by the U.S. government and conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice, reported an 83 percent rate of compliance with court proceedings among asylum seekers who were found to have a credible fear in the expedited removal process."

This is intentionally misleading in a way that is tantamount to lying.

The asylum seeking population has changed completely in the intervening 18 years, as has the population trying to cross the border.

The current rate of compliance for the FIRST court date is less than 40%.

Unsurprisingly it drops off a cliff from there.

Do you have a source for your 40% figure?

2. I'm not surprised Klein has problems with Petersons's PoMo bashing. Admitting I'm not very familiar with Peterson's exact views, but I do know that Klein leans toward the kind of cultural relativism libertarians get accused of often, and it's apparent why: their "knowledge problem" and defense of we-cant-take-sides pluralism is weirdly abandoned when it comes to their own dogmatic and passionate defense of property-based liberty on sundry issues of the day. Like the PoMos Peterson hates, they'll ruthlessly interrogate meaning but then assert a very predictable politics.

I've written on Klein before: https://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/deconstructing-daniel-klein/

3. A meta-analysis on whether education improves intelligence.

Here is what I do not understand about this:
1. Unless we are locked in box, arn't we always learning something?
2. Are there really ways to exercise our brains? Is their some kind of hard thinking analogous to weight lifting?
3. Is intelligence just the ability to score well on an IQ test?
4. I went to school for 17 years. So had I not gone to school would I have an IQ of 61?
5. My grand parents went to school for 1 year, they seemed pretty smart and well educated???

6. Why does it seem that among my friends it is the college educated that go in more for organic foods, anti-GMO and other such scams?

1) Yes, but it seems reasonable that you learn more under formal education because you're being forced to learn and read and attend class, and learning about topics would probably aren't that interested in and have it all explained by someone who probably knows a lot more about the topic than you. So, a typical person probably learns a lot more under formal education than informally.
2) If the study is correct, then it suggests there are. Though I have come across other research that looks at various forms of brain training and found that the teach non-generalizable skills (in other words, they don't make you smarter, just better at the specific task you're doing).
3) No, there's a lot of research of IQ and it correlates with a lot of things. IQ tests are extremely robust, probably more so than any other psychological measure.
4) You write quite well for someone with an IQ of 78 (the lower estimate was 1 IQ point per year of school). True, you might be right that they could be overestimating the effect, but do you really think getting no schooling wouldn't affect your intelligence? Think what you learned in school: math reading, writing, etc. If you never went to school, odds are you'd be illiterate and wouldn't have read any books. You certainly wouldn't be able to read econ blogs and comment on them.
5) On average, education raises intelligence. Obviously, there can be exceptions. Also, note that it's entirely possible that your grandparents would have been even smarter had they had more school.
6) The paper is contending that education makes you smarter than you otherwise would have been. It's not going to turn an idiot into a genius. Also, even smart people can have dumb beliefs.

#1. Should the US simply annex Mexico? Seriously. That seems a more reasonable solution to people desperate to escape Mexico.

“As usual, the outrage obscures more than it illuminates”
What were the experiences of the Millions of British city children who were evacuated to safer places to live in foster homes during the Second World War?


Since nobody touched #5:
It's all lovey and nice and inclusive until someone loses a civilization.

Used to be called swingers, now “polyamorous”. And as the lead character in the movie “Eating Raoul” said, “Everyone hates swingers”.

1a. We have the enforcement of law from Rich, the Democrats are to blame from Shapiro, and Congress should act from French. And while I see the validity in their arguments I can't help noticing their avoidance of the amnesty question that David Brooks confronts. Anyone who has read Adios, America or listened to Rush Limbaugh knows why we are at this juncture.

1b. I wish this was surprising.

2. ContraPoints, about 15minutes in. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4LqZdkkBDas#fauxfullscreen.

3. How will this impact future readings of The Bell Curve?

#3) Will be looking for Caplan's response.

the terrific "The Daily" podcast from the NY Times this morning echoed much of what Rich Lowry wrote (without his prescriptions.)

The PR disaster reveals the contradiction, good.
The US has a few hundred thousand living in camptowns everywhere. So let us make more and slightly better camptowns.

#4 Just five years after marginal revolution first reported this same news https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/12/uber-economist.html

"... we found consistent evidence for beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education."

I don't believe it.

Kids are always hostages and/or human shields. Always been that way. Nothing new going on here.

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