Immigrant labor in Philly

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Nicola Vucevic with the 12th pick of the NBA draft yesterday. Vucevic played college ball at USC where, as a junior last year, he averaged 17.1 points per game and 10.3 rebounds.

You can't teach height. Or wingspan.

That’s a nice addition for the Sixers, though I’m not sure it will have much of an impact as far as changing their status as a team destined to sneak into the playoffs and then get knocked out in the first round.

But this post isn’t really about the 76ers or Vucevic or basketball.

This post is about immigration.

Nicola Vucevic is from Montenegro, but he’ll be playing professional basketball in Philadelphia because he’s 7 feet tall and he’s good at basketball. And if you’re 7 feet tall and good at basketball, then it doesn’t matter where in the world you were born, the NBA will find you and bring you here. It brought Dirk Nowitzki here from Germany. It brought Yao Ming here from China, and Luc Mbah a Moute from Cameroon, Samuel Dalembert from Haiti, Dikembe Mutombo from the Congo, Hamed Haddadi from Iran, Zydrunas Ilgauskas from Lithuania, DeSagana Diop from Senegal and Pau Gasol from Spain.

That’s why the National Basketball Association is the best basketball league in the world.

That could change, easily, if David Stern retired as NBA commissioner and were replaced by, say, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer or Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal or Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley or any of the other prominent politicians who argue that restricting immigration and demonizing immigrants is the key to prosperity. Their brand of the politics of resentment wouldn’t stand for allowing foreigners like Vucevic to earn jobs that might have gone to native born Americans.

Put one of those people in charge of the NBA and their cramped nativism will wind up doing to the league the same thing they’re now doing to their states’ economies.

Update: The United States still has an NBA-quality higher education system, but as Matthew Yglesias points out, it’s getting to be less so.

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  • Anonymous

    Reading the comments on (one of the many) José Vargas stories on the internet is an instruction in human depravity.

    I am incapable of understanding how these people (and statistically, I’m right about this.) can call themselves Christians.  Did they read the same Bible I did?  Or did they skip all the good bits about social justice and sticking it the man and just get right to the weird sci-fi parts with the raining meteors and beasts-of-many-heads and what not.

    This isn’t even a “judge not lest ye be judged” thing with people insisting that Vargas is a liar and deserve to be punished. (PUNISHED, I SAY!) It’s basic human compassion.  It ain’t that hard.  Or even if you’re some kind of weird Randroid sociopath, it’s basic math.  Immigrants are GOOD for you.  It’s just peoples dickish xenophobia overrides all other concerns and the only thing they’ve got is screaming about “shiftless ______.”

    Illustrative example:  I saw a person with an extremely “Scottish” handle (Like Scotty MacLeod or something, I don’t remember exactly.) spouting all sorts of nonsense about how Mexicans are lazy, Mexicans don’t think like we do, Mexicans like to drink to much, Mexicans are all Catholic(!)  It was practically an irony singularity, from which no intelligent response can possibly escape.

  • Anonymous

    Reading the comments on (one of the many) José Vargas stories on the internet is an instruction in human depravity.

    I am incapable of understanding how these people (and statistically, I’m right about this.) can call themselves Christians.  Did they read the same Bible I did?  Or did they skip all the good bits about social justice and sticking it the man and just get right to the weird sci-fi parts with the raining meteors and beasts-of-many-heads and what not.

    This isn’t even a “judge not lest ye be judged” thing with people insisting that Vargas is a liar and deserve to be punished. (PUNISHED, I SAY!) It’s basic human compassion.  It ain’t that hard.  Or even if you’re some kind of weird Randroid sociopath, it’s basic math.  Immigrants are GOOD for you.  It’s just peoples dickish xenophobia overrides all other concerns and the only thing they’ve got is screaming about “shiftless ______.”

    Illustrative example:  I saw a person with an extremely “Scottish” handle (Like Scotty MacLeod or something, I don’t remember exactly.) spouting all sorts of nonsense about how Mexicans are lazy, Mexicans don’t think like we do, Mexicans like to drink to much, Mexicans are all Catholic(!)  It was practically an irony singularity, from which no intelligent response can possibly escape.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Well, in their defense, the U.S. immigration policy has always favored the importation of “skilled” labor.  If we have local jobs with specific skill sets that we need to fill, the immigration policy makes it easier to get a foreigner a green card to work it.  It is not so much about laziness as it is about education and experience, or in the case of basketball, height. 

    I would not say that illegal immigration itself is a problem, but a lack of education on illegal immigrant’s part can be, for the same reasons that a lack of education on naturalized citizens is.  It is necessary for a modern job market.  Without that, an under privelaged class with minimum oppertunity is the inevitable result, which is an inequitable and unstable situation. 

    How to best remedy the situation is certainly a point of contention.  For example, providing government funded basic and vocational education for immigrant groups who do not yet pay taxes would actually be a drain on government resources… in the short term.  In the long term, it would start paying for itself by providing both new markets and a qualified work force.  But getting the money to fund that in the first place will be difficult to allocate given how much of a political hot-button the issue is.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Well, in their defense, the U.S. immigration policy has always favored the importation of “skilled” labor.  If we have local jobs with specific skill sets that we need to fill, the immigration policy makes it easier to get a foreigner a green card to work it.  It is not so much about laziness as it is about education and experience, or in the case of basketball, height. 

    I would not say that illegal immigration itself is a problem, but a lack of education on illegal immigrant’s part can be, for the same reasons that a lack of education on naturalized citizens is.  It is necessary for a modern job market.  Without that, an under privelaged class with minimum oppertunity is the inevitable result, which is an inequitable and unstable situation. 

    How to best remedy the situation is certainly a point of contention.  For example, providing government funded basic and vocational education for immigrant groups who do not yet pay taxes would actually be a drain on government resources… in the short term.  In the long term, it would start paying for itself by providing both new markets and a qualified work force.  But getting the money to fund that in the first place will be difficult to allocate given how much of a political hot-button the issue is.

  • hapax

    For example, providing government funded basic and vocational education
    for immigrant groups who do not yet pay taxes would actually be a drain
    on government resources… in the short term.

    Small correction:  in every place in the USA that I have lived, most of the revenue going to school districts was provided by property taxes and sales taxes.

    Both of which are paid by immigrants, documented or not.  I’ve never heard of a landlord leaving property taxes out of the rent calculations, or a grocery store waiving sales taxes for those who lack a green card.

    Perhaps it is different where you live?

  • hapax

    Alas, Disqus won’t let me edit.  Only the first paragraph of that comment was a quote.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Small correction:  in every place in the USA that I have lived, most of the revenue going to school districts was provided by property taxes and sales taxes.

    Both of which are paid by immigrants, documented or not.  I’ve never heard of a landlord leaving property taxes out of the rent calculations, or a grocery store waiving sales taxes for those who lack a green card.Perhaps it is different where you live?

    You are quite correct, and I will not contest any of your assertions.  But it seems like a lot of public schools are given less than ideal funds as they are, and for a sufficient population swell, those systems would need to be expanded to accomodate the influx of new students, assuming that they can even get in without prior documentation (and this extends to things like ESL and vocational and community college training for adults, not just primary education.)  In order to expand the schooling system to make full accomodations will require that the government come up with a new revenue.  This could mean raising those property and sales taxes, or coming up with some other source.  The point is that it is going to cost more before its effects start paying for itself with an expanded economy some years down the road. 

    Trying to convince any legislative body to come up with such funds in this economic era is difficult, to say the least.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, yes.  The “New Colossus” has been rewritten to read  “Give me your white, your wealthy, your educated and socially acceptable…”

    It doesn’t quite have the same ring now.

  • Anonymous

    But this is the free market and anyone who is best qualified should get the job!  Unless they’re from a different country, and then they shouldn’t be allowed to compete with us.  I just don’t get how these two ideas can fit together in someone’s head.

  • Anonymous

    But this is the free market and anyone who is best qualified should get the job!  Unless they’re from a different country, and then they shouldn’t be allowed to compete with us.  I just don’t get how these two ideas can fit together in someone’s head.

    It doesn’t. But the people who believe it lack the capacity to take one idea and hook it onto any other, so they never notice that they believe multiple contradictory things. Hence why Fox News gets away with so much. See two years ago when “the free market always produces the best product” and “private insurance can’t compete with government programs” were both believed by Fox’s audience.

  • Anonymous

    “Their brand of the politics of resentment wouldn’t stand for allowing foreigners like Vucevic to earn jobs that might have gone to native born Americans.”
    Okay, we get it. You think the anti-immigration laws are tripe. But please, don’t resort to over-simplifying the arguments to make the other side sound bad. It gets nobody anywhere and nothing accomplished. 

  • Anonymous

    Who needs to make xenophobic racists who like to pretend to be emotionless rule-of-law extremists look bad?

    That’s what all anti-immigration arguments generally boil down to.  Either 1) I don’t like brown people or 2) But they broke the laaaaaaaw!

    I mean, I guess you can also just flat-out lie and say that they are “stealing jobs” from Americans – which is simply flat out not true.  Just look at how many of those jobs in Georgia are going unfilled.  The plain fact of the matter is that most American’s CAN’T do those jobs – they are not physically capable of it.  You could say that having an whole bunch of illegal immigrants depresses wages for illegal immigrants, and that’s true, but that’s the exact opposite of an argument for a a “ship ’em home” approach.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

     In case you’re new to the Internet, Baby_Raptor, here’s how comments in a debate are normally formatted:

    1.  Quote or summarize the point you are challenging.
    2.  Offer a counterargument.
    3.  Provide support for your counterargument.

    You forgot parts 2 and 3.  It’s a common mistake, often referred to as “trolling”.

  • Anonymous

    1) I did quote the part I had an issue with.
    2) There wasn’t any argument. 

    I’m not new to the internet and I wasn’t trolling. I’m in the minority opinion here when it comes to the whole immigration debate, and I know it. Furthermore, most of the posters here are vastly smarter people than me. Debating anything would be a waste of time and energy. But that doesn’t mean I can’t expect that the sides of the story be given equal treatment.

  • ako

    Furthermore, most of the posters here are vastly smarter people than me.
    Debating anything would be a waste of time and energy. But that doesn’t
    mean I can’t expect that the sides of the story be given equal
    treatment.

    If you want your side to be given equal treatment, jumping into a debate with a shoddy assertion in favor of taking your side more seriously is not the way to do it.  You’re just giving many of us something easy to pick apart, and no reason to respect your points.  (After all, if you don’t consider the arguments in favor of your point of view worth your time to try to present effectively, why should we conclude that they’re worth our time to seriously consider?  Especially when you’re using such lazy approaches as asking Fred to present more effective arguments for the side he doesn’t agree with but you do, when you can’t be bothered to create decent arguments for your own perspective.)

  • Kish

    I’m not new to the internet and I wasn’t trolling. I’m in the minority
    opinion here when it comes to the whole immigration debate, and I know
    it. Furthermore, most of the posters here are vastly smarter people than
    me. Debating anything would be a waste of time and energy. But that
    doesn’t mean I can’t expect that the sides of the story be given equal
    treatment.

    So wait a minute. You expect people who, by your own word, are smarter than you, and think your position is utterly wrong, to treat it as valid even though it isn’t…because why, exactly?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Okay, we get it. You think the anti-immigration laws are tripe. But please, don’t resort to over-simplifying the arguments to make the other side sound bad. It gets nobody anywhere and nothing accomplished.

    Please re-read your third sentence, the one where you request that arguments not be over-simplified solely to discredit them.

    The, please re-read your second sentence in the context of the third.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, not following you. If you mean that I was over-simplifying things when I said that Fred disapproves of the immigration law, I wasn’t. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t approve of them. There wasn’t any argument there to over-simplify. 

  • ako

    Do you honestly think Fred doesn’t have any argument when it comes to his views on immigration laws?  Because if so, you are missing something.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Okay, we get it. You think the anti-immigration laws are tripe. But please, don’t resort to over-simplifying the arguments to make the other side sound bad. It gets nobody anywhere and nothing accomplished.

    I disagree. Rhetoric has its rightful place in discussion.

    BTW, this post isn’t what made “the other side look bad”. The dude Fred quoted recently who was happy for victims of crime to be treated abhorrently because of their immigration status? THAT was looking bad.

  • lilkaye

    I don’t think you’re portraying the anti-immigration stance fairly. It’s not that the proponents of stricter immigration want no immigration. I’m sure they’d agree that the NBA is enriched by the inclusion of non-US citizens. What they want is only the “right sort” of immigrants allowed in, with all that the phrase “right sort” entails.

  • Anonymous

    And I’m sorry, I find it incredibly rich when a non Native American American, that is to say somebody who is in this country because if immigrants starts holding their nose about rules and letting the “right” people in. Yes rules have to be followed, but the current immigration system as is is hopelessly broken. It might not be “right” for an undocumented person to be here but if they come looking for work and find it they are contributing to society. Don’t forge, the money undocumented folk get paid goes right back into the economy as it’s spent on rent, food, fuel, goods and other services. 

  • Anonymous

    You know they also laid of Fred Clark, maeby there are some similarities between these two things.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to point out that white, educated, and socially acceptable aren’t enough anymore. I currently have a friend – a skilled Flash animator – in Canada who is finding it impossible to deal with immigration rules to work here, in spite of several successful applications and interviews. His case isn’t unique; in the course of the last few years since graduating, I’ve known a lot of foreign talent that’s had an incredible amount of difficulty staying in the States for work.

    I assume the key, as usual, turns on that fourth phrase: wealthy.

  • Anonymous

    I can only put my hands up and sigh at such an attitude. Immigration IS good for a nation… IF IT’S USEFUL PEOPLE IMMIGRATING. Homogeneity is the strength of a nation, and multiculturalism for the sake of multiculturalism is a disease. It’s not necessarily nice, but it’s TRUE.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, yes, the “useful people” weasel phrase. Care to define what “useful people” means? Or, better yet, what “useless people” are?

    And how is Multiculturalism for it’s own sake a “disease?” It seems to me the only disease is in enforced homogeneity, because it’s believed to somehow be “a strength.”

  • Anonymous

    Ayup.  Homogeneity, far from being a strength, is a weakness.  When everyone has similar backgrounds, experiences and thought processes it reduces the ability of the group to creatively adapt to changing circumstances.  The greater the diversity represented in a group, the greater the chance that someone, or combination of someones, will be able to find a solution to a given problem.  Even if a society were multicultural for its own sake that society would ultimately benefit from the different perspectives introduced into it.

    I’m not even going to touch categorizing people into useful and useless lest I Godwin this thread before it is twenty posts old.

  • Anonymous

    HOW IS USEFUL A WEASEL WORD? If a person has sufficient skills to justify taking them in as a citizen, they’re USEFUL. That’s the point that Fred was making while trying desperately to argue against that point. Why am I explaining this to an adult?

    As for multiculturalism, it’s like storing flammable materials near a heat source. To willingly blind yourself to this fact is death. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The enforced homogeneity reminded me of the period immediately after 9/11.  I was in my first year of college then, and my calculus teacher was an Iranian American.  The first school day after the event he addressed the class about their thoughts on it.  It was clean that some of the other students of middle-eastern descent were afraid to come to school, worried that some people might accost them out of a misplaced sense of anger.  The murmurs of everyone in class suggested that eveyone there thought the idea of harassing or harming young middle-easterners over this kind of thing was unthinkable. 

    I told the instructor to related to them when he saw them, that if any of them have any fears about coming to school because of that, then they should come to me and I would be happy to escort them to deter any potential aggressors.  I felt that our nation’s cultural diversity was a strength, by being willing to accept other cultures and mix them into our own we showed that we had no fear of other cultures and no fear of losing our own. 

    Those who would attack people who’s skin and hair suggested a foreign ancestory did so out of fear, because they were cowards, attacking out of irrational terror and only assuring the success of the 9/11 attacks by doing so.  They weakened our nation with their fear, and I relished the thought of administering “corrective” action to them… 

  • Anonymous

    I’m a bit young; I was in high school when 9/11 happened, and in a way, it was a major, paradigm changing factor for me. I maintain this nation died that day and the terrorists won the most dramatic victory in world history on that day, but those are different subjects for a different discussions.

    As a teacher (sub now – unemployment and hatred and bile we get from the Media and the Right keep me out of the field as I regret my choice, no matter how much I love kids, and looking for a new profession), I value diversity in the classroom and in the population. Having a population of clones is boring. This country was built on diversity – don’t try to tell me the 13 colonies were remotely alike – and we’ve never been stronger than when we were embracing our diversity. To suggest that there’s strength in homogeneity is a joke.

    It’s almost like saying “Strength in Purity.”

  • Anonymous

    AND AGAIN you call me a nazi. I’m not going to answer to those accusations after this post. Did I ever mention restricting rights to foreigners, or doing other nasty things to them? No. just enforce immigration laws ALREADY ON THE BOOKS. Are you upset?

  • hapax

    You know who else called people Nazis?

    HITLER, that’s who!

  • Anonymous

    You get a 5/10 on the Victim-Pose Scale. I’ve seen more convincing victim poses from the Right. You should learn from them and then come back.

    As of right now, YOU are the only person who called yourself a Nazi. Your rhetoric REEKS of the eugenic movements of the 1890s and 1920/30s, which is why I made the Norsefire reference. That’s your RHETORIC – if you choose to identify yourself with your rhetoric so closely, that’s YOUR problem, not mine, but I never called YOU a Nazi, regardless how you feel about the LAWS (your original post was not about the Immigration Laws. It was about Homogeneity and “useful” people. I’m NOT letting you run away from that until you explain your position there further).

    I asked you to define “useless” people, because you have no problem
    defining “useful” people. If there are “useful” people, there must be
    “useless” people to contrast them against – so what makes a “useless”
    person?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I’m a bit young; I was in high school when 9/11 happened, and in a way, it was a major, paradigm changing factor for me. I maintain this nation died that day and the terrorists won the most dramatic victory in world history on that day, but those are different subjects for a different discussions.

    This might be my low-empathy talking, but what bothered me most about the events of 9/11 was precisely that idea of “everything is changed forever.”  When I turned on the television later that evening, I was upset that they were still covering something that had happened that morning with news specials that went all throughout the day, instead of returning to regularly scheduled programming. 

    I am sure that sounds pretty callus of me, and it might have been.  But consider that the object of terrorism is to inspire terror.  That is why we call it “terrorism.”  People were reacting with horror, panicing and buying up supplies like gasoline, government represenatives were talking of taking immediate military action as soon as they knew who was responsible, people were pouring into military recruitment centers, political strategists were shouting slogans…

    And I saw it as wrong.  That was exactly the kind of effect the 9/11 hijackers set out to create, and all these people were playing right into their plans.  The way to “beat” them is to just let life go on, clean up after the mess, and go about our usual routines.  Yeah, it was terrible, but so what?  The saying is that “living well is the best revenge” and that applies to societies as much as to individuals.  Minimizing the disruption that such acts have on our society, our economy, our policies, and our lives, is the best way to recover from such attacks. 

    All these people panicing, scapegoating, repeating assertations of patriotism like some kind of a madness mantra… they were the enemy.  Too cowardly to hold the line shoulder to shoulder, to quick to break ranks and further endanger those of us who would not.  I felt like some Soviet political officer in World War II, ready to execute those who would derelict their duty.  I know that is an ugly and unpleasant image, but it is not one I feel should be dressed up.  Stoic determination to remain unaffected by the tragedy was the only thing that would keep us from getting embroiled in excessive wars, curtailing our freedom, and distracting us from domestic considerations. 

    As naïve as my ideas were, they were also right, and it made me sick to see the cowards wearing their fear as a badge of pride. 

    (Sorry if this sounded excessively harsh.  My blood is up tonight and I have a bit of a headache.)

  • https://profiles.google.com/ravanan101 Ravanan

    John Kovalic, author of the comic Dork Tower (and artist for such things as Apples to Apples and Munchkin), made something of a similar point days after the attacks. One of his comics had a comparison of 1933 and the present (at the time). The 1933 panel had a man listening to FDR’s inaugural address on the radio, saying the immortal “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
     
    Cue 2001: “WELCOME TO THE 24 HOUR FEAR NETWORK! UP NEXT: WE’LL SHOW YOU HOW THE TERRORISTS ARE OUT TO GET YOU! AND ANTHRAX! But first, why are people so afraid? Our panels of experts investigates.”
     
    I’ve plugged it before, and I’ll plug it again: Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine http://www.amazon.com/Shock-Doctrine-Rise-Disaster-Capitalism/dp/0805079831 is an excellent book on WHY the American system immediately geared up to Fear Factor 7. It’s the same reason we invaded Iraq: not oil, per se, but the ability to exploit people’s terror to ram through massive social and economic changes to further enrich dominant socio-economic interests, and not just in the supposed interest of protecting us. A similar effect was seen after Hurricane Katrina where there was a massive wave of school privatizations during the “reconstruction efforts.” A similar effect occurs all the time in the name of “protecting the children,” and I’ll leave it at that lest I get onto a rant about how fractally wrong the American sex offender policy is.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    When someone makes a “protecting the children” argument for something, my first impluse is to simply remove the children from that person’s care and say, “There, now that they are no longer any of your concern, this should no longer be an issue for you.  Problem solved.” 

    Not that I expect anyone to actually be happy at such a resolution of their issue, but I do hope it will make them think twice about hiding their agendas behind their children.  Trying to use kids as a political smokescreen is likely to piss me off, and when I am pissed I am in no mood to do things by half measures. 

  • Anonymous

    While I’m not in the trenches of the school privatization efforts, I am on the front line (I’m a substitute teacher, not a full-time teacher. I have no union I work for, and I work through a privatized and automated system; yeah, it works about as well as you would think something like that would). I’ve known for a while now that fear is the driving force behind the attempt to dismantle the education system, and it’s not religiously-motivated fear. It’s fear that’s put in the right place but with the wrong actions. Yes, there are conservatives that want to dismantle the education system just ‘cuz the bastards don’t like the thought they’re paying for some other kid to go to school and giving that kid a future, but the vast majority are scared for our system. They see it as failing. They see the “bad” teachers (and, in my entire life, I only encountered one. And remember, I’m a sub. I encounter a lot of teachers, and that one bad teacher was back in high school, some ten or fifteen years ago. I encounter a lot of “okay” teachers, but that’s because so many of them are burnt out by the never-ending fighting that they don’t have the energy to do their actual job.) and they’re scared that their children will get caught with them. And, in typical American fashion, they go all out. Since the system isn’t working, it’s time to tear it down and do something else that might be even better. There’s no such thing as small tweaks. There’s no such thing as blaming the right people (the parents, the society as a whole). Americans suffer from an “all-or-nothing” blackwhite mentality that is highly damaging and makes doing anything as a group nigh impossible. And the people in power understand that. And they use that, and it’s that type of toxic thinking that makes the shock doctrine powerful. And that mentality has gotten worse with each new generation.

  • https://profiles.google.com/ravanan101 Ravanan

    I’ve met about a dozen “bad” teachers. Only two, maybe three were before college. The other three…one was just too full of himself to properly teach, one was an asshole who I genuinely expect to hear any day now of his having a “video camera in the girls’ locker room” scandal, and the third was a good math teacher that just rarely bothered to do so, spending 3/4 of every class telling pointless stories about moose hunting and such.

    In college, I had a teacher who built the final as the polar opposite of how she said it would be (statistics…normalization was heavily emphasized in the course and she explicitly stated that this would make up a significant portion of the final exam, while hypergeometric series were discussed for about 10 minutes because she also explicitly said it would not be covered on the final exam; out of 8 questions on that final, 3 were on hypergeometric series and none were on normalization), I had a physics professor who so consistently failed two-thirds of his class that the colleges wouldn’t put students on academic probation if their only problem was failing his course (it was a course with a ~80-85% pass rate when anyone else taught it), and I was a computer science major, enough said (the field does NOT have a good track record in this department).

    On the other hand, I’ve also had far more absolutely wonderful teachers who challenged my and drove me to improve myself, and who really put everything into their work. I can name five teachers off-hand that basically said, “I will come to the school in the evening or on the weekend or invite you to my home so I can help you all learn the material.” Between the stigma of the profession and just how hard of a job it really is, one really does not get into teaching unless one is truly dedicated.

    So many people complain of grade-inflation without realizing that their own screaming at the school when their children have problems is what largely CAUSES grade inflation (I have numerous friends and family in teaching whose first complaint is how the kids’ parents are the single greatest thing preventing them from doing their job). Oh, and private schools inflating grades to try to prove that private is better (like the recent case in L.A. of the charter schools who were opening up the AP exams and directly studying it with their students and giving them the answers; when they were defending the continuation of their charter after this large-scale academic fraud was discovered, they had the chutzpah to argue that their exemplary test scores were proof of their excellent teaching standards).

    Bah, rantrantrant.

  • Anonymous

    I empathize with your experience, Ravanan. The bad teacher I had wasn’t nearly as bad as the second one; he was just one of those teachers who would sit and do nothing. There was no pedagogy at all in that class; we came in, we took notes off of an overhead, we took a test, and we left. It was a history class, though, and I’m an amateur historian (even back then I was), so what I would do was not even bother with the notes, sleep, and then ace the test without even studying. I think it frustrated him a lot, because through acing the tests, I managed to keep just enough points so he couldn’t fail me.

    Test scores – oh my, test scores. That’s a huge pet peeve of mine, so I’ll keep this as short as possible: most people are body-kinesthetic learners, or visual learners. Nobody, absolutely nobody, regardless of your learning style, likes to sit and full in those damn bubbles for two hours. Yet, somehow, this passes as a “test of knowledge” in our country today (a test of regurgitation skills, really). And the panic that’s driving the reform in this direction? Our test scores, which include all of our students – the kids in the AP math class, the sports stars, the average students who are just trying to get by, the students who come from abject poverty and don’t have a breakfast to look forward to, and the special needs students down the hall who are three grade levels behind the rest of their class – are compared against the BEST students in other countries. The whole damn system is so counterproductive it’s outright ridiculous; it’s like something Friend Computer would come up with, and it depresses me to no end to know it’s real.

    This counterproductive system is a disservice to everyone, and it’s the major reason why, as dedicated as I was, I won’t be bothering with this profession. I love kids, and I love the look on their face when they get it, but I just can’t handle the other shit that comes along with it. It’s not worth it. Education is the political whipping boy; nobody in power respects the profession, and all attempts to help the problems make them worse, not better. The problem with education is the problem with America today – poverty. We’re loosing a middle class, and with that, we’re loosing a good education system for everyone. But hey, go lemmings, go! Throw money at the problem, without addressing the real problem of poverty. You can’t make the system better without making the country better first. And privatizing it is the first step to making it worse, because you further kill that middle class and widen that gulf, which was the problem in the first place.

    And to loop this conversation back around to immigration and the greater racial/cultural rift behind immigration, those tests are aimed exclusively at one segment of the population – White, middle-class students (a shrinking group; no wonder so many are failing, right?). All teaching is done at that age group. Students who don’t speak English or who speak English as a second language (I’ve encountered more than a few in my time as sub, not so many in my time as a student teacher) are just shit out of luck. The tests aren’t aimed at their culture, or their cultural knowledge, and expect these first and second generation-students to know White culture (this is especially true in history and English/Lit oriented tests). And then we combine their (usually low) test scores with the others and wonder why we can’t compare with the rest of the world, and then proceed to punish the schools that got low test scores by denying them money, especially rural schools and schools with large percentage of poor students, immigrant students, or non-White students. This isn’t even stupid. This is a level beyond stupid that doesn’t even have a word to describe it.

  • https://profiles.google.com/ravanan101 Ravanan

    No Child Left Behind is the “Texas miracle” in many ways. For those of you that don’t know, the Texas miracle refers to a massive improvement on pass rates and scores in the state of Texas while Bush Jr. was governor. It was later discovered that they way this was achieved by shoving the bottom half of performers [on the tests] out of school altogether, while fraudulently listing those students as people dropping out or “pursuing other educational opportunities.” The vast majority portion of those students, were, of course, the poor, the immigrants, and the kids with learning or other disabilities.

    The way NCLB works is that if a school’s average score is less than the average (median?) score for the previous year, they get their funding cut. If they continually fail to meet that average, they’re basically cut from the system to help inflate the average. And the average keeps increasing, and so the score the schools must beat is continuously raised. It pits schools against each in a Highlander competition. And when schools are ultimately trying to kill each other off, no one wins.

  • http://post-modernenlightenment.blogspot.com Enigma32

    “The way NCLB works is that if a school’s average score is less than the
    average (median?) score for the previous year, they get their funding
    cut”

    You’re close. The schools have to beat their previous score. This is called AYP, or Annual Yearly Progress. Schools have to make AYP or they run the risk of losing funding. So, if they get the same or lower AYP that they had the year before, they failed to make AYP and they get their funding cut.

    So what happens then, you ask, if a school has 99% AYP and they get 99% AYP the following year? Simple: they didn’t make AYP. They get their funding cut. AYP is figured in percentages based on what groups passed in what areas and by how much they passed – it’s a mess. Each state does it differently, because each state has their won “standardized test” for it. In general, these scores are averaged out, and that average percentage of kids who fell in “passing,” “nearly passing”, and “failing” is matched against last year. If you stayed at 99% or fell to 97%, you loose funding. You have to get to 100% AYP. And then you’re boned the next year, because you can’t possibly make AYP. As far as I know, a school has never done that, but that’s how the system works.

  • http://dumas1.livejournal.com/ Winter

    And of course, tying funding to test scores like that just makes the states and schools game the system. Just make the tests easier if too many students fail. Or just outright cheat. We’ve had a number of cases of that down here in Georgia, including the Atlanta Public School system if I remember right.

    When the education system provides incentives for teachers or administrators to sit down and rebubble answer sheets, there’s something terribly wrong with it.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Wait wait wait wait: No Child Left Behind CUTS funding to schools? The hell?

    Is this an example of the good thing the US has going that Mono refers to?

  • Anonymous

    Wait wait wait wait: No Child Left Behind CUTS funding to schools? The hell?

    It also requires schools to give the name, address, and phone number of all its students to the military.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Nah, now you’re just taking a naively ignorant foreigner for granted. Schools are not required to give information about children to the freaking military. There’s no way that’s true.

  • Anonymous

    H.R.1
    To close the achievement gap
    with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left
    behind. (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate] – ENR)

    >
    `SEC. 9528. ARMED FORCES RECRUITER ACCESS TO STUDENTS AND STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION.

    `(a) POLICY-

    `(1) ACCESS TO STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION-
    Notwithstanding section 444(a)(5)(B) of the General Education Provisions
    Act and except as provided in paragraph (2), each local educational
    agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request
    made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education,
    access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone
    listings.

    `(2) CONSENT- A secondary school student or the parent
    of the student may request that the student’s name, address, and
    telephone listing described in paragraph (1) not be released without
    prior written parental consent, and the local educational agency or
    private school shall notify parents of the option to make a request and
    shall comply with any request.

    `(3) SAME ACCESS TO STUDENTS- Each local educational
    agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide military
    recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided
    generally to post secondary educational institutions or to prospective
    employers of those students.

    `(b) NOTIFICATION- The Secretary, in consultation with the
    Secretary of Defense, shall, not later than 120 days after the date of
    enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, notify principals,
    school administrators, and other educators about the requirements of
    this section.

    `(c) EXCEPTION- The requirements of this section do not
    apply to a private secondary school that maintains a religious objection
    to service in the Armed Forces if the objection is verifiable through
    the corporate or other organizational documents or materials of that
    school.

    `(d) SPECIAL RULE- A local educational agency prohibited by
    Connecticut State law (either explicitly by statute or through
    statutory interpretation by the State Supreme Court or State Attorney
    General) from providing military recruiters with information or access
    as required by this section shall have until May 31, 2002, to comply
    with that requirement.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Well holy crap.

    Although maybe the bill should have included an amendment for schools to also alter the military of kids who they suspect might be gay, so they don’t accidently get recruited.

    Out of interest, do public health bodies or, say, any group that is engaged in lengthening lives rather than ending them get the same level of access to the information of private citizens?

  • Anonymous

    Not to my knowledge. The amount we spend on prisons increases an order of magnitude faster than the amount we spend on education, too. Nobody ever accused this country of having its priorities in order.

  • https://profiles.google.com/ravanan101 Ravanan

    I think the speed of budget changes is roughly the same for those two branches of government service. One of them just happens to be in the negative direction. And it ain’t the prisons.

    And while Monoblade is obviously an idiot and a troll (the two aren’t NECESSARILY inclusive), there is a bit of research that suggests homogeneity of a population does actually correspond to lower crime rates. Unfortunately, virtually all of that data is tainted by other factors such as poverty levels (basically, whatever correlation might exist between homogeneity and crime rates, levels of enfranchisement are overwhelmingly more important).

  • http://post-modernenlightenment.blogspot.com Enigma32

    Oh wow. Even I wasn’t aware of that.

    I knew about the ASVAB, though. I had to administer the test. It wasn’t anymore fun that administering any other test. But I didn’t know about them having to give their student’s information to the military. If they gave that information to anyone else, they’d be violating the law.

  • Anonymous

    From Fox News even.

  • Anonymous

    From Fox News even.

  • We Must Dissent

    Nope. It’s true.

    Schools also get money for each student they get to the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which is presented as a test to give you ideas about what career might interest a student or in which they would probably be successful. However, it is an enlistment qualification exam and, before NCLB, a main way that the military got contact information for students.

  • cjmr

    So apparently people who are willing to mow lawns, nanny children, pick crops, clean houses, pluck poultry, shuck crabs, and work in dangerous construction jobs are not useful.

    Nice.

  • Anonymous

    Saying that in a time of high unemployment? Are you serious? 

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    So apparently people who are willing to mow lawns, nanny children, pick crops, clean houses, pluck poultry, shuck crabs, and work in dangerous construction jobs are not useful.

    And on top of that, people who describe the above people as “animals” and claim the Ten Commandments is to be used as the whip to chastise them are supposedly useful.

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    So apparently people who are willing to mow lawns, nanny children, pick crops, clean houses, pluck poultry, shuck crabs, and work in dangerous construction jobs are not useful.

    And on top of that, people who describe the above people as “animals” and claim the Ten Commandments is to be used as the whip to chastise them are supposedly useful.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Homogeneity is the strength of a nation

    Evidence or explanation, please.

  • Will Hennessy

    I’ve decided that my immigration policy from here on forward should resemble something like Leviticus 19:33-34…

    “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them as native born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

  • Will Hennessy

    I’ve decided that my immigration policy from here on forward should resemble something like Leviticus 19:33-34…

    “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them as native born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

  • cjmr

    I don’t see a heck of a lot of unemployed computer programmers and auto workers lining up to do any of the above jobs at 1/4 of their previous salary.  Anywhere in the country.

    Do you?

  • Anonymous

    That was so stupid I don’t even know where to begin. I feel like I’m being trolled.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see a heck of a lot of anybody lining up to pick crops even when the alternative is unemployment. For good reason. It’s backbreaking labor and there’s no air conditioning and there is just no way to pay US citizens enough to take the job without raising food prices, and raising food prices tends to start riots.

    Also the food companies like being able to exploit their workers. Can’t do that if the workers are US citizens with all the rights and privileges and protections-enshrined-in-US-law that entails.

  • Anonymous

    And all that would change if IMMIGRATION LAWS WERE ENFORCED. How is this hard to understand? Am I talking to adults? To equate that with Nazism… I don’t even.

  • Anonymous

    Who brought up Nazism? ‘Cause it looks like it was you.

    Also, suppose we snap our fingers and there are no illegal immigrants in the country and all current methods of getting illegal immigrants into the country are blocked. One of three things will happen. Food prices will skyrocket as a result of having to raise wages for crop pickers in order to get US citizens to pick crops. Food prices will skyrocket as a result of having no crop pickers and therefore reduced supply of crops. Food prices will stay about the same as a result of finding creative new ways to get illegal immigrants into the country.

  • Anonymous

    And that’s the nation’s problem how? Laws are made to be enforced. If migrant labor is needed THAT badly, provide a fast-track temporary residency. As for wages, minimum wage is a bad idea anyways, and ironically harms the people it’s supposed to help most FOR EXACTLY THE REASONS YOU MENTIONED. If I wished to be condescending, I’d say that I just can’t wrap my head around your level of cognitive dissonance, in this and so many other matters. 

  • Anonymous

    And last time we doubled the minimum wage, unemployment fell.

    Yeah, minimum wage is a horrible idea.

  • Anonymous

    Laws are made to be enforced – because we just KNOW there’s no such thing as an unjust law, right? No law that could possibly punish people for something that wasn’t there fault, or be used to do so? I’d watch the appeals to authority. And anyway, you’re not debating with me about immigration laws. You brought up points about Useful people. I saw you define “useful” people, but never once did you define what “useless” people were. YOU made the implication they existed. YOU brought the point up. Now YOU define it.

    Oh, and I’m glad that Minimum Wage is a bad idea. I mean, it’s not like what we had before that (look up Iron Law of Wages) was the solution to all problems, right? You work for what I pay you, you corporate serf. And not a cent more. And none of this garbage about your “worth” – you’re worth whatever I’m willing to pay, and that’s the end of the argument. If it’s not enough to live on, that’s not my problem. Need I direct you to countries where there ARE no minimum wage? Countries like China, where the people barely have enough to get by? How nice of you to care so much of this nation that you want us to be like China.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    As for wages, minimum wage is a bad idea anyways, and ironically harms the people it’s supposed to help most FOR EXACTLY THE REASONS YOU MENTIONED.

    OK, you’re REALLY going to have to provide evidence for that one.

    Heads up in advance: I live in a country with higher minimum wage than yours, better workers’ rights than yours, lower unemployment than yours, and fewer people with a shitty standard of living that is the embarrassment of the world than yours. So if your argument can be easily refuted by examples from the world outside the US think twice before raising them, because otherwise (based on the last few people I’ve had this argument with) you’re going to ignore me when my evidence refutes your theory and then I’ll start making jokes about being invisible and generally playing silly buggers at your expense and you will be cranky and I will be amused but still disappointed because I like proper discussions even more than playing silly buggers.

  • hapax

    I dunno.  I think Monoblade is onto something.

    We hire all the laid off copyeditors and computer programmers to stand at arm’s length distance all across the U.S. / Mexican border, which is about what it would take to stop illegal Latino immigration.  (I’m assuming that Monoblade only cares about undocument BROWN immigrants, and the folks coming over the border from Canada would all be white and Christian and straight enough to increase our strength through homogeneity)

    We’d have to do it in four shifts, to ensure 24/7 coverage.  By my back of the envelope calculations (assuming one person every five feet), that would employ 8,317,056 persons, making a HUGE dent in our fourteen million unemployed.  At minimum wage of 7.50 an hour (which of course Monoblade assures us they’d be HAPPY to accept), that works out to roughly 130 trillion dollars a year. 

    Ah, that’s super cheap to save us from death by diversity!

    But wait.  It also means that crop shortages and higher agricultural wages would drive the price of a Big Mac to over $8.

    Fugeddaboutit.

  • Anonymous

    What the hell? You’re doing a “logical conclusion” argument for A POINT I NEVER STATED. Border coverage is necessary, but only to a certain point. It’s easier to find illegals already in the nation than to cover every inch of the border. Can you guys name even one nation that is as lax about illegal immigration as the US is? I can’t. Try crossing the southern border in the other direction without papers and see what happens. Also not that I never denied the necessity of migrant work. If citizens would rather collect unemployment than look for a job, I guess it can’t be helped. So you provide a program for migrant workers that provides a process that’s easier and safer than crossing the Rio Grande (which they shouldn’t be doing in the first place, it’s illegal). Everyone wins.

  • Anonymous

    I’m given to understand that to collect unemployment requires to look for a job.

  • hapax

    How about we just legalize all the ones that are here?

    I mean, if we all agree we need the migrant labor, and you haven’t provided a single criterion on how we are to distinguish the “useful” from the DEATH BY DIVERSITY migrants, why waste the money on rounding up the ones that are here,working at jobs that USians won’t take,  paying property and sales tax, etc?

    Wouldn’t that even more of a win/win?

    (Why should I care if the U.S. has lax border security? Even if that is true, and my anecdata sez yours is wrong [I don’t know any other nation that beats up science fiction writers trying to cross the border to attend a literary conference] I’m *thrilled* that the USA, with all its economic and social and political problems, is still attractive enough to people around the world that they are willing to risk everything to come and add their money and labor and fresh ideas to our society.  What did somebody or other say about “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”?)

     

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Can you guys name even one nation that is as lax about illegal immigration as the US is?

     
    I dunno. Russia has about 10 million illegal immigrants. South Africa has 5 million. A couple of million Iraqis have entered Syria and and Jordan since we started bombing them to freedom 8 years ago. There are more than 3 million in Pakistan. It’s estimated that 10% of the population of the Dominican Republic are illegal immigrants from Haiti.
     
    Maybe by laxity you mean more than having craploads of people who you don’t actively deport (or, in the case of Malaysia, whip. Fucking yay, Malaysia). So, how about Brazil? In 2009 Brazil gave amnesty to its illegal immigrants. They get public education and health care. Brazil gives its illegal immigrants services that aren’t guaranteed to US citizens, so I’m gonna name Brazil for you, my insular friend!
     
    (Check out Lula da Sila, you guys: “Repression and intolerance against immigrants will not solve the problems caused by the economic crisis”.)
     
    Um, possibly can you name a nation outside North America whose domestic issues you have a passing knowledge of?

  • Anonymous

    >Brazil

    Bahahahahahahahaha

    …oh wait, you’re serious

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    What? You asked for a country that is “more lax” wrt illegal immigration than the US, and I named one. Your move.

  • Anonymous

    What I’m saying is that Brazil is crap, and using it as an example of successful ANYTHING is laughable. Keep in mind I’m not saying the PEOPLE of Brazil are crap, I’m saying the nation is. I honestly hope it gets better.

    Just letting illegal immigrants off the hook… what the HELL are they thinking? Have they just stopped caring? What sort of world am I living in? 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    First of all, you didn’t ask anyone to name a country that you approve of that has a more lenient attitude to illegal immigrants than the US; you asked for us to name ANY country. Which I did, so I believe the first point goes to me.

    But second: Brazil is crap? Wow. What is the US, out of interest? Just so I can understand whaere the dividing line is. Hey, and I’m from Australia. Are we crap? Why/why not?

    It did lift 25 million people out of poverty in the last decade. In my book, that’s a good thing. So all else aside, Brazil gets credit for that. How has the US been doing on poverty trends?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    First of all, you didn’t ask anyone to name a country that you approve of that has a more lenient attitude to illegal immigrants than the US; you asked for us to name ANY country. Which I did, so I believe the first point goes to me.

    But second: Brazil is crap? Wow. What is the US, out of interest? Just so I can understand whaere the dividing line is. Hey, and I’m from Australia. Are we crap? Why/why not?

    It did lift 25 million people out of poverty in the last decade. In my book, that’s a good thing. So all else aside, Brazil gets credit for that. How has the US been doing on poverty trends?

  • Anonymous

    The United States gets smeared with all sorts of names by the jealous. But “weak” is never among them. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    What? Where did ‘weak’ come from?

    And, btw, I’ve referred to the US approach to social security as pissweak, so does that count?

    Again, please: do you think that all countries are crap and have fallen short of the glory of Monoblade? If not, who is not crap? Why is Brazil crap, in particular? I’m starting to get very suspicious that you think it’s crap because it’s poor and left wing…

  • Anonymous

    Gets smeared by the jealous? I live here and I call this hellhole third-world names. I’ll call it “weak,” because that’s exactly what it is. And it’s that way because of jingoistic fools like you.

    Oh, and that was a brilliant dodge. First, you couldn’t get me to call you a Nazi, but you bitched about it anyway. Then, I asked you a direct question, and you ducked that and went off on another tangent. I’ll ask again, if only because you’re acting especially dense: what is a “useless” person? Be an adult and own up to your own fucking words and stop dodging the question.

  • Anonymous

    Holy crap, use your brain. A useless person, BY DEFINITION, is not useful.

  • Anonymous

    Which means they’re WHAT, for instance?

    I want you to SAY it, because until you do, you’re still DODGING.

  • Anonymous

    IT MEANS YOU HAVE TO BE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHO IS LET INTO THE NATION, OK? THE UNITED STATES HAS A GOOD THING GOING, IT’D BE A SHAME IF WE LET EVERYONE IN TO TEAR IT APART. NOW STOP ASKING USELESS QUESTIONS. Why am I even explaining this?

  • Anonymous

    “Useless questions?”

    Also: Yay immigration quotas! We don’t want those filthy, listless, shifty, Irish Papist Bastards over here. Only Real True Nativist (Read: White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) Americans need apply!

    And there you go again. Despite your all caps, you refuse to answer my question about what makes a person useless. You jive and dive and shuck and juke and try to avoid the question. You’re like Jell-o. Here’s the news: you ain’t fooling anyone.

    Because you won’t answer, I’ll answer for you. A useless person is anyone not like you. It’s those Mexicans who hop across the boarder and pay their taxes without complaint (unlike A CERTAIN SEGMENT of the population). Who rarely, if ever, get in trouble with the law (which sorta makes sense – you’re here illegally, so you don’t want to call attention to yourself, now do you?). Or those Hondurans, or Guatemalans, or this Brown People that come over here. A useless question is anyone that threatens to reveal a truth you don’t want to face. You won’t answer because I’ve backed you into a corner. I know your kind. You hide behind that “political correctness” boogieman, only because you don’t have what it takes to say what you want to say, so you project that on others and blame them for YOUR lack of courage to say what you mean to say. You use the “I’m not a racist!” canard, hoping to once again throw off questions with a red herring when YOUR ENTIRE RHETORIC THUS FAR screams otherwise. Explaining indeed. How’s THAT for an explanation?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Eh, Mono hasn’t answered my questions either so we can be pretty sure it’s not us, it’s him/her :)

  • Georgia Ingolfsland

    Reading Mono’s posts, it sounds like a kid that’s logged on to his parents computer…he keeps referring to you guys as “adults”.  Could be wrong.

    Sgt. P, I grew up in Australia!  Nice to meet you <3

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Hi Georgia!   o/

  • Anonymous

    No, if you’d actually read my posts, you’d see I was QUESTIONING whether or not I’m talking to adults. But, since you’re easily offended, it’s best if you ignored that part.

  • Rikalous

    Oh good, I didn’t miss playtime with Mono.

    As for multiculturalism, it’s like storing flammable materials near a
    heat source. To willingly blind yourself to this fact is death.

    Now this is quite an assertion, and I haven’t seen you back it up with any evidence. I can think of three benefits of multiculturalism off the top of my head: quesadillas, orange chicken, and pizza. However, I’m having a much bigger problem thinking of ways in which multiculturalism has been a raging disaster. So tell me, Mono, can you give me just one example of multiculturalism being as deadly as you claim?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    Oh good, I didn’t miss playtime with Mono.

    Monoblade will keep going, asserting the most contrary positions possible with increasing vehemence, as long as it gets a response.  Reasoned argument, facts, logic, angry cursing and insults will do nothing but encourage this behavior.  Only way I’ve yet found to deal with this type of trolling is to ignore it entirely.  Refrain from responding, and eventually they get bored and move along.

  • http://post-modernenlightenment.blogspot.com Enigma32

    Don’t forget, we owe something even larger to multiculturalism – the very words we speak, the very language we think and communicate in, English.

    Take three parts Norse-Saxon and add one part Latin and stir vigorously. Let set for several hundred years until 1066, and then add two parts Norman French. Let set for another 600 years or so, then sprinkle lightly with thousands of different foreign words from German, French, Greek, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, and regions as far flung and exotic as Japan, Hawai’i, and the Native American languages. Distill through a cloth, remove the complex and irregular verb forms, and spin towards the future. English is the very picture of multiculturalism. There’s nothing homogenous about this language we speak, and ironically, the people who scream the most about homogeneity also scream about making this decidedly heterogeneous language their national language. 

  • Anonymous

    That’s the natural ebb and flow of cultures, nothing historically unusual. but to intentionally forsake a nation’s heritage for some stitched-together composite of everything BUT your nation’s heritage is DEATH. WHICH IS WHAT THE LIBERALS ARE TRYING TO DO IN AMERICA, TO DENY IT IS TO LIE.

  • Rikalous

    That’s the natural ebb and flow of cultures, nothing historically
    unusual. But to intentionally forsake your nation’s heritage for some
    stitched-together composite of everything BUT your nation’s heritage is
    DEATH. WHICH IS WHAT THE LIBERALS ARE TRYING TO DO IN AMERICA, TO DENY
    IT IS TO LIE.

    Our national heritage is stitched-together composites. To deny that is, charitably, to be depressingly ignorant about your own country’s history (non-Americans get a pass, naturally).

    Oh, and you didn’t answer my question. Either give an example of multiculturalism screwing a country – any country – up or explain why you cannot.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Oh, and you didn’t answer my question. Either give an example of multiculturalism screwing a country – any country – up or explain why you cannot.

    And don’t forget your other overdue homework: recantation of your assertion that the US has the most lax immigration policy in the world; evidence for minimum wage laws destroying everything; criteria for what makes a country crap and allocation of the US into either the crap/not crap category, with justification.

  • Anonymous

    Do you think I’m obligated to answer EVERY question I’m asked? Do celebrities personally answer every e-mail they get?

  • Anonymous

    If you want us to take you seriously, you’re obligated to answer the question of what damage has been done by multiculturalism.

  • Kish

    I’ll let you in on a little secret.

    You’re not a celebrity.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    LOL, so you’re a celebrity now? Pray tell your brand of shampoo so I can emulate you better.

    See, we’re actually engaging in a (stunted form of) dialogue, in which people address each other directly. You said stuff to people–in some cases directly challenged people to respond–and when they did respond, ignored it. Which you’re within your rights to do, but a friendly bit of advice: it makes you look bad. Perhaps you are operating with the maturity
    of a child and you like negative attention,  so this is fine with you. But, see, other people are reading, and you’re making your entire school of thought (as much as it is) look bad. So you’re actually doing a fine job of anti-evangelism for your various causes. Works for me!

    And now, I must boggle at the posts replying to my incredulity about the relationship between schools and the military.

  • http://post-modernenlightenment.blogspot.com Enigma32

    And what is the “national heritage”, troll?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Another excellent by-product of multiculturalism: multiracial babies. Got a bunch in my family, of various different mixtures. Nothing better symbolises the ability of humanity to overcome our history of deep-seated bigotry.

    Plus, as a kid with cousins of many different races and cultures, you learn a lot of swear words that your parents don’t know.

  • ako

    And there you go again. Despite your all caps, you refuse to
    answer my question about what makes a person useless. You jive and dive
    and shuck and juke and try to avoid the question. You’re like Jell-o.

    Monothing is actually really effective at supporting the views left-liberal religiously pluralistic majority here.  Every time he speaks up, he presents really weak arguments for libertarianism/fundamentalism/knee-jerk Fred-hate, which get torn to pieces, then ostentatiously sulks off as soon as someone presents a half-decent counterargument.  It’s a good way to get people to hear all of the convincing and effective arguments for the views most people have here, and encourage people to associate right-wing libertarianism and fundamentalism with both pathetically weak arguments and badly-behaved trolls.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    And that’s why I like to feed trolls :)

  • Anonymous

    Here, here :)

  • Anonymous

    “associate right-wing libertarianism and fundamentalism with both pathetically weak arguments and badly-behaved trolls.”

    I can safely say that almost every libertarian or fundamentalist you meet will have a pathetically weak argument and, in the end, become a badly-behaved troll once you rip down the scaffolding for their “true believer” syndrome. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget – Brazil also implemented a program where they’re not as dependent upon foreign oil as America or some other countries are. That’s a huge accomplishment as well.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Hey, and I’m from Australia. Are we crap? Why/why not?

    As a gamer, I will say that Australia’s laws regarding the rating and distribution of interactive media are crap, but a large portion of the Australian population who are interested in such things are already aware of (and incensed by) that.  Fortunately, the one guy who was cockblocking rating reform efforts is leaving office, so hopefully that will change.  Yay Australia! 

  • Anonymous

    “Brazil is Crap”? Does the acronym BRIC mean anything to you? Clue: countries where the smart money is investing instead of the wonderful United States?

  • Anonymous

    Canada has marriage equality.

  • hapax

    Well, *yeah*.  Clearly we want to welcome all immigrants fleeing that horrible anti-
    Christian oppression!

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    Who brought up Nazism? ‘Cause it looks like it was you.

    Yeah, funny how the guy who referred to such people as “animals” would jump to Naziism.

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    Who brought up Nazism? ‘Cause it looks like it was you.

    Yeah, funny how the guy who referred to such people as “animals” would jump to Naziism.

  • cjmr

    You leave me wondering if, if you were to lose whatever gainful employment you currently have*, you’d be willing to pick crops, pluck poultry, or shovel cow manure at less than minimum wage for 40 hours a week to feed your family.**   (Or, more realistically, pick 2 of those 3 to do full time.  You can’t feed a family on only one sub-minimum wage job.)

    —–

    *assuming you have one
    **assuming you have a family to support

  • Anonymous

    How could you leave out Manute Bol?

  • Base Delta Zero

    “Nah, now you’re just taking a naively ignorant foreigner for granted. Schools are not required to give information about children to the freaking military. There’s no way that’s true.”Every boy already has to give their personal information to the military…


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