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Principles November 18, 2012

Posted by Sobek in News.
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A coupla days after the election, Andy put up two polls over at Ace’s asking (hypothetically) which plank in the conservative platform we should drop to get more electoral votes, and which plank would be a deal-breaker if it were dropped.  I didn’t vote in either poll (because voting is for suckers), but I have some thoughts on the issue to which I’m going to subject you, via a rambling essay.

The options are these: Abortion, Climate Change, Gun Control, Illegal Immigration, Taxes and Spending and Voter ID.  My response is “None of the Above,” and I think it’s important to explain why, beyond simply saying “I don’t want to concede even an inch to those filthy communist hippies.”  The options fall into two main groups, with one outlier: freedom issues, process issues, and abortion.

Freedom Issues

Between 2000 and 2008, the Left discovered and proclaimed (and misquoted) Benjamin Franklin’s dictum that those who would sacrifice liberty for the sake of security deserve neither liberty nor security.  They never meant that, of course.  If they meant it, they would be as outraged as I am over TSA abuses, or the intrusions of ObamaCare.  What they really meant was they hated Bush, but that doesn’t sound like a position of principle, so they had to lie and say it was about freedom.

All of society is a balancing test between liberty and security.  I heard a liberal judge speaking at a panel discussion arguing that you can’t give up liberty for the sake of security, but if I had gone to her courthouse I would have been subjected to a metal detector and pat-down.  So the question isn’t whether we want liberty or security, but how much of the former we are willing to give up for how much of the latter.  If my government can draft me to serve in the military, my freedom is reduced by some degree; but the presence of that military makes my security from foreign threat more solid.  DUI checkpoints clearly constitute a warrantless seizure of my person, however temporary, but they also make it less likely that I’ll be killed by a drunk driver.  We can disagree on whether we’ve sacrificed too much liberty in either of those cases, but the point is that American society has currently made a determination about where the needle should point between two extremes.

Gun control, taxes and spending and climate change are all issues where the Left wants to take my freedom, and in no event do they seek to replace it with security.  Oh, they may argue that seizing guns increases security, but that’s a flat-out lie and they know it.  There isn’t a Lefty in the country who thinks criminalizing marijuana means you can’t get marijuana.  Why would it be any different for guns?  Can anyone argue with a straight face that Chicago’s gun laws mean there are no guns in Chicago?  Climate change and taxes/spending are the same thing, because the government isn’t interested in climate change except as a mechanism for taxing activities deemed harmful to the environment.  In both cases, my security is not increased, but my liberty to enjoy or dispose of my property is severely curtailed.

I have already given up too much of my liberty to a rapacious, all-intrusive government.  The line is drawn in the sand.  Want to take more of my rights?  Molon Labe.

Kimber the Giant Anteater also says “Molon Labe,” but I’m not sure he understands the historical background of that phrase. Kimber’s still cool, though.

Process Issues

Every one of these is non-negotiable, because they are liberal dreams for demographic time-bombs set to destroy the GOP.  Illegal immigration has absolutely nothing to do with immigration, or human rights, or racism.  Liberals don’t care about any of those things.  They care that Hispanic immigrants vote Democrat.  Voter ID has absolutely nothing to do with ballot access or discrimination.  Liberals don’t care about those.  They care that voter fraud overwhelmingly favors Democrats.

That any conservative could even begin to consider abandoning either of these issues is insane.  Republicans cannot win future elections by importing twelve million new Democrat voters (just to begin with!), or by letting illegal or dead voters have more access to ballots.

Stephen the Tiger gets all worked up over process issues, too.

Abortion

This issue isn’t about freedom, per se.  At least, it has nothing to do with the sliding scale of liberty and security.  And under no circumstances can my personal liberty be infringed by the abortion issue in any event.  And it has nothing to do with process, except obliquely and in a contradictory fashion.  By that I mean that liberals are far more likely to abort their children than conservatives, so speaking in the most mercenary manner possible, unrestricted abortion should only favor the GOP.

But this issue is about morality, about the soul and worthiness of America.  I could no longer compromise on an issue of such stark moral import as I could on a proposed genocide (as indeed abortion seems to be).  To the extent that Americans tolerate, subsidize, and eventually celebrate abortion, none of the other issues listed above make any difference, because we do not deserve the liberty we have so long enjoyed.  Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey are stains of the blackest sort on our nation’s history, akin to our treatment of the Native Americans or Slavery.

I suffer no end of horror at the thought that some Americans fight with all their energy to perpetuate such a vile and abominable institution, and I can only hope that one day names like Margaret Sanger and Nancy Keenan are detested as much as Heinrich Himmler and Slobodan Milosevic.  No, I will not yield this point under any circumstances, not to my dying day, if I should be so unlucky as to have to predecease our great national shame.

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Comments»

1. digitalbrownshirt - November 19, 2012

Abortion is my deal breaker, but in reality we’ve given up enough already. The Democrats are destroying what’s left of the country, I’ll be damned if I’m going to help them do it.

2. Michael - November 19, 2012

I’m not convinced that Hispanics are inherently Democrat voters. They’re not voting for the ideals of the Democrats, they’re voting against the party that seems obsessed with deporting their nephew, who may be:

1. Working hard as a roofer or electrician for a non-union wage, thereby making America more competitive, and

2. Having children that alleviate the demographic problem of the infertility of native-born Americans (including blacks who account for an astonishing proportion of abortions).

Immigration is not a deal-breaker for me. It’s just a problem that needs to get solved in a rational manner. For once, I am in agreement with both Obama and Boehner on a general principle. A big part of the problem is eliminating the incentives for immigrants to come here (or stay here illegally) by becoming leeches on public services, and getting rid of criminals.

The DREAM Act is not a bad idea, it’s just badly written. The basic idea of providing a path to citizenship for residents who were brought here illegally as children is OK with me.

3. lauraw - November 19, 2012

Well said. The conservatives who are so willing to jump on the illegal alien bandwagon simply stun me. And the left is there laughing and rubbing their hands together because of the panicky idiots on our side.

Let’s not forget: at the rallies in support of amnesty, they wave Mexican flags and denounce capitalism, and call the United States a racist country.

Um, is this how you ask nicely for something? By insulting us? Are we really considering rewarding people with citizenship for 1)breaking in and 2)then insulting us afterwards? Or else they’ll hate us? How about this: we don’t reward them, because they *already* hate us.

Exploitation, you say? So who the fuck kidnapped them and dragged them here? Wasn’t me! Oh, I’m so sorry they’re not living the life of their dreams, in the country they illegally snuck into of their own fucking free will.

WTF, over??? This is madness.

4. lauraw - November 19, 2012

Michael, you’re wrong.

5. Michael - November 19, 2012

Michael, you’re wrong.

Nope.

1. They are here only because, unlike other nations (including Mexico), we willfully refused to enforce our borders. Let’s face it — we wanted the cheap labor. We are hugely complicit in the population of illegals within our country.

2. The DREAM Act concept is focused on the narrow issue of children who were brought here through no fault of their own.

Full disclosure — Jesus Gonzales takes care of my yard. Anna Flores cleans my house every other week. They both bring helpers on occasion. They do excellent work for a moderate price, and are very polite and friendly. I’m sure they don’t show up at La Raza rallies that are staged for the media.

The perspective here in Texas is whole lot different than reading about the issue in New England. We all know and like Hispanics, and we don’t really inquire about their immigration status.

6. digitalbrownshirt - November 19, 2012

I grew up in San Diego back in the 70’s when most people thought illegal aliens weren’t a problem because they didn’t cut into jobs Americans wanted anyway (farm hands). 30 years later the jobs Americans don’t want are suddenly all those jobs they wanted back then like roofing, electricians, construction, manufacturing, etc… Even fast food which was once considered a decent first job for high school students are harder to come by because of the massive influx of illegal workers. The local McDonalds had an immigration raid a couple of years ago that shut the place down for a week because they didn’t have enough legal workers to stay in business. California is a good example of what happens when people get squishy about what’s right and wrong. Illegal immigration is wrong, rewarding them for doing it is worse.

BTW, I’ve got a lot of relatives with Mexican ancestry, they’re more anti-illegal than I am. They’re forefathers came here to find a better life, not to make this country into as much of a shithole as the one they just left, and that seems to be the prime motivations for the ones waving Mexican flags as they thumb their noses at us.

7. Michael - November 19, 2012

By the way, I belong to a church that has a Spanish language service every Sunday. We’re making them Lutherans.

8. lauraw - November 19, 2012

Oh, because I don’t know any hardworking illegals. Certainly not anyone in that house at the end of the parking lot at work, where about a dozen guys live together. Up here in our New England SANCTUARY CITIES, so named because THEY ARE FULL OF ILLEGALS, they’re just all rapers and killers and gang members.

*slaps Michael*

Keep up. The post is called “Principles,” not “I am going to assist the Reconquista by attrition because my maid is nice and really gets in between the grout.”

Jesus, Michael. WRONG.

9. digitalbrownshirt - November 19, 2012

Haven’t they suffered enough?

10. digitalbrownshirt - November 19, 2012

I guess I should mention that my mom came from the Phillipines, following the normal LEGAL sysem for citizenship. With a 9th grade education and shitload of hard work, she’s worth millions today.

And she votes Republican.

11. Michael - November 19, 2012

My senior pastor is Rev. Eloy Gonzales, a former Lutheran seminary professor.

The church offers ESL classes and Zumba workouts.

12. Michael - November 19, 2012

assist the Reconquista by attrition

That’s actually your fault, not theirs. Have some babies and you can help boost white fertility above the 2.2 replacement rate.

Hispanics are why we are not facing the demographic suicide, already locked in, of countries like Japan, Germany, and China.

13. Michael - November 19, 2012

And the very bestest thing about Hispanic immigration is that THEY ARE NOT MUSLIM, which is the enormous problem Europe is confronting with its huge, fertile and unassimilated Muslim populations (e.g., Turks in Germany, North Africans in France).

I’ll choose a creeping Reconquista of the southwest over Sharia law any day. Worst case scenario is that some day I will have to read a Spanish menu at the Spirit Grille. I’m pretty sure that I will be able to order the fish tacos in any event.

14. geoff - November 19, 2012

It’s pretty clear that we’re never going to be able to control the southern border, and that businesses won’t allow enforcement of the law at the employer level, so it would be nice to have a naturalization policy that didn’t incentivize people to illegally immigrate.

Har.

15. Michael - November 19, 2012

I read somewhere that walled and gated communities, like my own Cottonwood Valley, are basically a concept imported from Hispanic culture. That’s why they are common in California and Texas, and virtually unknown in Michigan.

The basic notion is that neighbors have to band together in order to provide for their own security, because you can’t really count on the police.

How American is that?

Connecticut would be a safer place if their were more protected neighborhoods protecting residents from the Portuguese ruffians in Hartford.

16. geoff - November 19, 2012

I read somewhere that walled and gated communities, like my own Cottonwood Valley, are basically a concept imported from Hispanic culture.

…or from, like, any medieval town or American fort or retirement community or …

17. Michael - November 19, 2012

Geoff, we could control the southern border of we wanted to. I’ve been to Laredo and watched people wading across the Rio Grande. If we just shot people at midstream, the practice would stop.

The U.S. Border Patrol really does not attempt to control the border until you hit a checkpoint at an interstate highway several miles inland. By then, it’s too late.

18. geoff - November 19, 2012

Geoff, we could control the southern border of we wanted to.

I believe that, but I don’t think it’s politically/fiscally possible for us to ever do it.

19. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

I’m good with finding Republican candidates who don’t put the words “legitimate” and “rape” in the same sentence.

I could give up the legitimate rape principle. I’m ok with tossing that one.

20. digitalbrownshirt - November 19, 2012

Gated communities are found in other countries. The parents own a couple of homes in the PI that are gated with armed guards. It’s more a sign of the economic differences than a tradition. I also saw something like that in Korea back in the 80’s, but that was related to a military installation.

21. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

“The perspective here in Texas is whole lot different than reading about the issue in New England.”

This is a silly statement. Illegals are everywhere. Just because Texas has been 1/3 Hispanic since, like.. forever does not mean we have a unique perspective on illegals that others can’t understand. They. Are. Everywhere. In. This. Country. Including. CT.

22. geoff - November 19, 2012

“Legitimate rape” was the least objectionable part of what Akin said, though the media and the Left had a field day with it. I think he was just contrasting classic criminal rape with the emergence of the modern “morning-after regrets” form of rape. After that, of course, he went loony on the biology part.

What was he thinking? No man really knows what goes on down there.

23. digitalbrownshirt - November 19, 2012

We’ve got a ton of them in Oklahoma, we just don’t kiss their butts yet, although the Daily Oklahoman sure does try. That’s probably the reason they’re struggling for subscribers because they’re actually pretty conservative on most issues.

24. geoff - November 19, 2012

Just because Texas has been 1/3 Hispanic since, like.. forever does not mean we have a unique perspective on illegals that others can’t understand.

I think SoCal is the place with a unique perspective. No other place has experienced the rapid and profound demographic/cultural changes that SoCal has.

25. Michael - November 19, 2012

It’s fiscally possible to control the border in Texas. We just need to deputize the ranchers and comp them for the bullets they use shooting anyone crossing the border. Make them fill out a sworn affidavit to explain the circumstances of the shooting. The infiltration routes are known. Maybe the ranchers could sell bleacher seats to the slaughter and make some money.

But I agree that this is politically impossible. It’s also inhumane and demographically stupid. So, the question is not whether it happens, but how do we manage it?

The real issue is not immigration, but quality control of the immigrants.

Also, we still need people to harvest the lettuce in California, so there should be an efficient visa program for temp workers.

26. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

I should dig up that story from a few years back about about how two MS-13 monsters kidnapped, beat, and raped an 18 year old girl in central Texas, left her for dead. Somehow she survived. Crawled 2 miles to find help.

Lock up or deport the criminals first. There’s a start.

Yeah, I know he (Akin) was struggling with a concept, and from there he went to insane-world trying to explain the mysteries of vag, which as you rightly point out no man knows.

27. geoff - November 19, 2012

The real issue is not immigration, but quality control of the immigrants.

I always liked Amy Chua’s approach (not unique to her, of course), which was to prioritize immigration based on how much candidates would benefit America. I was really ticked off that Clinton didn’t make arrangements for Hong Kong business people and investors to move to America back in 1997. According to one of my friends from Hong Kong, they were clamoring to get in for a couple of years before the handover to China.

Also, we still need people to harvest the lettuce in California, so there should be an efficient visa program for temp workers.

No, we should start using robots for that stuff. The cheap labor supply is suppressing our technology sector.

28. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

There was a guest worker program in CA in the 60s and 70s, worked reasonably well.

It’s the non-workers that are the problem.

That, and people who push brussel sprouts on us because they’re like, “good for us” or something. Fuck brussel sprouts.

29. Michael - November 19, 2012

This is a silly statement. Illegals are everywhere.

It’s true that illegals are everywhere. Columbus, for example, has a huge Somali community, and I’d bet $20 that a bunch of them are illegal. Same thing in St. Louis, where I lived on the edge of a large Vietnamese community.

But my statement was not silly. I have been specifically addressing the practical aspects of Hispanic immigration across our southern border — not much of an issue in New England of Michigan, where they need to keep those pesky Canucks out of their towns.

30. geoff - November 19, 2012

from there he went to insane-world trying to explain the mysteries of vag, which as you rightly point out no man knows.

For all we know he could have been right. It’s not like medical science will ever be able to really explain what goes on in the southern hinterlands of the female body.

Not that the frail male psyche could handle the truth if it did.

31. Michael - November 19, 2012

Fuck brussel sprouts.

We have arrived at a meeting of the minds Dave.

In general, I won’t eat anything that makes the kitchen smell while cooking like a rapid armadillo farted before it died.

32. geoff - November 19, 2012

All right – maybe I’d be willing to consider a naturalization path for children raised in the US in exchange for a ban on brussel sprouts.

33. geoff - November 19, 2012

I also meant to say earlier that I totally agree with DBS’s observations in #6.

34. Michael - November 19, 2012

I have an idea. Let’s make brussels sprouts illegal, which will be overwhelmingly popular, and slip into the bill a clause (Part II, Section (A)(3)(c)(iv)) which defunds the useless Department of Agriculture.

Amidst all the excitement about brussels sprouts, nobody will notice this.

35. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

>> Not that the frail male psyche could handle the truth if it did.

My God, it’s full of stars!

36. lauraw - November 19, 2012

Brussels sprouts are frickin’ delicious.

My goodness, it is like you just can’t stop being wrong today, Michael.

I pity you.

37. digitalbrownshirt - November 19, 2012

I’ll admit that I actually like brussel sprouts. My sense of smell is heavily damaged by my youthful indescretions so the smell doesn’t bother me as much as it should.

Bring butter or stay home.

38. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

I would rather play a round of golf than eat brussel sprouts.

And you know how I feel about golf.

39. Mark in NJ - November 19, 2012

Michael – you’re right on immigration, no matter what anyone says. Geoff’s making sense, too.

Sobek – Obviously criminalizing marijuana doesn’t get rid of marijuana (thank God) and Chicago’s gun laws don’t eliminate guns in Chicago – so what in the history of mankind leads you to think that making abortion illegal would mean abortions would stop happening? If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one. But making it illegal as a statement of your moral principle (because we *know* from experience that it’s not a practicable law) is a truly terrible idea.

40. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

How about we stop celebrating a death cult and making me pay for it?

I’d be ok with that.

41. Michael - November 19, 2012

Michael – you’re right on immigration, no matter what anyone says. Geoff’s making sense, too.

If Mark agrees with me, I wish to completely reverse my position. From now on, Laura is expressing my opinion on my behalf (about everything except brussels sprouts).

42. Michael - November 19, 2012

(and Lutheran theology)

43. Michael - November 19, 2012

(and fast-twitch vs. slow-twitch muscle fibers)

44. Retired Geezer - November 19, 2012

…I won’t eat anything that makes the kitchen smell while cooking like a rapid armadillo farted before it died.

So … Slow armadillo’s are OK?

Count me among the Brussels Sprout lovers, bring vinegar.

45. Anonymous - November 19, 2012

“But making it illegal as a statement of your moral principle…”

I also oppose rape and murder as a statement of my moral principle, and I do so even though I know criminalizing them doesn’t make them go away. The fact that the criminal law doesn’t eliminate them doesn’t mean we should get rid of the criminal law.

46. Michael - November 19, 2012

I also oppose rape and murder as a statement of my moral principle, and I do so even though I know criminalizing them doesn’t make them go away.

Agreed, but that’s not the issue.

The issue is whether the police power of the state, and the criminal justice system, make the problem under consideration better or worse, and at what cost.

For example, America’s experience with the prohibition of alcohol.

47. Sobek - November 19, 2012

Criminalizing abortion doesn’t make the situation any worse for the millions of babies who are torn to pieces every year.

Decriminalizing abortion has the negative effects of convincing women that their unborn children are insignificant, and that their actions are without consequence.

It also has the extremely nasty political effect, because the decriminalization happened by judicial fiat, of disenfranchising hundreds of millions of Americans on a subject of profound importance to them. The fact that the Supreme Court has told me “screw your opinions, five out of nine of us know better than you” does not sit well with me at all.

(And Prohibition, unlike Roe v. Wade, was the voice of the people. As was its repeal.)

48. Sobek - November 19, 2012

And Dave ain’t kidding when he uses the word “celebrate.” The abortionists have largely succeeded in corrupting American minds into celebrating the death cult.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/i-had-an-abortion-t-shirt_n_1435234.html

49. Mark in NJ - November 19, 2012

No worries, Michael – we still disagree on the Fundamentals, like tuna casserole and whether Jesus was gay.

50. geoff - November 19, 2012

Speaking of feminine mysteries. I often have occasion to searches on mesh generation for computational methods. Now I’m getting “vaginal mesh” spam. I dare not look at it, of course, but even the subject line is unnerving.

51. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

*shudders at what that could possibly be*

52. Pupster - November 19, 2012

53. Mitchell - November 19, 2012

For all we know he could have been right. It’s not like medical science will ever be able to really explain what goes on in the southern hinterlands of the female body.

Good grief! It’s like you people never had sex-ed! Here, this video explains it all:

54. sandy burger - November 19, 2012

The illegal immigration debate is always a travesty of false dichotomies and dishonest premises.

The immigration system needs reform badly. The Democrat’s answer is to not reform it, but to just bypass it. Does the GOP attack them on this? Not effectively. A competent GOP could oppose amnesty while being the defenders of legitimate immigrants. But, alas…

55. sandy burger - November 19, 2012

geoff:
I always liked Amy Chua’s approach (not unique to her, of course), which was to prioritize immigration based on how much candidates would benefit America.

Not me.

I’d rather import grateful laborers whose children can grow up striving for the American dream than corrupt elites whose parents were complicit in the third world status of their native country.

56. sandy burger - November 19, 2012

On abortion, I am under the (possibly false?) impression that the actual majority position is only partially “pro-choice”: the sanctity of human life is thought to be derived from brain functioning, and thus early term abortions are OK but late term abortions are not.

The abortion debate is annoying. An honest debate would center on the definition of humanity and the sources of human rights. But, no. That central question is brushed aside entirely, and the “debate” is just name-calling.

I’m guessing that in the future, it will become the law of the land that early term abortions will be legal, and late term abortions will be banned.

57. Tushar - November 19, 2012

>>The real issue is not immigration, but quality control of the immigrants.

Why do you hate me, Michael?

58. daveintexas - November 19, 2012

>> I’m guessing that in the future, it will become the law of the land that early term abortions will be legal, and late term abortions will be banned.

I’m guessing that ain’t ever going to happen.

59. Tushar - November 19, 2012

#59 is the lamest spammer I have ever seen. [Asst. Site Administrator Note] Tushar does not have self esteem issues. I deleted the spam.

60. Sobek - November 20, 2012

“An honest debate would center on the definition of humanity…”

Yes, but that’s also the sort of debate that has no answer, so I can understand why people would want to avoid it. Worse, everyone knows the significance of the question before the answer is reached, so everyone is going to analyze the issue in terms that arrive at the pro-life or pro-choice answer they want.

“…and the sources of human rights.”

Yes, that’s exactly where the debate should focus. Do we, as a society, believe with Jefferson that God gives us our rights (and if so, which ones, and how are we to determine that)? Or do we believe that government gives us our rights, and hence can take them away (and if so, how do we agree on what those rights are)?

But with Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court made that debate wholly irrelevant. They took by force of law our ability to have any say in the matter. So the only relevant debate is, how do we get politicians elected and judges appointed who will impose our preference, instead of the other guy’s preference.

61. Sobek - November 20, 2012

As to immigration, I am very strongly pro-immigration. I think America made a mistake when it reversed it position of “bring me your poor, your huddled masses…” I want every single person who wants to live the American dream and follow our laws the opportunity to do so.

I also want to exclude those who would do us harm, so I support a robust screening process. So don’t give a blanket amnesty, and don’t simply throw the doors wide, but fix the system that keeps honest people waiting in line for ten years or worse, while law-breakers flaunt our acceptance.

62. Tushar - November 20, 2012

Sobek, be careful what you wish for. A lot of people want to come here, yes. Most of them don’t want to harm, yes. But that does not mean that they all believe in the American dream. All over the world, pointing a finger at America is the easy way for Governments to avoid responsibilities for their own failures. When I was a kid, it was a national pastime to see the ‘CIA hand’ behind anything that went wrong, (including a bridge collapse in some remote village that wasn’t used by anyone except foraging cows.) In hindsight, that looks so ridiculous. But a lot of people believe this nonsense and come here harboring ill will. They want the good life, but they don’t have much respect for the country and society that makes this good life possible.
I have met many highly educated Indians living here who wholeheartedly believe that the only way US economy survives is by selling weapons to the rest of the world and inciting wars all over the place to keep the demand high.

63. Michael - November 20, 2012

Tushar reminds me of an old song from my youth:

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Selling lots of weapons
Uh-huh
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Selling lots of weapons
Say it again, y’all

Maybe I got the lyrics wrong.

64. geoff - November 20, 2012

I think America made a mistake when it reversed it position of “bring me your poor, your huddled masses…”

Many people think that was a long-standing immigration policy, when in fact we clamped down on immigration around 1910. You may recall this old post, which shows that we actually had a declining population of the foreign-born until Ted Kennedy’s legislation in 1965.

65. daveintexas - November 20, 2012

It wasn’t just blanket clamping down either, there were caps that were specific to countries.

And since we were all jittery at the time about intenational socio-political unrest, one of the questions you got asked at Ellis Island was “are you an anarchist?” If you said “no I would never raise my hand to overthrow the government” you got put back on the boat.

The correct answer is “what’s an anarchist?”

*possibly embellished anecdote

66. Pupster - November 20, 2012

Tricky.

I heard another, similar anecdote* about the questions at Ellis Island, if they asked there was a job waiting for you, if you answered ‘yes’ you got put back on the boat, because they didn’t want an immigrant to take a job away from a citizen.

*possibly a bullshit anecdote

67. Michael - November 20, 2012

I heard that when my paternal great grandfather came through Ellis Island, they inquired about his religion. He said he was Lutheran.

The immigration officer looked at him sternly and said, “Are you sure you’re not a Southern Baptist?” He said, with his thick German accent, “Absolutely not! I would never stoop so low.”

The immigration officer tipped his hat, carried his bags to the ferry, and gave him the title to a farm in Cattarougus County, New York.

True story.

Well, full disclosure — an uncle of mine in upstate New York actually showed me the farm. But he’s dead now, so I can’t definitely confirm this entire story.

68. Sobek - November 20, 2012

I heard a story about Ellis Island immigrants back in the day. It seems that if the immigrant had an attractive young daughter, round about 18 years of age or so, the officer would molest her for up to thirty minutes while his friends watched and laughed, and then let her through.

69. skinbad - November 20, 2012

They had the TSA back then?


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