We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, February 7. 2007
Why won't Bush et al push nuclear energy? Forget global warming - it's the only sure and cheap path to energy independence. Piece at American.com
Blacks and Hispanics lag in educational achievement. LaShawn takes a look at immigration, self-help, culture, etc. and how these variable affect education. Links to some good stuff. A quote:
La Shawn Barber's History Of Immigrants
La Shawn Barber writes: Back in the day, immigrants flocked to the United States, ready, willing, and able to become assimilated, English-speaking Americans. They prized not only America’s opportunities but what America symbolized. These immigrants didn’t just want a good job or higher standard of living. They wanted to be productive and proud Americans. Today’s “immigrants,” mostly from Central America,
Weblog: Dr. X's Free Associations
Tracked: Feb 07, 21:50
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On Point: Diversity drivel....us whities are gett'n kicked big time.
February 7, 2007
'Most white people most of the time" share the belief that "bland is best" when it comes to aesthetics.
They believe that "wealth equals worth" and that a wife is "subordinate to (her) husband."
In communicating, white people "don't show emotion" and "avoid conflict, intimacy."
They share an ethic of "win at all costs" and possess a "master and control nature."
Had enough of this bigoted, juvenile, trashy analysis? Unfortunately, I'm merely quoting from a sheet distributed recently to some teachers at Cimarron Elementary School in Aurora as part of the diversity training set in motion last year by the Cherry Creek School District.
(there's more folks so read on)
In communicating, white people "don't show emotion" and "avoid conflict, intimacy."
Whatever toad wrote that line never ran into me or any of the Marines I served with. They never ran into an Army soldier, A Navy man,Coast Guard,AirForce, oil well riggers,construction men.......who the hell wrote that?
Look, my parents made sure I had not good, but great manners. I still say (at 59) Yes Sir and No Sir to my elders or superiors (but I don't work now).
But they also, as good parents and as a US Marine family didn't teach me how to back down when "fight'n words" start. I now sick my 2nd degree blackbelt wife on 'em.
They are trying to create a stereotype, aren't they? It's so sad....
Yes, they are trying to create a stereotype to force on others, but they also believe it deeply themselves. Here in Seattle, the school district drafted a guide to [white, naturally] "racist" behavior. One of the innumerable bad traits that white people have is a "future time orientation" like, oh, saving for a rainy day or deferring gratification until the work gets done, or doing your homework. Or somethin'. This is pretty complex stuff - they hate traditional American culture, that goes without saying, they hate industrial society, and want to revert to some Rousseauist noble savage type world that exists only in their imagination. Just perfect to hasten the Balkanization of American society.
We have to start thinking about what this means over the long term and how best to preserve our traditions in the face of it.
We let the education industry nationalize, and exempt itself from the marketplace, and now we're getting the natural result, a nation whistling its way happily down the road to serfdom. Alas, alas.
Personally,I think the WASP stereotypes are great. Repressed--we don't act on our sinful impulses so we keep promises, pay bills, resist temptation. Work ethic--we get the job done no matter how we feel. Avoiding intimacy? Well, I'd say we live in a promiscuous culture that goes to the other extreme...Cold? Unaffectionate? Well, those are serious defects. Hubby and I resolved in only one way to emulate primitive cultures: lots and lots of cuddling of our kids, no discipline before the age of 2, shower them with love. By contrast with the shake your father's hand we were raised with...But back to good Wasp stereotypes: Delaying gratification enabled me to get an education. Living without a car until the age of 31, eating beans and rice, using no heat, etc. made it possible for me to study things I loved, do work I believed in that actually helped others. And don't even get me started on the virtues of trying to be truly Puritanical. We should all be so...
But my kids got into awful trouble at school for loudly proclaiming in 3rd grade that "Chaka Zulu was a bloody butcher!" All of us raised on tales of the noble Brits in Zulu...
"Just perfect to hasten the Balkanization of American society.
We have to start thinking about what this means over the long term and how best to preserve our traditions in the face of it."
Your term Balkanization is perfect for what is occuring.
I have already satisfied myself with observation and study over the past 45 years in history and politics of what the outcome will be. I highly suspect you and many other know too but are hesitant to mention it. I would not want to associate you with my remarks just to let everyone out their know these are my thoughts not anyone elses.
I do not see anywhere a politically moderate center that carries any weight at all. Our immigration non policies have lead to a huge unassimilated population that shows every sign of remaining that way. America without Americans. No knowledge or appreciation of our predominately white history. In fact they see it as something to loathe. But the jobs are here, the roads go everywhere and you can be impoverished in LA and still be a comparative king to someone in Chiapas.
The resolution is revolution. It's coming as sure as night turns to day. It may take another 20 years but it is coming. The white 20-35 year olds of today have watched affirmative action retard their efforts. LA is now a minority city. Many cities in the Southwest are already simply extensions of Mexico.
At the other border, in Dearborn,MI we have an increasingly bold and assertive Muslim population preparing to use the 1960's template to establish sections of our laws whose predicate is sharia.
The KKK and other groups are reporting a huge spike in membership. Crips,Bloods,MS-13,KKK,CPUSA,Anarchists,various militias and you have revolution and decades of chaos.
Hugo Chavez will make his move.
It's gonna get very nasty in this country.
Hell, the Sothern Poverty Law Center, the epicenter of defining what a "hate group is even lists the Ludwig von Mises Institute as a hate group.
In earlier decades we had the good sense to halt immigration so the new people could acclimate themselves to the American culture. Now, do we even have an American culture? I think you stated it correctly.... Balkanization.
As long as the economy stays good, things will just 'evolve'. But let us lose this war, and let anti-westerners get control of oil, and the economy will start hurting--bad, and people will start getting really angry. That's my take, over-briefly.
Really liked that 19:15, BTW, retriever. "Uptight" was the word in the 60s/70s. It meant "feels responsible", in all the permutations.
I think the Muslims don't give a hoot about the economy humming along. They are seeking hegemony.
Same at the other border with revanchist feelings smoldering to recover what the gringo took under force of arms.
You cover these with the "TWO GOOD LINKS" section of todays edition and it points only one direction....down.
As is pointed out in that offering with the Boomers retiring there will be an overall precipitous drop off in brain power and knowledge. Thirty five years of affirnative action and no child left behind and you get a nation of dependency with no understanding of how to get out of the mess .... so just roll another doobie, have another brew and hope the next tornado doesn't take away your singlewide with HiDef Big Screen TV.
And I know you realize how quickly an economy can go from good to bad ..it can happen in one day with the concentric ripples taking their time to devistate everything.
(My comments are from a post to my site. H/T Maggies Farm
To see a geat old photo of my grandmother and great grandfather in Sicily, c. 1913, click the link to my homepage. Anyone with any knowledge of this type of photo, I'd love to hear what you know. I've seen other examples of similar professional photos from this period in Italy but haven't been able to learn anything about them yet. It seems like quite a luxury for people who were very poor.)
Barber's assessment of earlier immigrants to the US is consistent with a popular American narrative, but that narrative is hardly the whole story of immigration to the US. Plenty of scholarly work on immigrant history has been done and there is a great deal of worthwhile material available to the nonacademic reader, as well. As anyone who gives the subject a moment of serious thought might imagine, the historical reasons for immigration, the characteristics of immigrants and immigrant adjustment to life in the US varies with nativity and time period.
My own family history is typical of the nearly 7 million Italians who arrived in the US between 1880 and 1925. La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience (Mangione) includes a well-rounded account of Italian immigration to the US. That account is entirely consistent with what I know from first hand contact with my immigrant relatives, the last of whom died in the early 1990s.
I can't speak from personal knowledge about all immigrants "back in the day," but I can speak about my Italian ancestors and many family friends who emigrated from Italy between 1900 and 1921, shortly before the US closed the door to immigrants because of widespread concerns that are quite similar to the concerns Americans have about immigrants today. One big difference between then and now is the easy movement and communication between the old country and the new, but in many respects, including motivations for immigration and feelings about their adopted country, the old immigrants and the new are not nearly as different as Barber imagines.
I’m not sure if Barber had some particular group of past immigrants in mind, but Italians were the single largest group of non-English speaking immigrants to the US in the early 20th century. Her characterization of earlier immigrants has nothing to do with the immigrants I knew growing up in my large extended family, many of whom lived in the Italian ethnic neighborhoods of Brooklyn.
If she includes the single largest non-English speaking immigrant group in her generalization about earlier immigrants to the US, then Barber is wrong in her opinion about the acquisition of English language skills. Only a few of my immigrant family members ever learned to speak decent English. Their children were bilingual while none of the second generation learned to speak Italian even though we heard it spoken daily.
Barber is also wrong about the reasons these immigrants came to the US. They didn’t come here because they wanted to be Americans. They came for economic reasons. This was typical of Italian immigrants who were born into the entrenched poverty of Southern Italy and Sicily. When times were tough, many received public assistance of one sort or another. For example, they made use of the public hospitals when they suffered serious illnesses. One uncle had a severe spinal problem requiring surgery and six months hospitalization as a teen, all paid for by the City of New York in the late 1930s.
These immigrants were decent, hardworking human beings who were not looking to game the system, but when they needed help, they accepted it if it was available. They were not unusual in that regard. I realize that doesn’t fit the current mythology, but the mythology has gotten the story wrong.
One little known fact about Italian immigrant history is that many of these immigrants had no intention of remaining permanently in the US when they arrived here and they had very mixed feelings about life in America. A fair number never became US citizens at all. Most of those who became American citizens did so only after they decided that they would never return to live in Italy.
Even though travel by sea was slow and costly, there was more travel back and forth between the US and Italy than is generally realized. While some of my ancestors never returned to Italy, one great grandfather made the trip six times and another made the trip twice. A group including a great grandmother, an aunt and an uncle moved back to Italy for several years in the 1960s. After several years, they returned to the US to live out their lives having concluded that they weren’t quite Italian or American. This was not an uncommon experience for these immigrants, although it was unusual to make the move back so many years after initially coming to the US.
There is a complex history behind why these immigrants came to the US in the first place, why they stayed or returned to Italy, how they felt about their lives here and how the succeeding generations became part of mainstream America. Obviously, Barber did not grow up with intimate, sustained contact with Italian immigrants, nor I suspect did she know any southern European immigrants. I believe that there are serious problems with immigration today, as there were 100 years ago and my comments should not be construed as an argument for or against current immigration policy. I would just say that Barber is off base in her sweeping generalizations about past immigrants and that I believe it is terribly unfair of her to rely on a fictional narrative to demean today’s arrivals.
It is certainly true that many Italians did not remain. I have a friend with a family history similar to your own. And I have read that as many as 30% of all European immigrants returned sooner or later. I for one do not doubt that there are many similarities between the 19th century immigrants and those of today, in that most often the motivation is not political but economic. Having said that, the anxiety of many today is that people believe that earlier immigrants were arriving in a country that encouraged their assimilation, while today's immigrants are arriving in a country that encourages their separateness.
earlier immigrants were arriving in a country that encouraged their assimilation, while today's immigrants are arriving in a country that encourages their separateness
It doesn't get any better put than that.
Great story, Dr X. Sir, you came perilously close to losing that old photo--but the repair is superb.