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More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-05-2006, 08:49 PM   #1
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More Joys of Immigration

Frightening events in France. Western Nations need to take a page from the Japanese playbook, stop going down the disastrous path we are currently on.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/in...icle_popular_2

Ha
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 05:36 AM   #2
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Ha, what's "the Japanese playbook"?

First off, antisemitism is nothing new in France.

Second, Arab/Muslim/African immigrants (now most in their second generation) have found themselves unable to assimilate in the stultifying and hide-bound French social system. They live in the kind of housing projects that have already been torn down in the US because of their toxic concentration of all the poorest people (of one particular color) with the most problems and least opportunities. Think Cabrini-Green, only worse. At the same time, the French themselves are very pro-Palestinian, pro-Arab, and anti-Zionist in their foreign policy, yet very stern in sticking to their secular precepts (head-scarf ban in schools). It's very complicated. [None of this is intended in any way to excuse horrifying and vicious behavior.. but just to indicate that the situation is more complex than it would seem at first glance.]

In my driving class in Italy, there's a middle-aged North African guy who gets a lot of dirty looks from the kids in the class. He is definitely "other", whereas in the US no one would look at him twice (which is as it should be). I am perfectly comfortable with him being there; the others are not, and you can tell he's aware of this with every fibre of his being.

It's common to see Nazi symbols spray-painted here and there. Soccer fans are regularly cited for the banners they bring to the stadium. This is not solely an Arab or Muslim immigrant issue, even if in the very tragic recent case you cite, the aggressors were from the immigrant community. My opinion is that nowhere in Europe have they actually come to grips with the past, much less the present.

Kids of my generation were brought up being told that if they weren't good, "the Turks" or "the black man" would get them. For all their 'socialism' and talk of 'diversity', it is very rare to see anyone of a non-European background in any position of power. I can't think of a single European politician "of color". Except for the BBC, I've never seen any TV personalities or news anchors or even reporters that aren't Caucasian. Ditto for doctors, lawyers, etc.




This is an informative article:

Europe's Minority Politicians in Short Supply
Quote:
The starkest case is France, a country of about 60 million people with about 6 million North African Muslims and an estimated 2.5 million blacks from south of the Sahara desert -- an estimate, because France officially does not keep statistics by race. France prides itself as a country of egalite, or equality, where discrimination, officially at least, does not exist. But of 555 deputies representing districts in continental France, none is black or Muslim. (Minorities do hold some of the 22 seats representing France's overseas territories.)
I like that last bit.. the overseas territories are represented by "some" minorities, implying the rest of those representatives are Caucasian...!

I think it's great that America has been able to assimilate so many immigrants, and that it continues to do so! Ask the new guy who recently joined the board (Vietnamese, I think). In Europe he would have incredible difficulty being an engineer.. his chances in Italy I would rate as near-zero.. he'd be busing tables or maybe at most running a restaurant or heading a work crew of illegals from Vietnam. European society is highly patriarchal, highly parochial, highly inflexible, and basically still stuck in the medieval guild way of operating. Outsiders of any kind, even in the best of circumstances, present a "problem" that Europe is just not equipped to deal with on numerous levels.
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 08:55 AM   #3
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
... unable to assimilate in the stultifying and hide-bound French social system.
I'm about as WASP as you can get and I'd still have trouble with that. I like the food, the beverage, and the museums. The people appear to be a completely different issue, Jerry Lewis & Johnny Depp notwithstanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
He is definitely "other", whereas in the US no one would look at him twice (which is as it should be).
Judging from the NAACP award show, there may still be some issues here. Perhaps the TV version resembles reality as much as Hollywood resembles real politics, but I was surprised at some of the TV-character comments such as black doctors being authority figures. Maybe I missed something being off the Mainland, or maybe Hawaii's multicultural society has moved on to other debates.
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Can you help out someone from the slow class, HaHa? What exactly is the Japanese playbook, and how are you suggesting western nations implement it?

Thanks,
Caroline
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 05:19 PM   #5
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
Can you help out someone from the slow class, HaHa?* What exactly is the Japanese playbook, and how are you suggesting western nations implement it?

Thanks,
Caroline
I have an unpopular opinion here. I am for the immigration of engineers, PhDs, nurses, doctors, and whoever else there is a demonstrated need for, regardless of their country of origin. I am against immigration of unskilled, uneducated people no matter where they are from.* Family unification, no. If you somehow managed to immigrate to Australia, do you think you would be allowed to bring your aged parents along?* While there is no doubt that for the immigrant, admittance to America, legal or otherwise, is good, I think it is less so for the country as a whole.

I also feel that we should do as Holland has belatedly done- if you desire to immigrate here, you must understand and speak our English language, and you must demonstrate an understanding of our history and culture similar to what was demanded of immgrants to the US in the past. (For those of you who are very literal, substitute Dutch for English in the case of Holland.)

Among other things, we are importing TB, HIV, and intestinal parasites, plus people who are amazingly prone to contracting diabetes. On a simple public health basis, they should be left where they are, and deported if they gain illegal entry. There are plenty people already here in the US who need help who are not getting the help they need because of budget constraints. These people are already American citizens. IMO it is immoral and cynical to add to their problems by importing others with the same or even greater needs. Our basic values require us to take care of our own people first. We should give particular weight to the fact that the big losers from unskilled Hispanic immigration are native born African Americans.

The Japanese playbook refers to the Japanese preference for a uniquely Japanese way to life. They realize that this necessarily means very little immigration, because immigrants want power, gain power, and begin to change the host society. It is extremely hard to emigrate to Japan. Although their "Demographic Problem," is allegedly worse than ours, it seems that Toyota, Honda, Sony, Canon etc are not bothered by it. Nor is there constant talk about the collapse of social services.

Ha
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

"I am a citizen of the world"~~ Diogenes of Sinope

"No man is an island entire of itself... Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." ~~John Donne

"There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don't come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity." ~~Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov

"We should take care, in inculcating patriotism into our boys and girls, that is a patriotism above the narrow sentiment which usually stops at one's country, and thus inspires jealousy and enmity in dealing with others... Our patriotism should be of the wider, nobler kind which recognises justice and reasonableness in the claims of others and which lead our country into comradeship with...the other nations of the world." --Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouting

"As I looked down, I saw a large river meandering slowly along for miles, passing from one country to another without stopping. I also saw huge forests, extending along several borders. And I watched the extent of one ocean touch the shores of separate continents. Two words leaped to mind as I looked down on all this: commonality and interdependence. We are one world." --John-David Bartoe, astronaut

"The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day, we were aware of only one Earth." --Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, astronaut

"There is no national science just as there is no national multiplication table; what is national is no longer science." --Anton Chekhov

"Unless we establish some form of world government, it will not be possible for us to avert a World War III in the future." --Winston Churchill

"There are no boundaries in the real Planet Earth. No United States, no Russia, no China, no Taiwan. Rivers flow unimpeded across the swaths of continents. The persistent tides, the pulse of the sea do not discriminate; they push against all the varied shores on Earth." --Jacques-Yves Cousteau, oceanographer

"With all my heart I believe that the world's present system of sovereign nations can only lead to barbarism, war and inhumanity, and that only world law can assure progress towards a civilized peaceful community." --Albert Einstein

"We are going to have to find ways of organizing ourselves cooperatively, sanely, scientifically, harmonically and in regenerative spontaneity with the rest of humanity around the earth.... We are not going to be able to operate our spaceship earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common." --Buckminster Fuller

"A wise man's country was the world." -- Diogenes Laertius

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each person's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes." --Douglas MacArthur

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." --Thomas Paine

"I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries and government orders." --Leo Tolstoy

"I am neither an Athenian nor a Greek. I am a citizen of the world." --Socrates
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 07:53 PM   #7
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

I had thought it was pretty well accepted that cultures that insulated themselves from others became stagnant and eventually died, vs cultures that accepted open 'enrollment' thriving by absorbing and altering to suit other ideas and approaches.

Which is not to say that there are 'good' immigrants and 'bad' immigrants. But I dont know who I'd trust to tell me which were which and what to do about it.
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 08:13 PM   #8
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n' Fuzzy Bunny
I had thought it was pretty well accepted that cultures that insulated themselves from others became stagnant and eventually died, vs cultures that accepted open 'enrollment' thriving by absorbing and altering to suit other ideas and approaches.
Absolutely! Japan and Korea which avoid immigration are obviously on their way to extinction; and Europe which is full of immigrants is flourishing beautifully. Another famous examples of improvement via immigration is the Roman Republic/Empire.

Like so many things that are "pretty well accepted", it doesn't really seem to be true.

Ha

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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-06-2006, 09:38 PM   #9
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

I'm not sure that cultural exchange and absorption has much to do with shiftless immigrants, but I suppose one can draw any line that one wants.

And the japanese culture does have...a lot of issues. I cant speak for korea, never did business with them that much.
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-07-2006, 02:34 AM   #10
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Mr. Ha, like antisemitism, your concerns are nothing new either. With every wave of immigration, some of the sons and daughters of the last wave want to close the door behind them. Unless you are a Native American, someone may well have railed against your 'dirty, disease-carrying' ancestors coming into the US. When my (Irish) grandmother was young, it was common to see signs in shop windows in New England saying, "No Irish Need Apply."

I was watching an Italian news story about N.African immigrants that come clandestinely into Italy by boat (almost exclusively via Libya). They come to pick tomatoes and artichokes for 25/day. It's identical to the situation in California. No Italian wants to spend his day picking in the fields anymore. These guys are willing to do it. Once they get to Libya they work there as bricklayers for years in order to save up the $1000 or so in order to make the trip to Italy. The boats occasionally sink, or their 'escorts' dump them overboard at the first sign of the Coast Guard, so hundreds die in the Mediterranean each year. But they still keep coming.

How do you know what skills and education they bring? The several guys that were interviewed spoke passable Italian or else spoke English.

It's pointless to try and stem the tide. Entropy happens. There is a 'demonstrated need' in the US, and in Europe, for exactly the kind of unskilled or low-skills labor that you under-value in your argument. Otherwise, there would be no market, and no one would be risking their lives to fill that need. [Or, are you willing to pay $5 for a head of lettuce..? $10 for a pint of strawberries?]

Fun facts:
Quote:
By 1790, 28 percent of white Virginians were German-speaking.
http://www.vahistorical.org/sva2003/virginians.htm

Quote:
By 1900, the cities of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Hoboken and Cincinnati all had populations which were over 40% German.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American

Thanks, lazygood4nothin, for all the quotes. I'm not sure we're ready for world government, but certainly the "idea" of a country has little to do with its exact boundaries. There's a saying in Italy: "you've found America." They use it similarly to the way we use "El Dorado", except without so much of a $$ overtone.. to "find America" doesn't mean to go there.. it means any set of circumstances in which you can be free and happy!! Everyone wants to "trovare l'America"!
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-07-2006, 03:21 AM   #11
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Mr. Ha, like antisemitism, your concerns are nothing new either.
Well you are certainly right about this. However, the fact that these are not new concerns does not make them invalid concerns. And the fact that poor badly educated but nevertheless English speaking Irish made it in America's melting pot doesn't say anything about todays non-English speaking immigrants into the new America of entitlements and ethnic separation.

Your POV however does have the advantage of being PC.

Ha
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-07-2006, 07:08 AM   #12
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Ha, you're the only person who ever accused me of being Politically Correct!! Look at it instead from a completely market-oriented POV.

What did those Germans (40% of the population!) do in Cincinnati? Were they all English-speaking PhDs? No. They were slaughter-house and factory workers, laborers, farmers, and cleaning ladies.
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-07-2006, 07:13 AM   #13
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
What did those Germans do in Cincinnati?
And did they contribute to the creation of that weird chili with the boiled ground beef served over pasta? :P
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-07-2006, 02:30 PM   #14
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
I'm not sure we're ready for world government, but certainly the "idea" of a country has little to do with its exact boundaries.
ladelfina has a good ear for subtlety.

as long as we think in certain set terms, we will only get certain set answers. if none of those answers satisfy, maybe the question is not valid or needs be, well, at least rephrased.

my very favorite example of this (or at least what i see as an example of this) is douglas adams' book hitchiker's guide, where deep thought provides the answer to life, the universe and everything. got to be one of the funniest things i've ever read.
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-07-2006, 06:40 PM   #15
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Ha, you're the only person who ever accused me of being Politically Correct!! Look at it instead from a completely market-oriented POV.

What did those Germans (40% of the population!) do in Cincinnati? Were they all English-speaking PhDs? No. They were slaughter-house and factory workers, laborers, farmers, and cleaning ladies.
Well, since I am from Cincinnati this is one I know something about. In fact, some were well educated professionals who left Germany during the political turmoil in the mid-19th century. And of course many were just what you said. They were not particularly interested in assimilation either, at least until WW1 made them see things differently. Covington, across the river from Cincinnati, had 2 big churches, a German Catholic one and an Irish Catholic one. I think it took WW1 to bring about assimilation, under the control of the Irish church which became the cathedral. Prior to this, the Germans even ran their schools in German.

The only thing I can say is that they were Germans, and thus didn't really contribute to the entropy you mentioned above. Still, given that they didn't look so good in WW2, I think I will have to ask for a helicopter to get me out of the corner I have painted myself into.*

Quote:
And did they contribute to the creation of that weird chili with the boiled ground beef served over pasta?
No; the Greeks created that one. As I remember the first Cincinnati Chili parlor was* Empress Chili, I think on 5th or 6th Street on the east side of downtown, near the Union Oyster House. I believe it was founded right about the end of WW2.

Ha

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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-08-2006, 12:44 AM   #16
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
they were Germans, and thus didn't really contribute to the entropy you mentioned above
I'd submit they have, indeed.. unless they are still all speaking German in the Cincinnati schools. Is there something about being German that makes them exempt from the laws of physics?*

I was a little off in my recounting of "finding" America. The Italians use the reflexive form: "trovarsi l'America" = to find yourself (an) America.

Now where's that damn chopper?!?
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-08-2006, 12:45 PM   #17
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

So hypothetical question...at the point in time where hispanics become the majority in the US, does that mean all the indigent, uneducated white people have to learn spanish?

That funny chili is good, but its not chili...
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-08-2006, 01:13 PM   #18
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

No, but there will be 50 more channels like 'Telemundo'!

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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-08-2006, 01:28 PM   #19
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Thats okay. Hispanic tv channels have way more angry, scantily clad women in them. That I have no idea what they're saying isnt really that big a deal.
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Re: More Joys of Immigration
Old 03-08-2006, 01:59 PM   #20
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Re: More Joys of Immigration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n' Fuzzy Bunny
Thats okay. Hispanic tv channels have way more angry, scantily clad women in them. That I have no idea what they're saying isnt really that big a deal.
My excuse for watching that sort of stuff - "No honey, honest, I swear I'm just trying to teach our daughter Spanish by immersion. I hadn't noticed those lady's boobs poppin out till you mentioned it."
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