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Thanks To Pandering And Fearmongering, Syrian Refugees Are Now Pawns In American Politics

Syrian Refugees Coming Ashore In Greece

Not surprisingly, the news that at least one of the attackers in Paris on Friday arrived in Europe among the Syrian refugees that have flooded the continent since the summer and made their way to Paris thanks to the relatively open borders of the European Union is fueling a backlash here in the United States against Obama Administration plans to settle some refugees here. On the national level, analysts are saying that the news will likely give added political lift to Congressional efforts to block that plan and, indeed, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have already announced plans to introduce legislation to block settlement of Syrian refugees in the United States. Additionally, Republican Presidential candidates such as Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson are calling on Congressional leadership to take action to block the Administration’s plans. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said last night that he would not even allow Syrian immigrant children under the age of five into his state. Donald Trump, unsurprisingly, is saying that Syrian refugees could be a ‘Trojan Horse’ for ISIS. Even Ohio Governor John Kasich, who had initially been one of th few Governors and candidates for President who was saying that the U.S. should take in more Syrian refugees than it has been, is now saying that the refugees should not be allowed in the United States. Meanwhile, some Republicans, specifically Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have said that if the United States does accept Syrian refugees, it should limit itself to accepting only Christian refugees. The most significant movement so far, though, has come at the state level as numerous Governors, mostly Republicans, have announced that they will seek to block the settlement of any Syrian refugees in their states:

Governors across the country are scrambling to close off their states to resettled Syrian refugees in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris that are linked to Islamic State extremists.

The list of states climbed quickly to 23 by Monday evening, after President Obama said that the U.S. would continue to accept refugees and denounced efforts to stop those fleeing violence from coming to the United States as “shameful.”

Governors of Illinois, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maine, Iowa, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas — a majority of them Republican — have said that they are seeking to stop the relocation of new Syrian refugees to their states out of fear that violent extremists posing as refugees might gain entry to the country.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is also challenging Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) for her Senate seat, is the first Democrat to express support for halting the flow of refugees to the U.S. pending further assurances that the refugee vetting process is adequate.

“The Governor has always made clear that we must ensure robust refugee screening to protect American citizens, and the Governor believes that the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugees, including those from Syria, is as strong as possible to ensure the safety of the American people,” William Hinkle, a spokesman for Hassan, said in a statement.

At the same time, several acknowledged that they do not have the ability to stop the federal government from accepting and financing the resettlement of refugees to the United States. They have also sought reassurances that the process used to screen refugees is adequate.

Non-profit agencies who work with the federal government to resettle refugees in the U.S. confirmed that while the cooperation of states and localities helps in the process, no governor can impede the movement of refugees in the U.S. once they have legal status.

“Governors and state officials do not have the capability to prevent a refugee who is here and admitted lawfully to the U.S. from residing in their state. It is not something they can do,” said Lucy Carrigan, a spokeswoman for the International Rescue Committee. “There is a close collaboration with governors and mayors and community leaders about the capacity of the area for refugees and where they can go, but once they have legal status, you cannot impede their transit between different states.”

According to the Obama administration, which has stated that it hopes to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees, more than 180 cities and towns have expressed willingness to accept refugees, despite the recent groundswell of opposition from some governors. The U.S. has accepted more than 2,100 refugees from Syria since 2012, most of them in the last year.

The Obama Administration has indicated that the previously announced plan to increase the number of refugees the United States will accept will go forward notwithstanding the objections that have been voiced, and in a press conference yesterday before leaving the G-20 Summit, President Obama blasted those Republicans who suggested imposing a religious test for those entitled to refugee status:

Obama also pointedly addressed the issue of whether the United States and other countries should continue to accept refugees, given the fact that one of the participants in the Paris plot may have come in with Syrian migrants. He said the United States would continue to accept more refugees from Syria and elsewhere, though ”only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks.”

“Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values,” he said. “Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.”

Without directly naming GOP presidential candidates, the president blasted political leaders for suggesting the United States should accept only Christians fleeing Syria. He alluded to the fact that some of these same politicians — namely Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), whose father fled Cuba decades ago – -had benefited from America’s willingness to accept refugees.

“And when I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” he said, his voice rising. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

Before getting to the merits of the arguments that the Governors and other politicians are making here, as well as the rather obvious political implications, it’s worth noting that the Governors likely don’t have the legal authority to stop the Federal Government from doing anything:

The problem for Jindal, Abbott and the other governors opposed to admitting refugees, however, is that there is no lawful means that permits a state government to dictate immigration policy to the president in this way. As the Supreme Court explained in Hines v. Davidowitz, “the supremacy of the national power in the general field of foreign affairs, including power over immigration, naturalization and deportation, is made clear by the Constitution.” States do not get to overrule the federal government on matters such as this one.

Just in case there is any doubt, President Obama has explicit statutory authorization to accept foreign refugees into the United States. Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the president may admit refugees who face “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” into the United States, and the president’s power to do so is particularly robust if they determine that an “unforeseen emergency refugee situation” such as the Syrian refugee crisis exists.

This power to admit refugees fits within the scheme of “broad discretion exercised by immigration officials” that the Supreme Court recognized in its most recent major immigration case, Arizona v. United States. Indeed, in describing the executive branch’s broad authority to make discretionary calls regarding immigration matters, Arizona seemed to explicitly contemplate the circumstances that face President Obama today. The United States may wish to allow a foreign national to remain within its borders, the Court explained, because the individual’s home nation “may be mired in civil war, complicit in political persecution, or enduring conditions that create a real risk that the alien or his family will be harmed upon return.”

Moreover, the Court explained, America could suffer severe foreign policy consequences if the executive does not enjoy broad discretion over immigration matters. “The dynamic nature of relations with other countries,” Justice Anthony Kennedy explained in his opinion for the Court inArizona, “requires the Executive Branch to ensure that enforcement policies are consistent with this Nation’s foreign policy with respect to these and other realities.”

At the same time, some legal experts have noted that state officials could use the authority they do have to make the Federal Government’s efforts more difficult:

Experts say that while the states may not have the legal authority to block their borders, state agencies have authority to make the process of accepting refugees much more difficult.

“When push comes to shove, the federal government has both the plenary power and the power of the 1980 Refugee Act to place refugees anywhere in the country,” said Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the largest refugee resettlement organization in the country.

Appleby said one thing the states could do was to cut their own funding in the area.

American University law professor Stephen I. Vladeck put it this way: “Legally, states have no authority to do anything because the question of who should be allowed in this country is one that the Constitution commits to the federal government.”

But Vladeck notes that without a state’s participation the federal government would have a much more difficult time. “So a state can’t say it is legally objecting, but it can refuse to cooperate, which makes thing much more difficult.”

The point that the Federal Government cannot force states to provide their own resources to aid in the resettlement of any of these refugees is a long standing one based in general principles of Federalism that no Federal Court is likely to question. In that respect, then, the twenty-three, and possibly more, Governors who have come out against the settlement of refugees in their states could have a real impact regardless of what impact the Obama Administration make take. Additionally, Republican control of Congress means that the GOP could theoretically seek to defund resettlement efforts, although its unclear just how much authority Congress has to police the way that the State Department utilizes the funds allocated under the Refugee Act of 1980 and related laws that apply in this situation. Congress could seek to change those laws, of course, but that would run into the issue of both the Senate filibuster and the Presidential veto, both of which would likely be able to block any such effort to amend relevant Federal laws on refugee policy. Broadly speaking, then, if the Obama Administration is intent on going forward with this program there is little that the States can do to stop it, and Congressional authority to put limits on the program may be more constrained than they appear.

Now, with the legal issues behind us, let’s move on to the practical issues.

From the viewpoint of simple human decency, not to mention those provisions of international law that govern obligations to war refugees, the idea of turning our backs on refugees at the same time that we are talking about intensifying the war that is one of the major reasons they are running away from their homes to begin with is simply inhumane on a fundamental level. Add to that the fact that the force they are running from, ISIS, is in a very significant way something that evolved directly out of our own decision to invade and occupy Iraq twelve years ago, and the callousness that the is represented by the position that these Governors, and many of the Republican candidates for President, are taking takes on an even more odious moral connotation that is only made worse by the suggestion of those such as Cruz and Bush that we limit our compassion only to Syria’s Christian population.

All of that being said, it has to be acknowledged that the attacks in Paris have changed the politics of the debate over what the United States should do to help the Syrian refugees. Even before Friday, the Obama Administration’s plan was facing opposition in the state’s and in Congress over concerns that even the rather rigorous screening process that the State Department uses to determine whether someone claiming refugee status is eligible to be resettled in the United States would be inadequate to screen out potential ISIS sleeper agents or others who may attempt to sneak into the West along with a flood of otherwise legitimate refugees. Now that this has apparently happened, the political equation for both Governors of the respective states and candidates for President arguably comes down even more on the side of being cautious.

A story from the political career of Bill Clinton is, perhaps, illustrative of what these politicians are facing. Late in his first term as Governor of Arkansas, Clinton acceded to a request from President Carter to allow many of the Cubans who had arrived during the Mariel boatlift to be settled at a military base in Arkansas. When riots broke out at that camp, and others around the country, due largely to the crowded conditions in the camp, Clinton ended up suffering political blowback that contributed to him losing his first bid for re-election in 1980. Clinton managed to bounce back and returned to office two years later, but the lesson should be clear. It is politically safer for these politicians to oppose the refugee policy than it is for them to support it and then risk the possibility that something will go wrong that could end up harming them politically in the future. Cowardly? Yes, I suppose it is, but that’s how politicians operate in cases like this and, given the news from Paris and the overall views of the GOP base on immigration generally, it’s not at all surprising to see Governors and Presidential candidates acting in this manner.

Given these political winds, and the reality that the events in Paris, it seems clear that the Obama Administration is going to have to come up with a way to address the security concerns and political realities that exist now. Given the state of the law, the President could chose to simply move forward with the plan and ignore the growing objections, but taking that course of action strikes me as something that is only likely to help Republicans demagogue this issue. Even before the events in Paris, polls indicated that a majority Americans opposed the Administration’s refugee plan. That opposition is only likely to have increased since Friday.

Even if it has the legal authority to go forward, the Administration would be well-advised to be more open about how it intends to screen the people it will be bringing to the United States. It also needs to better explain the screening process that is used to determine eligibility for refugee status before someone claiming that status is brought to the United States. Otherwise, this issue could turn against the President, and his party, very quickly. Those political realities notwithstanding, though, it would be a mistake to simply give in to the reactions that we’re seeing from the Governors and Presidential candidates, most of which are based in a combination of fear, which of course often leads to irrationality, and blatant political pandering. I’d like to think we’re better than that, but so far the Governors, and people like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and others, are demonstrating otherwise.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    As Mikey points out in the other thread today (link), this action by Republican governors is exactly what ISIS wants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  2. m u ncho el box says:

    Ha !! Fearmonging?? I love how you lapdogs always can say that right over the body’s of the dead. Maybe ask prof taylor? …it was those crazy anti vaxxers who keep killing people and targeting Jews for death. Seriously how many times will it take for the muslim death culture need to kill before you start believing that they really are bent on your death?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 44

  3. Mark Ivey says:

    Nevada Republican Gov. Sandoval is not going with this bulls**t, good for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  4. Mikey says:

    This reminds me a great deal of last year’s conservative idiocy regarding Ebola. That was a similarly ill-informed, panicky overreaction to something that was highly unlikely, coupled with plenty of slime thrown at the President.

    IS wants this. They want to increase enmity between non-Muslim majorities and Muslim minorities. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi must be grinning ear-to-ear when he sees this nonsense.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  5. Tillman says:

    Not surprising. Nationalization of politics means the herd instinct was going to kick in eventually. After all, almost none of these states expanded Medicaid either when given the chance (and ~90% of the funding). Much easier to deny refugees than deny constituents healthcare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  6. gVOR08 says:

    Yet the supposedly liberal MSM and much of the country still regard Republicans as the daddy party, the serious party of business and realpolitik. They fail to notice the Rs have turned into a bunch of WATB bed wetters. Every conservative I ever met regards himself as a hard headed realist but they all live in some fantasy land.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  7. C. Clavin says:

    So these little pu$$y GOP Governors want to only let Christians immigrate now. All because a forged Syrian passport was found in Paris. And xenophobia. And of course they want to aid and abet the enemy…which is exactly what stopping refugees will do.
    (isn’t it funny how reminiscent of the Planned Parenthood scuffle this is…only over faked videos not passports)

    I’d like to think we’re better than that

    Me too…but I lost all faith in that when Reynolds went off the rails.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  8. Hal_10000 says:

    @Franklin:

    s Mikey points out in the other thread today (link), this action by Republican governors is exactly what ISIS wants.

    This is an argument used for a lot of things and I find it both glib and extremely weak. “What ISIS wants”, even presuming we know what they want (which is a BIG presumption) is kind of irrelevant. We need to do what’s appropriate, whether they want it or not. Japan wanted a war with us when they bombed Pearl Harbor. Didn’t work out too well for them.

    Not saying we should stop accepting refugees. Just saying that “this is what ISIS wants” is a terrible argument.

    The better argument is that stopping the flow of refugees to stop terrorists is like burning down your house because you saw a cockroach. There are millions of Syrian refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom have gone to Europe specifically and we have … so far … one Jihadi who faked his way through. The 9/11 hijackers were not refugees. The undie bomber wasn’t. The shoe bomber wasn’t. Refusing refugees because of this causes suffering for thousands and will likely not prevent a single terrorist attack.

    (That said, the panic is understandable, if depressing. All humans react before they think.)

    The gripping hand is that we are still figuring out what happened. I am loathe to make rash decisions in the immediate aftermath of a horrible tragedy. That’s how we get things like the Patriot Act.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Not surprisingly, the news that at least one of the attackers in Paris on Friday arrived in Europe among the Syrian refugees that have flooded the continent since the summer and made their way to Paris thanks to the relatively open borders of the European Union

    Actually, I have been reading that there is more than a little doubt among the investigators that this is true, that the passport may have been planted for the express purpose of sowing this fear. Time will tell, it is very early in the investigation and statements of “fact” are all too likely to retracted within days or even hours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @m u ncho el box:

    Seriously how many times will it take for the muslim death culture need to kill before you start believing that they really are bent on your death?

    I’m far more likely to be killed by a right wing extremist than I am by a Muslim terrorist. Or are you saying white people make terrorism cool? Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than radical Islamists have.
    But feel free to let your bigot flag fly…it’s what makes America great.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  11. cian says:

    The south has always been a place of racism and bigotry, nothing new there. Nothing new, also, in the fact that bigots are cowards, and live their lives in a constant state of terror. The attacks occurred in France, Europe, and while there is a backlash against immigrants, it is low key and actively resisted by a majority in all European countries. It’s barely a whisper when compared to the screeching and skirt lifting coming from Dixieland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  12. michael reynolds says:

    Chris Matthews had an interesting question no one could answer: are these refugees volunteering to fight for their country, like the Free French or the Poles after their countries were invaded? The Poles were flying planes for the RAF and Polish troops were the ones who finally took Monte Cassino. If not, why not.

    Taking more Syrian refugees in Europe right now is madness. You might as well just send cash to right-wing parties. Taking them here is somewhat less mad since we’re better at assimilation, but even here this helps the right wing.

    I applaud the spirit of kindness and generosity. But I find myself sharing a position with people I despise, and believe this is a bad idea. This does not help the United States. This does not help Europe. It represents some danger now, more danger down the road.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 15

  13. Lit3Bolt says:

    @cian:

    As opposed to soft racism and bigotry up North, which is so much better…

    Quite of bit of bed-wetting over terrorism there, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  14. Franklin says:

    @Hal_10000: OK, understood and agree that my simple phrasing “what ISIS wants” is not really an argument by itself. But did you read Mikey’s post?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I find myself sharing a position with people I despise

    Doesn’t that tell you something, my friend?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  16. Mikey says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Just saying that “this is what ISIS wants” is a terrible argument.

    How so? How is pointing out that the division between non-Muslim and Muslim that IS desires is promoted by those who would shut out all refugees a terrible argument? Remember why IS wants this to happen: it will swell their numbers by motivating alienated Muslims to move to the caliphate. It will promote the fulfillment of the prophecy they believe in. They didn’t massacre Parisians for the sake of massacring Parisians, they did it for specific reasons, and the most prominent is to create just this divide.

    “This is what IS wants” isn’t the only argument, but it’s certainly not a terrible one.

    “What ISIS wants”, even presuming we know what they want (which is a BIG presumption)

    They have been quite open about what they want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  17. C. Clavin says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Just saying that “this is what ISIS wants” is a terrible argument.

    I get your point…and by-and-large I agree…it’s always dangerous to over-simplify.
    However:
    It’s always been pretty clear that what these guys (Al Queda, ISIS, Islamic fundamentalist jihadists) want…big picture…is a battle between the west and Islam.
    It’s also clear that not accepting refugees will just give them a huge propaganda sledge-hammer.
    Of course these two statements lack nuance…but that doesn’t make them false.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  18. Grumpy Realist says:

    And how are we supposed to distinguish the “good Christians” from the “bad Muslims”?

    Somebody isn’t thinking…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I don’t do team sports, I make decisions based on my own criteria. In this case I’m asking myself where the profit is for us. How does this help us? The idea that we have to do this to somehow shame ISIS is absurd. The notion that these immigrants will be welcome in places like North Carolina or Wyoming is absurd. I am unconvinced that these refugees will assimilate. I think in a few years we’ll have a dozen enclaves full of unemployed Arabs being radicalized by extremist imams. Again, I fail to see why this is good for the United States.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  20. Mu says:

    Germany is waking up this morning to a new openly anti-Europe, anti-integration party polling at over 10%, making it the third strongest party. This for the first time breaks the national political consensus at Europe being the only choice. People are openly demanding barbed wire camps for initial screening of migrants a la Australia. The speed of the change in attitude is astonishing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  21. Hal_10000 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I agree that they want to increase Muslim-West animosity. But the argument there is that we should be trying to build relationships between ourselves and the moderate Muslims (as Bush, to give him some credit, did after 9/11). A battle between the West and radical Islam may be unavoidable, however, whether ISIS wants it or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. dmhlt says:

    What’s the rationale for singling out Syrians?
    Almost all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis – and NONE were Syrian
    The Shoe-bomber (Richard Reid) was British
    The Underwear-bomber (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab) was Nigerian
    The Boston Marathon bombers (Tsarnaev brothers) were Kyrgyzstani-American citizens
    The recent attempted terrorist attacker (Ayoub El Khazzani) on a Paris-bound train was Moroccan
    It makes NO sense. Then again, factoring in who’s pushing it …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  23. Jenos Idanian says:

    Look, we’re talking about a hundred-odd dead people. That’s a small price to pay for being able to feel morally and intellectually superior, isn’t it?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 23

  24. Argon says:

    @Franklin:

    As Mikey points out in the other thread today (link), this action by Republican governors is exactly what ISIS wants

    Funny. ISIS is exactly what the GOP neocons want too. They’re made for each other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  25. bookdragon says:

    @michael reynolds: Seriously, Michael, tell me how your argument here is any different from the arguments of those who were happy to turn away the Ship of the Damned in 1939. Pure self-interested, ‘they’re not like us and won’t assimilate’ and ‘how would it benefit us’ arguments.

    Of course, if the folks you’re siding with were around back then, they’d probably add fears that some of the refugees were Nazi agents in disguise….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  26. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: I’m far more likely to be killed by a right wing extremist than I am by a Muslim terrorist. Or are you saying white people make terrorism cool? Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than radical Islamists have.

    SOMEONE’S gotta Cliffy on his latest bullshit, and since no one else wants to, I guess I have to.

    Got some statistics to back that one up, Cliffy? REAL ones?

    I got Fort Hood, the DC snipers, the Boston Marathon bombings, the El Al shooting at LAX, the Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, the Little Rock recruiting station shooting, and the Chattanooga Navy facility shooting, and that’s without even trying very hard.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 18

  27. Argon says:

    @cian: “The south has always been a place of racism and bigotry, nothing new there.”

    Charlie Baker of Massachusetts is on the same page. But then, he’s GOP and now seems (unfortunately), to be acting as if he has eyes on a national office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. Jenos Idanian says:

    @bookdragon: Seriously, Michael, tell me how your argument here is any different from the arguments of those who were happy to turn away the Ship of the Damned in 1939. Pure self-interested, ‘they’re not like us and won’t assimilate’ and ‘how would it benefit us’ arguments.

    Back when the Democrats turned away that ship, I don’t recall them saying “they might just try to kill us.”

    And “how would it benefit us” should ALWAYS be the first question when it comes to foreign policy. ALWAYS. Protecting our fellow citizens should always be our first priority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @m u ncho el box:

    …it was those crazy anti vaxxers who keep killing people and targeting Jews for death.

    Speaking of … Do you remember the Republican response to the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and when a small few were afflicted here in America? I do, it was to attack the CDC and blame Obama for an inadequate response. As it turned out, our federal response was more than adequate and the virus did not spread here in America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  30. Jenos Idanian says:

    @al-Ameda: What you call “attack” I call “pointing out their lies and incompetence.” Which would make you apologizing for defending their lies and incompetence.

    (Edited; “apologizing for” was inaccurate, and “defending” better describes it.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    What you call “attack” I call “pointing out their lies and incompetence.”

    As it turned out the CDC was neither incompetent nor did they lie. Despite Republican claims, the Ebola outbreak was handled well in this country. Or am I wrong? Did hundreds, perhaps thousands die in America due to CDC missteps?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  32. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    How does this help us? The idea that we have to do this to somehow shame ISIS is absurd.

    There are, of course, bigger ideas at play. This idea that we’re the leader of the free world, that we’re the big proponents of human rights and freedom and all that. Not to mention the geo-political reality that we are elbow deep in this War on Terror stuff, making us partially responsible for the instability in the region. (Not liable, per se, as in “You broke it, you bought it” but responsible as in, we said “we got this” and so we better damn well get it.)

    As for how we profit from taking in refugees, we don’t. There are times when “What’s in it for me?” thinking is the wrong approach.

    We just had a blizzard here in Denver. I imagine someone walking the streets, hungry and cold, and someone opens their door, let’s them in, lets them put their wet gloves by the fire, fills their belly with soup. The host does not profit. They may do this to feel better about themselves as a human being, or because in another storm, they were the cold and hungry looking for refuge. The motive isn’t profit, but compassion.

    What do “we” gain by providing these refugees with a better life? Better lives, which should be reward enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  33. bookdragon says:

    @Hal_10000: Perhaps, but then a war between between moderate Islam and the radical jihadis is also unavoidable, indeed you could say it is already underway.

    I am loathe to buy into the East vs West rhetoric, or even radical Islam vs West. ‘It’s what ISIS wants’ may be a simplistic argument, but there is some truth to it nonetheless and I prefer not contribute to the enemy goals even in that small degree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  34. Nikki says:

    @m u ncho el box: Tell us, does death via terrorism make one extra special dead vs. death by any other means?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  35. Nikki says:

    @m u ncho el box: Tell us, does death via terrorism make one extra special dead vs. death by any other means?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Back when the Democrats turned away that ship, I don’t recall them saying “they might just try to kill us.”

    The Ship of the Damned?

    I have no idea where you came across that one, don’t want to know, but it’s pretty sad to reach back into history to condemn Democrats in 1939 for doing something that’s getting large endorsements on the right now. Who’s supposed to be the hypocrite?

    And truly, do you think there’s a small difference from a boat washing up on shore and being turned away and an international, coordinated effort to relocate refugees of this conflict? Do you understand the role restrictive immigration policy played in the US’s refusal of these Jewish refugees?

    Final question: Is this line of argument, the stuff about the Voyage of the Damned, really the best way to make your point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  37. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Isn’t that what the NRA types say immediately after we have yet another gun massacre in the US?

    Sounds like you’re starting to change your mind about gun control, hmmm?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  38. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    http://securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists/deadly-attacks.html
    Now will you just STFU already.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @Hal_10000: @Mikey: Evolutionists are attacked by anti-evolutionists for saying things like, “Caribou want heavier coats.” That’s stupid, How can caribou get heavier coats by wishing for them? What the critics don’t realize is that everybody gets tired of saying, “Some caribou have heavier coats due to genetic variation. This let’s them stay healthier and more active and live longer. This gives them a reproductive advantage, so the next generation has a slightly higher proportion of heavier coats, the individuals in subsequent generations with heavier coats also have a reproductive advantage. So after many generations, caribou have heavier coats.” “Caribou want heavier coats.” is a generally understood shorthand. I do the same thing in mechanical engineering. I’ll say, “That 3/8 bolt wants to be 1/2 inch.”

    Restricting refugees will drive some of them back into ISIS control and prevent others from leaving. It will further anti-Muslim feelings in the West and anti Western feelings among Muslims, driving a wedge between security agencies and the Muslim citizens they depend on. It will fuel fear of ISIS in the West. It fits their view of prophecy. And accomplishing this may have been part of their motivation in planning the attack. Isn’t it an acceptable shorthand to just say “ISIS wants this”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  40. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Seriously? Why is immigration good for the United States? A country born of immigration? C’mon, man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  41. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    It’s actually a large price to pay for your parties fwck-ups over the last 30 years. BUt I personally think the destruction of the middle class is a far bigger sin on your parties part.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  42. Stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Michael, what makes you think the current immigrants are going to be more difficult to assimilate than your forebears, who were “orientals” practicing a strange and despised religion, speaking a foreign language, and fleeing political violence( Czarist Russian pogroms). They were tarred with having “Bolshevists” and “anarchists” in their midst too, not to mention being party to a secret conspiracy to take over the world. Yet those folks assimilated and contributed a lot to America. Fun fact : there is already a large and thriving Arab American community in Michigan. There have been zero confirmed terrorists coming out of that community. The Iranians in California seem to have assimilated well also. Maybe it’s time to climb back off the ledge, Michael.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  43. C. Clavin says:

    @Hal_10000:
    OK…but a war against radical islam is now a war against Al-Queda…and ISIS…and whoever comes next…in other words, an unending war. You are describing a war against fundamentalist ideas, aren’t you? That’s a tall order.
    Are we are going to bomb Syria for the actions of some European Nationals. Or should we bomb Belgium? Cause that’s where they make Budweiser now…and they have Spa Francorchamps…so I can’t get on board with that.
    https://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/championship/races/2015/Belgium.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  44. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: That’s almost a big a crock as you, so I’m not surprised you cited it.

    It omits the DC snipers, as well as a whole bunch of other Islamist killings (see here for a list going back to 1972). I also find it convenient that you want to start counting from September 12, 2001.

    And the “right-wing” attacks? Not a single one in double digits, and the “right wing” credentials of some of those are as sketchy as… well, you. The Peake shooting? “n 2010 Raymond Peake killed a man at a gun range in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in order to steal an AR-15. Peake told investigators he stole the weapon for use in an organization seeking the overthrow of the American government that he refused to name.” Could have been the Weather Underground.

    The guy who flew his plane into the IRS building? Hardly a right-winger, just a loser and a nut. His manifesto denounced capitalism and praised communism.

    And several of those items weren’t “crimes committed in the cause of right-wing extremism,” but “crimes committed by extremists,” not related to their ideology.

    Even for you, this is weak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  45. Jenos Idanian says:

    But yeah, a hundred dead here and there… such a small price to pay. Let it slide, you bitter clingers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  46. Jack says:

    But, but…ISIS is “contained”. All the refugees should be headed back to where they came.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  47. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Jack: And don’t look too closely at the demographics of the refugees. You might notice that the number of military-aged men is far higher than it should be, and there is a decided shortage of women, children, and the elderly, and that would be racist or something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 11

  48. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Your comment makes it clear that you don’t know what you are talking about…from the very definition of terrorism on down.
    Given your track record on Iraq, Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS, and Ebola…not surprising.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  49. bookdragon says:

    @Stonetools: I wish I could give +1000 on the thumbs up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The idea that we have to do this to somehow shame ISIS is absurd.

    “Shame ISIS?” That’s not what this is about at all. Shame isn’t even in the picture.

    What it would actually do is deny IS the primary desired effect of their attack in Paris. It would limit the potential for growth of the population of their self-proclaimed caliphate. It would reduce their legitimacy among minority Muslim populations living outside the Middle East. Effectively, it could degrade them without any additional military commitment.

    Choosing to forgo all that in favor of an option driven entirely by fear and ignorance would be folly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  51. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: The source you cited declared the IRS pilot as a “right-winger.” From his suicide note/manifesto:

    The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

    Just own your stupidity, Cliffy. Just for once. I won’t tell anyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  52. C. Clavin says:

    I was just reading about Brahim Abdeslam…one of the suicide bombers. He owned a bar in Brussels that got closed down because of drug dealing and dope smoking. This strikes me as about right. Like Republicans and other fundamentalists…he’s nothing but a hypocrite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  53. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Mikey: You’re not thinking large enough.

    You’re talking about analyzing ISIS’ tactics and countering them. That’s a waste of time.

    Rather, we need to analyze their goals and work on denying them.

    Countering a tactic just encourages them to try new tactics. Look beyond that short-term thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  54. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Dude…you don’t even understand what it is you are typing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  55. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: A Muslim who owned a bar? That’s so haram.

    And I guess you’ll need a new destination on your next European trip, Cliffy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: That’s because I was quoting you, Cliffy. And how quickly you stop arguing facts when said facts blow up in your face. You resort to personal attacks because it’s all you have.

    So, so pathetic. Your little SUPER DUPER LIST OF RIGHT WING EXTREMIST VIOLENCE fell apart, and you got nothing left. Nothing except your standard personal attacks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  57. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Rather, we need to analyze their goals and work on denying them.

    And how exactly do you propose we deny their goals without addressing the means they are using to achieve them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  58. michael reynolds says:

    So, summarizing the outrage:

    1) We didn’t say it would “shame” ISIS, we said it would deprive them of recruits by putting our openness on display!

    Response: Right, like open immigration to Europe has deprived ISIS of recruits.

    2) Sometimes we gotta suck it up to provide leadership.

    Response: Yes, but not when it is likely to be counterproductive. We have no obligation to be counterproductive no matter how warm and toasty it makes us feel.

    3) How dare you, weren’t your ancestors Jewish immigrants?

    Response: Indeed they were, but they were culturally Europeans, and they lived in a time when assimilation was still the goal, not multiculturalism. We are proposing to bring a bunch of people from the most f-ked up place on earth, and then insist that they retain the very culture that created the f-ked up conditions to begin with.

    4) You’re attacking immigration!

    Response: No, I’m saying we have a right to decide who we want to join the club and who we don’t want. First on my list of who I don’t want? People from the worst place on earth who bring no needed skills, no needed labor, and adhere to an ideology (Islam) which, even in its gentlest forms, is still opposed to tolerance of other faiths or of no faith, and which opposes the equality of women and gay rights.

    Summary: There is no reason at all to assume that this helps us, here, in our country. There is no reason to imagine that the trickle of people we’ll let in does anything substantial to address the problem of up to 2 million refugees now, or the millions more we can expect in the future as the ME spirals ever downward. It is in short, a feel-good, heartwarming, self-congratulatory position without any logical basis, with no tangible up-side and plenty of likely down-side.

    But hey, why think rationally when we can wallow in ‘the feels’ as the kids say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12

  59. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    They didn’t blow up in my face…you are too ignorant and un-informed to grasp anything about the topic at hand…as per usual. This isn’t something new for you…Benghazi boy. Your track record is long and crystal clear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  60. Jack says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Rather, we need to analyze their goals and work on denying them.

    Their goal is the same it has been for 1400 years as described to them from their holy book, the only book they read–a world-wide caliphate under sharia law. They have been working towards that goal for centuries.

    Reasoning does not work. Negotiations only give them time to regroup. Surrender is the only option and it’s a temporary one under which you either declare your allegiance to Allah and Mohammed as his prophet or you are beheaded. It’s there way or the headless highway.

    The only way to deny them is to eliminate them–entirely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  61. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: Very well stated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: You unbridled jerk. How dare you write something that I find myself nodding along with? I had this whole “this guy’s an unmitigated, irredeemable asshole and not worth my time” thing going, and you blew it away.

    The only thing I can think of that would be suitable revenge would be to say, loudly, I LARGELY AGREE WITH MR. REYNOLDS HERE.

    I hope that bothers you at least a fraction as it bothers me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  63. Jeremy says:

    @michael reynolds: I’ve been finding this comment, posted to the BHL blog, to be always on my mind these days. I think it parallels your thinking (at least WRT immigration, assimilation, and multiculturalism.)

    http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2015/01/jacob-levy-on-the-charlie-hebdo-attack/#comment-1782560545

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Chris Matthews had an interesting question no one could answer: are these refugees volunteering to fight for their country, like the Free French or the Poles after their countries were invaded?

    Right at the point of “Chris Matthews had an interesting question no one could answer” I knew the rest was going to be nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  65. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Taking more Syrian refugees in Europe right now is madness. You might as well just send cash to right-wing parties.

    Yes, because appeasing right-wing bigots always works. If we just give in to them now and give them what they want, then they’ll stop bullying us! Whatever we do, let’s no make them mad! We must abandon our values now in order not to endanger them in the future!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  66. bookdragon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, I’m saying we have a right to decide who we want to join the club and who we don’t want. First on my list of who I don’t want? People from the worst place on earth who bring no needed skills, no needed labor, and adhere to an ideology (Islam) which, even in its gentlest forms, is still opposed to tolerance of other faiths or of no faith, and which opposes the equality of women and gay rights.

    Which puts you in good company with every racist and xenophobe in American history. I believe you’ll find the same arguments from those who passed the Alien and Sedition Act (can’t have those tricksy French polluting our Anglo culture!); those in the following centrury who opposed admitting Chinese immigrants or those dirty Catholic Irish (some of my ancestors); those who opposed Jewish immigrants (your ancestors and some of mine) – who at the time were seen not as ‘culturally European’ but oriental, potentially communist, and stubbornly clinging to an ‘inferior’ and ‘primitive’ faith; Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees after the Vietnam War; and of course the Donald Trump wingnut coalition who see Hispanics as ‘People from the worst place on earth who bring no needed skills, no needed labor’ and whose adherence to their own culture threatens ours.

    As to your characterization of Islam, dude, have you taken a look at conservative Christianity or orthodox Judaism? Your view of Islam is pure ignorant bigotry. I know plenty of Muslims who belong to the ‘gentler’ forms of the faith and your assertions are b*llsh!t.

    One of the few things that gives me hope lately is picking my daughter up from an after school honors project because most of the time here is what I see: My daughter, usually wearing the Star of David necklace she got for her bat mitzvah, chatting with one of her best friends, a girl wearing blue jeans and a Muslim headscarf.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  67. bookdragon says:

    I didn’t edit fast enough. I meant to add:

    What we need to combat the ideology of ISIL is not fewer Syrians refugees but more of them because if more Americans in more communities got to know Muslims as friends and neighbors, and vice versa, that sort of scene would become a lot more likely than the one we saw in Paris.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  68. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    1) We didn’t say it would “shame” ISIS, we said it would deprive them of recruits by putting our openness on display!

    Response: Right, like open immigration to Europe has deprived ISIS of recruits.

    If that’s what you got out of my comment, I’m done. You are obviously not going to be reasoned out of your opinion because you never reasoned into it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  69. David M says:

    I’m still confused why anyone thinks the refugees are dangerous. There’s literally no evidence for this. We don’t take very many refugees, and the screening process is probably already overly restrictive and slow. There are other ways to enter the US that are much easier and quicker, so worrying about refugees makes no sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  70. Jack says:

    @David M: You mean like the heavy scrutiny the Tsarnev brothers underwent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  71. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    See…it’s this jingoistic bull$hit from people who get all of their “knowledge” from Fox News that gets us into trouble. You know damn well Jack was spouting the same crap about invading and occupying Iraq. Who cares that he was dead wrong along with the rest of the Republican knuckleheads…we should really listen to them now…because this time they are right.
    No…they aren’t.
    What utter nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  72. Stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m at work now and don’t have time to gather the links but you should know that the Jews back then were considered “Asiatic ” and unassimilatable. Google the ” The Passing of the Great Race.” The author of that racist tract feared that the Anglo Saxon race would be swamped by a tide of southern and Eastern Europeans , among them the Jews.
    As to whether Arabs can be assimilated, you might want to direct that question to Darrel Issa, Ralph Nader, and Dianne Reims. All by the way trace their ancestry back to that region of the Middle East. And it was only a few years ago we had an Arab American Miss America whose parents were Muslim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  73. michael reynolds says:

    @bookdragon:

    What we need to combat the ideology of ISIL is not fewer Syrians refugees but more of them because if more Americans in more communities got to know Muslims as friends and neighbors, and vice versa, that sort of scene would become a lot more likely than the one we saw in Paris.

    Are you kidding me? You’re seriously saying ISIS terrorism exists because not enough Americans have gotten to know Muslims?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  74. Guarneri says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    You must be confusing Clavin with someone with an ounce of intellectual honesty.

    I do think Reynolds should be recognized for “getting it.” They hate us. They want us dead. It’s a hopeless task to filter out the good ones from the bad at the border; only overwealming force will materially deal with the situation. He doesn’t want more infidels, er, westerners dead. Period. All the rest of this thread is just tortured logic you would expect in an opium den, or dishonest protect-Obama’s-policy-at-all-costs drivel.

    I also think it’s amazing how when it came to war activities over there it was “stay out/their problem/screw the Christians/screw the innocent/isolate/contain/air only/not one American life” and now……………it’s our moral responsibility to take them in the dangers here be damned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  75. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: We all know your “position”–Bend over and spread them. Meanwhile the adults are talking about ISIS and their goals. Their STATED GOALS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  76. michael reynolds says:

    @Stonetools:

    Of course they can be assimilated, assuming they wish to be assimilated, and assuming that our ideology in this country reverts to assimilation. But in fact we no longer believe in assimilation because assimilation is equated with racism. And we have no reason to assume that assimilation is the goal of people from some town in Syria.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  77. Jack says:

    @bookdragon:

    if more Americans in more communities got to know Muslims

    Like the American military that has gotten to know them for the last 13 years? Let them move in next to you. Let’s see how much longer your wife and daughter goes without a head scarf.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  78. Mikey says:

    @David M:

    I’m still confused why anyone thinks the refugees are dangerous. There’s literally no evidence for this.

    Evidence doesn’t matter when fear rules the day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  79. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Are you kidding me? You’re seriously saying ISIS terrorism exists because not enough Americans have gotten to know Muslims?

    He’s not saying that, and for you to think that based on what he wrote means you’re either deliberately misreading him, or are being deliberately dishonest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  80. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Yes, because appeasing right-wing bigots always works. If we just give in to them now and give them what they want, then they’ll stop bullying us! Whatever we do, let’s no make them mad! We must abandon our values now in order not to endanger them in the future!

    No, we need to ask ourselves whether we think Marine LePen should be the next president of France and whether we think Ted Cruz should be POTUS.

    My liberal friends need to get something through their Iraq-addled heads: Democrats are only elected when Democrats play tough. This mushy, fuzzy, feel-good bullsh-t is a ticket to political oblivion. The American people will be protected, and if we won’t do it, they’ll find someone who will.

    You know what Hollande is doing right now? Massively violating human rights in France. That’s the socialist. Wait and see what LePen has in mind.

    I don’t think you people grasp just how potentially dangerous this is. If suicide bombs start going off in Washington, you, me, and every other liberal in this country will be buried under aright-wing wave, and everything we care about will go by the board.

    Frankly, my liberal friends have already set this political table with whining about the NSA and pooh-poohing the potential threat. We need to be iron fist in velvet glove, not just velvet glove. If we won’t do the job, others will, and you won’t like the results. Ask yourself how we deal with a President LePen invoking NATO the next time this happens. Ask yourself how we deal with that when Ted Cruz is president.

    Or don’t, and return to denouncing me as an apostate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  81. Rafer Janders says:

    @Stonetools:

    As to whether Arabs can be assimilated, you might want to direct that question to Darrel Issa, Ralph Nader, and Dianne Reims.

    Steve Jobs, Tony Shalhoub, Casey Kasem, Ray LaHood, Frank Zappa, John Sununu, Donna Shalala, John Mack, Danny Thomas, Doug Flutie….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  82. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    My liberal friends need to get something through their Iraq-addled heads: Democrats are only elected when Democrats play tough. This mushy, fuzzy, feel-good bullsh-t is a ticket to political oblivion. The American people will be protected, and if we won’t do it, they’ll find someone who will.

    For god’s sake, get a hold of yourself. This sort of pants-wetting weak hysteria is beneath you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  83. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Agreeing with the right-wing isn’t a winning proposition, it won’t offer any electoral protection in your scenario there and will hurt the country in the long run.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  84. Stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    As opposed to some Jew from Kiev a century ago? Or some Pole from Cracow? Or some Nigerian from Lagos today? Or some Sudanese from Khartoum? Immigrants come from all over, Michael. And they generally assimilate, sometimes even when they don’t want to. I know a Peruvian woman who is angry that her American born daughter answers her Spanish questions back in English.
    There is every reason to believe that Syrian immigrants will assimilate like anyone else. Heck, 99 per cent of them are fleeing Islamist violence. They are very unlikely to want to bring any of that here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  85. Jc says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Of course they can be assimilated, assuming they wish to be assimilated, and assuming that our ideology in this country reverts to assimilation

    You can walk around many areas of the DC,MD, VA suburbs and find plenty of various ethnic communities not truly assimilated – In fact you can find that all over our country as well as other countries.

    Just say what you mean. You do not trust islamic refugees from war torn areas of the middle east. Why now and not before everything happened in Paris? I mean, the middle east has been exporting terrorism for quite a while now and we still accepted many a muslim immigrant or refugee. But you are focusing on “what is in it for us?” now for these refugees? How many latino immigrants are assimilating out in California or have been for years.

    Sure Islam needs to change, but it is not going to change without some outside influence – and being afraid never changed anything

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  86. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @bookdragon: You won’t be able to sell MR on this; he’s already taken his side with the objectivists and neo-Galtians.

    In this case I’m asking myself where the profit is for us. How does this help us?

    Ironically, he will be known by the company he keeps.

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The only thing I can think of that would be suitable revenge would be to say, loudly, I LARGELY AGREE WITH MR. REYNOLDS HERE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  87. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I feel like challenging an assumption here. One assumed premise seems to be that, if a group is unjustly singled out and oppressed for the actions of others of that identity, they will grow more sympathetic with those who are the inspiration for the ill treatment. How does that bear out, historically?

    During World War II, Japanese Americans were treated terribly by the US government. They were, essentially, presumed to be more loyal to their ancestral homeland than their adopted one. How did those Japanese Americans react?

    They were astonishingly loyal. I’ve read George Takei’s account of growing up in an internment camp, and he turned out just fine. A group of Japanese Americans enlisted en masse in the army, and became one of the most decorated units of the war.

    Similarly, blacks were oppressed and discriminated against in the US (let’s not forget that Woodrow Wilson overturned decades of progress when he re-segregated the federal government), but in World War II, blacks (when permitted) served with great valor, honor, and distinction. And, again, one of their units was one of the most renowned air wings in World War II.

    Let me head off Cliffy’s inevitable and all-too-predictable pants-wetting and say no, I am not advocating that we persecute Muslims wholesale. But I am challenging the notion that mistreatment by the US government does not automatically make the subjects rabidly anti-American, because history does not bear that out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  88. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    To reinforce Mr. reynolds’ point earlier, the key element would seem to be assimilation. If the people being discriminated against see themselves as Americans first, then they will tend to be more forgiving. But if they see themselves as something else, and not Americans, then the persecution will merely reinforce their sense of “otherness” and make it easier for them to lash out against the US.

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  89. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    And which of those were practicing Muslims from a war-torn country in the middle east in the age of terrorism? Would the answer be zero?

    Taking just a couple quick examples, Tony Shalhoub is from Wisconsin, not Syria. His father was Lebanese, probably Maronite and entered the country at age 10. Shalala? Maronite Christian. Jobs? Adopted. Nader? Greek Orthodox. Sununu? Orthodox. As for Zappa, he’s of Sicilian, Greek and Arab ancestry, but his parents were Christians, not Muslims, and essentially Italians, not Syrians.

    You’re shifting ground, trying to make this a race thing. It’s not a race thing, it’s an ideology thing, as you know perfectly well. It’s about a belief system. And in the process of making your point, all you could offer as examples are people who do not in any way help your case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  90. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: It cannot possibly bother him more than it bothers me. And I see it as a relief to see that it’s actually largely an expression of his leftist tribalism, and his pathological hatred of right-wingers remains intact.

    After all, as Churchill once said, “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  91. Stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    And the best case for assimilation of all : those Arab Americans who served and died in the military and who now lie in Arlington Cemetery. They actually died defending the country they loved, not like those here who question whether people like them could be real Americans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  92. bookdragon says:

    @Jack: They do live live next me. That’s the point. I know actual Muslims and have them as neighbors. And so far neither I nor my daughter are wearing headscarves…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  93. David M says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And which of those were practicing Muslims from a war-torn country in the middle east in the age of terrorism?

    I’m still failing to see why those aren’t the refugees who would be the most grateful and loyal to their new country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  94. Jc says:

    @bookdragon:
    Jack is old and has never changed. The world has been changing around him for decades, but not Jack. When we are gone the kids of your neighbors kids will likely look and act totally different than their grandparents. You can’t live somewhere and completely shield yourself from the culture that surrounds your for eternity – Eventually people change and progress and begin to absorb what surrounds them, if not them, their future generations – Unless you are Jack and old and cooped up in your basement all day

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  95. Jack says:

    @Jc: What part of the Koran do you not understand?

    The kill all Jews and Christians part, or the kill everyone who rejects Allah part?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  96. bookdragon says:

    @michael reynolds: Definitely not zero. Since I don’t have time to google a long list, I’ll just put up one that comes to mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anousheh_Ansari

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  97. Jc says:

    @Jack: I don’t understand any of it. Same with any and all other religious books of fiction. I think it is all hokey nonsense

    I was going to put a hypothetical to Michael saying who would he rather have as new neighbors – a TP nut with 6 assault rifles and never had a girlfriend, or a Syrian refugee family? I could ask you the same, except it would be a two male gay liberal couple with BO bumper stickers and Hilary 2016 right next to that. :) or the Syrians

    I am assuming you would take the libs, cuz at least it is a familiar “enemy”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  98. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Rafer Janders: I think I’m finally getting it, and it ties in with the gun issue threads that we’ve been seeing. Everyone has some issue or some cause for which they resort to the kind of thinking that NRAers use to make sense for their position and policies. For Mr. Reynolds it’s ISIS and Syria.

    @ Michael Reynolds: And the above is why your grand scheme to heap scorn on the gun lovers will not prevail. We can’t heap enough scorn on you, nor will you be able to heap enough scorn on them.

    Sorry for drifting off topic, but I thought the connection interesting. Reynolds on this topic sounds almost exactly like the Jenos and company do on school shootings. And look at who’s coming to his support. Ironic, but not really when you think about it–they now have a common goal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  99. Jack says:

    @Jc: At least the Libs don’t have an ideology that at its nexus involves killing me, so yeah, I would choose “the gayz”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  100. David M says:

    @Jack:

    Why do you think people fleeing ISIS would have an ideology that involves killing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  101. bookdragon says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: It is a fair point. To this I would say that your examples are all the more reason not to ‘other’ all Muslims or talk as though every Muslim is a violent extremist.

    Most Muslims who are Americans will not turn against the country and in fact will work all the harder to prove they are loyal citizens. Ironically the danger is not so much in the effect on new immigrants but 1st or 2nd or even 3rd generation that hear this sort of thing from ‘regular’ Americans and despair of ever being accepted. Particularly among struggling teenage or young men that sort of thing makes them more susceptible to recruitment by radical elements like ISIL, just like unemployed young whites become more susceptible to white supremicist organizations, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  102. Jack says:

    @David M: They read the Koran. That is their ideology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  103. Jc says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:
    :-) Jenos and Reynolds – 2016! Or would it be Reynolds and Jenos 2016! Either way, it would be an entertaining ticket!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  104. David M says:

    @Jack:

    They read the Koran. That is their ideology.

    So what should we do about the millions of Muslims already in the United States? They read the Koran, and apparently want to kill us all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  105. humanoid.panda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Response: Indeed they were, but they were culturally Europeans, and they lived in a time when assimilation was still the goal, not multiculturalism

    BS of the first degree. No self-respecting American would have ever called Russian Jews “culturally European.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  106. CrustyDem says:

    Anybody else remember when you could tell the difference between Michael Reynolds and Michael Savage? Like, 4 or 5 days ago?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  107. Jack says:

    @David M: 24-hour surveillance.

    It does two things at once, creates jobs and increases safety. It’s a win-win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  108. David M says:

    @Jack:

    What if someone buys a Koran? Or checks one out from the library? How about someone who quotes verses from the Koran on OTB?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  109. Jc says:

    @Jack: I hear some even have TS clearance with the Fed, can you believe that!? I’ll report back to you if I survive my next encounter of splitting a kabob with one of them. Some don’t even fast when they are supposed to, do you think its a front?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  110. Jack says:

    @David M: Or, or, even just writes the word Koran on OTB. Your suggestion is ridiculous. There are Muslims and then there are all others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  111. David M says:

    @Jack:

    What if someone has a family member that is Muslim? What if someone dresses up as a Muslim? Do they need 24 hour monitoring as well? What about someone who studies middle eastern history?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  112. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, we need to ask ourselves whether we think Marine LePen should be the next president of France and whether we think Ted Cruz should be POTUS.

    Why should we ask ourselves that? The answer is no. Hell no.

    LePen and Cruz are totally unfit for those roles. Obviously. The only reason to think they’d do well is because you’re a fool. You’re no fool.

    Much better than outCruzing/outLePening Cruz/LePen, we should be pointing out that fact. We will not defeat ISIS by keeping Syrian refugees out of the West.. Say it again, we will not defeat ISIS by keeping Syrian refugees out of the West.

    This is an idea that is being proposed by folks who A) don’t have any ideas on how to defeat terrorism, and B) have plenty of ideas on how to use the threat of terrorism to achieve unrelated goals.

    Frankly, my liberal friends have already set this political table with whining about the NSA and pooh-poohing the potential threat.

    I agree with this one. Liberals need to reacquaint themselves with the realities of life, which is that the strong defeat the weak. Second thing: Don’t be weak.

    In this case, I think “Don’t be weak” means don’t give in to right-wing nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  113. Jack says:

    @Jc: @David M: All Muslims are taught from the Koran. Period.

    Either they are a believer or not. Islam is not compatible with Western beliefs and political systems. Send them all back to practice Islam in Islamic countries.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  114. Jack says:

    @James Pearce: And when ISIS hits DC like they have promised? Democrats will be looked upon as being weak willed and unwilling to deal with the radical Islam problem. Hell, they cant even say radical Islam.

    Let’s just hope that attack occurs before Nov 2016.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  115. David M says:

    @Jack:

    Should we give them a yellow star symbol to wear so we can identify them easier? Maybe round them up and place them in camps?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  116. Stan says:

    After the kristallnacht pogrom in 1938 (see http://tinyurl.com/ndw7w68 for a vivid account), a proposal was made in Congress to admit 10,000 refugee children to the US. A Gallup poll, noting that most of the children to be admitted were Jewish, asked the public if it favored the proposal. 61% said no. The US population is a lot less bigoted now than in 1938, but it’s still the same country with many of the same feelings about outsiders. So I’m not surprised that many Republicans and probably some Democrats are willing to get a little blood on their hands if it helps them politically. But I am saddened by it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  117. Bill Lefrak says:

    The answer to this problem is very obvious.

    Liberal Democrats wish to welcome in all of the “Syrian refugees” with open arms. Conservative Republicans, on the other hand, in light of Paris and other recent urban terror atrocities, wish completely to reevaluate the entire refugee program if not to cancel it. Therefore all of the subject refugees should be resettled in the most liberal Democrat enclaves of the country, where they’ll be the most welcomed and at home. Not only that, but in the wealthiest parts of the most liberal Democrat enclaves, where there’s plenty of money to go around, for the common good.

    Pacific Heights, San Francisco. Malibu and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. Chelsea, SoHo, Tribeca and Park Avenue, Manhattan. Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Chevy Chase, Maryland. Greenwich and New Canaan, Connecticut. That’s where these refugees should go.

    Some might argue that there won’t be enough room. That, too, is a quandary with an easy solution. The remainder of the refugees should be resettled in the back yards of liberal bloggers and liberal arts college and university professors. Literally, in their back yards.

    These measures will insure that the left continues to feel good about itself and is able to preen at each other thoughtfully at cocktail parties. More importantly for the thinking and sober world, these measures will insure that it’s the left who puts its money and also potentially its lives and limbs where its collective mouths are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  118. Jack says:

    @David M: The ones that aren’t here yet? The ones I think should not be admitted?

    You know, the topic of this post?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  119. David M says:

    @Jack:

    There are far more Muslims already in the US than would be admitted in the refugee program. Aren’t those a bigger concern?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  120. bookdragon says:

    Yes, I know the link is from the ‘great orange satan’, but the illustration is fitting:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/11/17/1450855/-Cartoon-How-to-tell-the-difference-between-ISIS-and-Muslims

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  121. Jack says:

    @David M: First we deal with the proposed refugees. Then we work on the assimilation of the current Muslims. I am not advocating the death, internment, etc., of those that are here, although there are likely ISIS/ Al Qaeda cells here now. That unfortunately is a bed we made ourselves and must lay in. Re-evaluating the entry of 1 million more by the end of 2016, is the current topic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  122. David M says:

    @Jack:

    Re-evaluating the entry of 1 million more by the end of 2016, is the current topic.

    And it’s a topic you’re just making stuff up about, as usual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  123. Jack says:

    @bookdragon: And what makes you think there has been any change to that since the Tsarnev brothers?

    There is no criteria listed there. No list of questions. No way to determine the vetting process. No background check. I would undergo a more thorough screening for a job at McDonalds.

    The UN also said their soldiers didn’t rape in Africa. Should I trust the UN? Really?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  124. David M says:

    How many will be admitted in the future?

    As the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East became more dire over the summer, the Obama administration decided to re-evaluate how many Syrian refugees could be admitted.

    Ultimately, the President decided to set a goal of 10,000 for the current fiscal year, which goes until October 2016.

    In order to accommodate these additional Syrian refugees, the administration upped the total number of refugees it would allow in FY2016 to 85,000, with plans to increase it to 100,000 in FY2017.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  125. bookdragon says:

    @Jack: So then you think we should close down all tourism to the US? Is that your answer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  126. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    I would undergo a more thorough screening for a job at McDonalds.

    But not if you wanted to buy a weapon capable of mass-murder. Right? Because McDonalds would never hire you. But you are a gun-owner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  127. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’ve read George Takei’s account of growing up in an internment camp, and he turned out just fine.

    So you are using a terrible travesty…and embarrassment to everything our nation stands for…as justification to commit another equally terrible travesty?
    Brilliant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  128. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Why are you always thinking about gay sex? I guess you haven’t come out yet? It’s OK…it’s perfectly normal if you feel things for other men. Own it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  129. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    It is not giving in to right-wing nonsense to avoid handing them an issue.

    There are probably at least 20 million people in this world who for excellent reasons want to move to the US. Somalis, Sudanese, Congolese, Ukrainians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kurds, North Koreans, on and on and on. What is so special about Syrians? Why should we open the gate for Syrians while excluding all those others, many of them in war zones, many of them desperate.

    Why Syrians?

    Because we are feeling guilty. We don’t feel guilty about Nigerians so no one is saying we should let in 100k Nigerians who want to escape Boko Haram. This is selective humanitarianism driven by a sense of guilt.

    So because we feel guilty about Iraq, we propose to grab some bunch of people from the ass-end of planet earth and rescue them. And thus expiate our guilt and show the world what swell folks we are, and earn the love and admiration of the entire Muslim world. Because that’s how real life works – the recipients of charity always just love the heck out of their benefactors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  130. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    And when ISIS hits DC like they have promised?

    Republicans will rejoice as it confirms everything they’ve always believed: that Democrats are weak willed and unwilling to deal with the radical Islam problem.

    Too bad that idea is just as wrong as the one that says Republicans are so much better at fighting radical Islam. A terrorist attack in DC, nearly 15 years after 9-11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Benghazi, etc, won’t change your mind on that score either…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  131. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: To what is your mentally retarded brain referring?

    I know what will keep ISIS from attacking us. Send them some of your female goat and camel companions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  132. Jack says:

    @David M: nearly 4 million are fleeing Syria, and the US will only accept ~ 100k. Yeah, if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  133. David M says:

    @Jack:

    That makes no sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  134. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: Good God, Cliffy, I even pre-empted that stupidity of yours, and you STILL went full retard.

    Let me head off Cliffy’s inevitable and all-too-predictable pants-wetting and say no, I am not advocating that we persecute Muslims wholesale.

    I said that up front because you have demonstrated, time and time and time again, you are simply not mentally competent enough to deal with issues more complicated than “me good, them bad.” It really did NOT need you to illustrate it so vividly and predictably.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  135. Jack says:

    @David M: Have you ever heard of the camel getting it’s nose under the tent? Obama says 10k, then it goes up from there. Before you know it we will be pushing 1 million. Meanwhile we have our own homeless and destitute that are thought of less by the government than these refugees.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  136. Jenos Idanian says:

    Here’s a thought that struck me as amusing. It sounds like both sides here are saying, “why can’t we just treat these refugees like you want to treat gun-owning Americans?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  137. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It is not giving in to right-wing nonsense to avoid handing them an issue.

    When it’s a bogus issue like “We can’t take in Syrian refugees. They might be terrorists!” it really is.

    Why Syrians?

    The context. But more importantly, previous commitments. I know “the full faith and credit of the United States” isn’t something many right-wingers value very much, but there is something to be said for do what you say you’re going to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  138. Jenos Idanian says:

    Lifted from the Facebook account of self-described “Iraqi born writer & founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement” Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, and found via InstaPundit:

    It must be incredibly frustrating as an Islamic terrorist not to have your views and motives taken seriously by the societies you terrorize, even after you have explicitly and repeatedly stated them. Even worse, those on the regressive left, in their endless capacity for masochism and self-loathing, have attempted to shift blame inwardly on themselves, denying the terrorists even the satisfaction of claiming responsibility.

    It’s like a bad Monty Python sketch:

    “We did this because our holy texts exhort us to to do it.”

    “No you didn’t.”

    “Wait, what? Yes we did…”

    “No, this has nothing to do with religion. You guys are just using religion as a front for social and geopolitical reasons.”

    “WHAT!? Did you even read our official statement? We give explicit Quranic justification. This is jihad, a holy crusade against pagans, blasphemers, and disbelievers.”

    “No, this is definitely not a Muslim thing. You guys are not true Muslims, and you defame a great religion by saying so.”

    “Huh!? Who are you to tell us we’re not true Muslims!? Islam is literally at the core of everything we do, and we have implemented the truest most literal and honest interpretation of its founding texts. It is our very reason for being.”

    “Nope. We created you. We installed a social and economic system that alienates and disenfranchises you, and that’s why you did this. We’re sorry.”

    “What? Why are you apologizing? We just slaughtered you mercilessly in the streets. We targeted unwitting civilians – disenfranchisement doesn’t even enter into it!”

    “Listen, it’s our fault. We don’t blame you for feeling unwelcome and lashing out.”

    “Seriously, stop taking credit for this! We worked really hard to pull this off, and we’re not going to let you take it away from us.”

    “No, we nourished your extremism. We accept full blame.”

    “OMG, how many people do we have to kill around here to finally get our message across?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  139. Jack says:

    Five of the wealthiest Muslim countries have taken no Syrian refugees in at all, arguing that doing so would open them up to the risk of terrorism.

    I wonder if the leaders of these countries know something Obama doesn’t? What am I saying? A tomato knows more than Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  140. robz says:

    There is really no need to wet the bed over this.

    Obama has said 10,000 Syrian refugees will be allowed in in 2016. Half of them will be children. Judging from the past, perhaps 2% will be single men of combat age.

    A political refugee has a 4-6 month wait just to get past the U.N hurdle and then if they’re sent to the USA, they’ve got another 18 to 24 months to get through the USA political refugee screen.

    Syrian refugees also get an extra screen called the Syria Enhanced Review. For them, the whole thing can take as long as three years.

    Once a refugee gets here, there’s a lot of effort put into helping them make it. They’ll get cultural orientation. They’ll get housing. They’ll get language training. They’ll get vocational training. etc..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  141. Jack says:

    @robz:

    Once a refugee gets here, there’s a lot of effort put into helping them make it. They’ll get cultural orientation. They’ll get housing. They’ll get language training. They’ll get vocational training. etc..

    So, more aid for the refugees than our own vets and homeless.

    Nice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  142. Jack says:

    @robz:

    Syrian refugees also get an extra screen called the Syria Enhanced Review. For them, the whole thing can take as long as three years.

    Three whole years. Well I gues that means they will no longer be radical by then.

    The Jihadis play the long game. You want us to act like every other American stooge and forget what happens after three days when it’s no longer in the news cycle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  143. robz says:

    @Jack:

    The risk of a terrorist doing anything to you or anyone you know are miniscule compared to the risks you face every day with complete equanimity. I just don’t get the wet pants over this. You face a much much much larger chance of dying in a car accident on the way home from the store.

    You do know that the Democrats would like to run the country? Did you also know that they understand that a large Islamic terrorist attack in the USA would pretty much ruin their chances?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  144. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CrustyDem: That was cold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  145. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stan:

    The US population is a lot less bigoted now than in 1938,

    I’m not so sure. Bigoted about different groups maybe but probably not less bigoted, and certainly not a lot. Just read the thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  146. robz says:

    @Jack:

    “So, more aid for the refugees than our own vets and homeless.”

    Homeless for sure and I agree, that’s a damned shame.

    Of course, veterans don’t usually get much in the way of cultural orientation benefits, but
    some vets are eligible for a quite a bit of educational aid. (The average monthly benefit is on the order of $1500/month but it can run as high as $2700/month.) And as we all know, veterans also have access to other benefits(like free or nearly free medical care, subsidized home loans, etc.)

    I’d bet that most of the money spent on the refugees gets spent before they are released into the general population.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  147. David M says:

    @Jack:

    So should we accept any refugees? How about Christian refugees?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  148. Andre Kenji says:

    There is a considerable diaspora of Syrian-Lebanese immigrants in the American Continent as a whole, specially in Latin America. In Brazil, they are extremely assimilated, to the point that nine million people have some kind of Syrian-Lebanese descent(São Paulo has THREE former mayors from Lebanese descent). Argentina had a President that was the son of Syrian Immigrants.

    The idea that Syrians can´t assimilate in the “West” is ludicrous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  149. Andre Kenji says:

    @Bill Lefrak:

    Pacific Heights, San Francisco. Malibu and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. Chelsea, SoHo, Tribeca and Park Avenue, Manhattan. Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Chevy Chase, Maryland. Greenwich and New Canaan, Connecticut. That’s where these refugees should go.

    Considering that these refugees are well educated middle class people they are going to make these communities even more prosperous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  150. WR says:

    @michael reynolds: If we’re living under a fascist government, I don’t really care if it calls itself Republican or Democrat.

    You may see the great difference between Mussolini and Hitler, but I’ll stick with FDR. Yes, he made some terrible mistakes — the Japanese-American internment — but he didn’t turn us into Nazi Germany in order to keep us from becoming Nazi Germany.

    It’s hilarious — you accuse liberals of being soft and weak, but you’re the one eager to give up every principle he claims to believe in to make sure his team wins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  151. James Pearce says:

    @robz: I think I can safely say that Jack doesn’t give one whit about the homeless, whether they are veterans or not.

    He saw that meme on Facebook,, thought “Yeah, I can use that one” and here it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  152. Jenos Idanian says:

    @robz: The risk of a terrorist doing anything to you or anyone you know are miniscule compared to the risks you face every day with complete equanimity. I just don’t get the wet pants over this. You face a much much much larger chance of dying in a car accident on the way home from the store.

    1) There are people who actually care beyond themselves, and worry about their fellow citizens’ safety as well. I, for one, get unhappy when my fellow Americans are killed by terrorists.

    2) There is a world of difference between accidental death and deliberate death.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  153. robz says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “There are people who actually care beyond themselves, and worry about their fellow citizens’ safety as well. I, for one, get unhappy when my fellow Americans are killed by terrorists.”

    Why just your fellow citizens? Is the rest of the world not quite human enough for you?

    Suppose we let 40,000 refugees in and exactly one of them became a terrorist and he managed to kill exactly one person. I’d expect you’d want us to expel all 40,000 and what a bother that’d be. So why let them come here in the first place, eh?

    “There is a world of difference between accidental death and deliberate death.”

    The biggest difference is that accidental deaths happen ever so much more often than deaths by terrorists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  154. Jenos Idanian says:

    @robz: We’re all tribal. I put a higher priority on my fellow Americans.

    And as we saw in Paris, France let in at least 8 terrorists, and lost 129 dead. So that’s a 16 to 1 ratio. The 9/11 attacks were an even worse ratio. 20 radical Muslims killed 3,000 — that’s 150 to 1.

    Finally, the really significant difference between accidental deaths and murders is that if people are more careful, accidents can be avoided. With murders, the “being more careful” only does so much — and the killers being more careful makes deaths more likely, not less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  155. An Interested Party says:

    The only way to deny them is to eliminate them–entirely.

    Oh? Like in all Muslims? Or just most of them? Nothing like advocating a little genocide…that will certainly keep us safe…

    Let them move in next to you. Let’s see how much longer your wife and daughter goes without a head scarf.

    As opposed to if they moved in next to you, in which case you would have to start wearing Depends on a regular basis…that is, if you don’t already…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  156. R.Dave says:

    Jesus. Anyone else wondering if Michael Reynolds’ account has been hacked recently or something? Seriously, man – your policy prescriptions over the last week or so have been to turn the boats back and nuke the place they came from. Who pissed in your Corn Flakes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  157. Thomas Weaver says:

    @gVOR08: Did you fail to take your medications? Being absolutely clueless about world conditions evidently makes you a tower watchman irt Repubs. And, if you would for one moment focus on the hee-hee contenders for the dimmowatt candidates, you would see fantasy land versus realism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  158. Tyrell says:

    There needs to be a strong, thorough monitoring system of refugees who are brought in, and those who are already here. Their backgrounds should be checked extensively. If they have no background information, then they should be monitored closely, and totally. Many may have to go back, or stay in some sort of center, or holding places. And these are not all children, women, and elderly. Reports are that a big percentage are young men: strange.
    The states, and their citizens should have some input on this, and not just be handed a ton of more people to take care of, with no assistance from the federal government; like was done a while back with the busloads of illegal immigrants that came rolling in here. The mayor of New York City says they are welcome there. Fine, I am sure he will let them live with him.
    This is interesting news: the administration released 5 terrorist suspects from the internment center in Guantanamo, Cuba. Someone has got to be insane.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  159. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    Someone has got to be insane.

    You and the rest of the Republican party.

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  160. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    Reports are that a big percentage are young men: strange.

    Again…You should learn about a topic, and then form your opinion…rather than just copying and pasting your opinions from others.
    http://www.factcheck.org/2015/09/stretching-facts-on-syrian-refugees/

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  161. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “1) There are people who actually care beyond themselves, and worry about their fellow citizens’ safety as well. I, for one, get unhappy when my fellow Americans are killed by terrorists.”

    Unless, of course, that fellow American is a black guy and the terrorist is a gun-waving NRA nut. Then you cheer for the murderer.

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  162. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: Oh, blow it out your ass, you brainless git.

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  163. robz says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “We’re all tribal. I put a higher priority on my fellow Americans.”

    Remember, that Good Samaritan parable in the New Testament? The hero in that story gets past the tribal thing.

    “And as we saw in Paris, France let in at least 8 terrorists, and lost 129 dead. So that’s a 16 to 1 ratio. The 9/11 attacks were an even worse ratio. 20 radical Muslims killed 3,000 — that’s 150 to 1.”

    Should we apply that sort of calculation to gun violence? Let’s see… That crazy guy at Virginia Tech, well he killed 32 people. That’s a 32 to 1 ratio. And then we’ve got Sandy Hook. A 27 to 1 ratio. Oh no! I own two guns. I’m dangerous! Somebody stop me!

    “Finally, the really significant difference between accidental deaths and murders is that if people are more careful, accidents can be avoided. With murders, the “being more careful” only does so much — and the killers being more careful makes deaths more likely, not less.”

    My point had to do with the fact the count of deaths by terrorists is very very very small compared to the count of deaths by accident. Your response to that is to tell us that the really significant difference between accidental deaths and murders has to do with “care”.

    A person is deciding how to improve their chances of a long life and they’ve decided to spend the day thinking about it. If it was you, you’d apparently spend a good part of the day thinking on how to keep those Muslims out of the USA. Some very small fraction of them might possibly be terrorists. Me? Well, I’d begin by looking at most common causes of death and see where that takes me. Terrorism? Judging by the last 5 years, my chance of getting killed in a terrorist attack are maybe 1 in 20 million. (And that’s only if I count people killed outside the country.)

    Very few think that compassion for our fellow humans is the only consideration and absolutely no sane person thinks that fear should be our only consideration. The question is where to strike the balance between compassion and fear. You’re all about the fear. Some of us are all about the balance.

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  164. Jenos Idanian says:

    @robz: A person is deciding how to improve their chances of a long life and they’ve decided to spend the day thinking about it.

    You keep missing my point so radically, I’m starting to wonder if it’s deliberate.

    My personal danger from being killed by Muslim extremists is so negligible that I don’t worry about it in the least. If the US were to admit every single Syrian refugee in the world, my personal danger level wouldn’t move enough to be measured in angstroms. So stop trying to personalize the threat to me in order to dismiss it, because that isn’t in the least bit relevant.

    I don’t want my fellow citizens to be threatened. Not even worthless oxygen thieves like anjin or wr or Cliffy. I don’t want to be confronted with those deaths even through the television.

    And yes, I put a higher priority on my fellow Americans than I do over those from other lands. And rather than being ashamed of that, I am proud of that. I love this country and am grateful that I am a citizen, and I feel morally obligated to demonstrate that gratitude.

    So knock off the “it’s no threat to you, so what’s your problem?” That’s not my failing, it’s yours.

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  165. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Not even worthless oxygen thieves

    Says the same scumbag who freely admitted to “free-riding” the health care system. I don’t know anjin or wr…but I’m betting they are far more responsible citizens than you are based on your own admission.
    WTF is wrong with you? Seriously? Obamacare will probably cover your extensive psychiatric needs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  166. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: Your off-topic personal attacks aren’t worth originality, so i’ll plagiarize myself: blow it out your ass, you brainless git.

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  167. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “I don’t want my fellow citizens to be threatened.”

    Except, of course, by right wing morons with a grudge and a gun. Can’t possibly do anything about that, because Freedom.

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  168. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: I forget — was it you or Cliffy who wanted to get me a gun so I could kill myself? The two of you tend to be pretty much interchangeable…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  169. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: So, killing fellow Americans with a gun: bad.

    Killing fellow Americans with a bomb: just fine and dandy.

    Interesting ethic you got there…

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  170. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Not sure where you get this nonsense from. You have repeatedly supported a series of white men who have gunned down black men and boys, and screamed about any attempt to regulate gun ownership. No one here has come out in support of the Weather Underground. Really, if the best you can do is make up transparently ludicrous attacks, you might as well just pack it in and admit you’ve got nothing.

    I have no idea, by the way, who, if anyone, suggested you shoot yourself. Perhaps it was one of the little voices in your head.

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  171. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: You really should get some help for that delusion. I supported finding out the full facts of cases, and sometimes that meant that people were justified in shooting others, and sometimes they weren’t. And I consider “supporting” the white-washing and attempting to memory-hole the terrorist past of one of Obama’s closer allies.

    It takes an incredibly simple mind to take my interest in finding out the facts in the Martin and Brown case before joining the lynch mob of the white cop and Hispanic civilian as somehow meaning I “supported a series of white men who have gunned down black men and boys,” so it should come as no surprise that a mouth-breathing moron like you would understand it as such.

    So… how many Syrian refugees are you volunteering to host, anyway?

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  172. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: ” I supported finding out the full facts of cases, ”

    Of course for you, “finding out the full facts” means “waiting for the white guy to give his side of the story and then accepting that completely, no matter how much evidence shows he’s lying.”

    And of course you’ve got nothing to back up your idiotic claim that anyone here supported the Weather Underground. That was just another straw man, like all of your “arguments.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  173. robz says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “You keep missing my point so radically, I’m starting to wonder if it’s deliberate.”

    Perhaps I understand your point better than you do. You’re willing to ignore humanitarian concerns, geo-political concerns etc, because there is a chance that one or two terrorists will get through the screening and then cause you mental discomfort when you find out about them killing some innocent people unlucky enough to be in their immediate vicinity. I admit that I do not understand why you think deaths by terrorists are worse than accidental deaths because of “care”. But then I don’t think you understand why you think that either. It’s just something sounded good in your mind at the time you wrote it.

    It’s not as if you did anything to evaluate that whether or not that chance was large. Instead, you gave us some simple-minded statistics having to do how many people were killed per terrorist in two of the worst terrorist attacks ever conducted in the modern Western world.

    Immediately after it happened, I wanted nothing more than to see a whole lot of bad people killed. Lots of people felt the same way. Maybe most. But then, some of us calmed down and realized that usually we can’t just bring the hammer down on the bad guys without killing very large numbers of innocents. You’ve never calmed down. Or maybe you’re one of those guys who is always hating on the Muslims and any excuse to keep them out of the country is something to be deployed.

    “I don’t want my fellow citizens to be threatened. Not even worthless oxygen thieves like anjin or wr or Cliffy. I don’t want to be confronted with those deaths even through the television.”

    Their chances of getting killed by a terrorist are no greater than yours. Essentially negligible,
    as you’ve admitted.

    You want to do something that might actually keep them from getting killed, forget about the terrorists. Think about cars or guns or cancer or some other thing that we know actually kills lots and lots of people every year here in the USA.

    Hell, judging from the size and number of asteroids that cross Earth’s orbit, you’d be better off advocating that we spend a few billions mitigating that risk. Such an event is very rare, but the number of deaths can be quite large. The astronomer Alan Harris estimates that each of us has a 1 in 70,000 chance of dying in an asteroid strike. Actuarially speaking, that’s a lot of people dying from a possibly preventable cause. In fact, it’s roughly equivalent to a 911 every year.

    If it’s the chance that you might see something TV that bothers you, you can always stop watching. Most TV news is pretty crap anyway. Something rare but bad happens somewhere in the world, and it seems that nearly everyone who watches TV begins to wet their pants in fear that it might happen here.

    Becoming a refugee is not the easiest way to get here. Getting a visa is much much much much much much much much quicker and easier.

    “And yes, I put a higher priority on my fellow Americans than I do over those from other lands. And rather than being ashamed of that, I am proud of that. I love this country and am grateful that I am a citizen, and I feel morally obligated to demonstrate that gratitude.”

    It’s possible to be thankful for the fact you are lucky enough to live in a great place and still place a non-negligible value on the lives of foreigners.

    Also, given that this great country of ours played a very large part in the creation of ISIS, you should feel morally obligated to demonstrate some sense of responsibility to do something about the victims of ISIS.

    I’m done here. Respond or not as you like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  174. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: And where is the evidence that proves that Officer Wilson was lying and NOT justified in shooting Brown? Hell, where’s your evidence that proves Zimmerman was white?

    And refresh me. What was the standard line used to pretend that Obama’s longtime compatriot, an unrepentant terrorist, wasn’t a big deal?

    Oh, yeah. It happened a long time ago. But did you hear what Mitt Romney did in high school?

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  175. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: I think we’ve re-established that you’re a borderline psychotic moron who will say anything to prove how much you hate me, so why don’t you run along now?

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  176. Eddie Lake says:

    The truth is that most of the world doesn’t care about these people. All you need to do is look at the reaction to the Paris bombing compared to Lebanon. The Muslim refugees that come to the US bring their backwards ass culture with them and isolate themselves from the rest of society. Their contribution to society is minimal at best and they have a parasitic existence in places like Sweden. It’s also a country that has 0 respect for women and treats them like dirt. It’s no coincidence that the women and children were left in Syria as they do not matter as much as men.
    It is also near impossible to vet these people. I Wonder just how many people here would mind if these folks moved next door to you.

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  177. bookdragon says:

    @Eddie Lake: First your characterization of Muslim immigrants in this country couldn’t be more wrong. On average they make at or above median income and statistically their kids are generally among the professionals making ~$70k or better.

    Second. I would not mind having them next door to me. In fact, I fully expect to volunteer to help if the local houses of worship here are able to sponsor and taken in some of these refugees just as we did with Sudanese refugees a decade ago.

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  178. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Wow. I’ve never seen anyone devolve into complete incoherence so quickly. And all it took was pointing out that what you claim are your deep beliefs are actually just random thoughts that are completely contradictory and in fact change with the wind.

    So let’s get you back on the subject: You are saying that you think it’s okay if hundreds of thousands of Syrians die to ward off the chance of a handful of American deaths. My question is: Now that it’s been established that all the terrorists killed or captured so far were actually Euro-zone citizens and not refugees, does that change your calclulation at all? Would you let in refugees now? Would you attempt to keep out Europeans?

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  179. Lenoxus says:

    @bookdragon:

    They do live live next me. That’s the point. I know actual Muslims and have them as neighbors. And so far neither I nor my daughter are wearing headscarves…

    Do you have a satellite dish in your yard? That’s been known to deflect most Muslims’ unearthly psionic headscarf-compulsion abilities. (Alternatively, one can try tinfoil, but then you’d be wearing something on your head anyway, kind of defeating the point.)

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  180. Bookdragon says:

    @Lenoxus: LOL. Yeah but the real magic protection is the mezzusah on the door.

    As the joke goes A Jew, a Muslim, a Christian and a pagan walk into a bar
    ….and talk and laugh and share stories and build their friendship – because that’s what happens with normal, rational, decent human beings.

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  181. An Interested Party says:

    It is rather amusing that so many people who were so gung-ho about the Iraq Debacle and who try to exhibit their manliness by bloviating about how everyone should have unfettered access to buy as many guns as they want are now wetting their pants over the idea of refuges coming here…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  182. KM says:

    @An Interested Party :

    unfettered access to buy as many guns as they want

    Goes to show how pointless that mindset is : scared-cat folks carrying around little pop guns that are supposed to do something about a surprise bomb or something. Because open-carry will protect you from an IED that dem thar Muzzies all know instinctively how to make even if they were dentists or something back in Syria. It’s not an adult security blanket, no not at all! They’re still badasses! Here them RAWR!!

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