Author Topic: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration  (Read 15247 times)

Greg Davidson

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My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« on: January 23, 2016, 05:49:27 PM »
I just finished reading Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario; she's an LA Times reporter who retraced the journey of a teenage illegal immigrant (spending months riding on the roofs of trains from Central America, etc.).  The book was originally published in 2006; it includes updates and some overall reporting on immigration, and based on the book and related material, I am rethinking my position on immigration. Here's where I am right now:

  • I disagree with the racist and xenophobia regarding the threat from immigrants that animates part of the intensity of the Republican opposition (both legal and illegal immigrants)
  • The immigrants are fleeing conditions that are so horrific (and living in the US is so lucrative) that there is no credible way for the US to disincentivize them by threats
  • Overall, illegal immigrants may be a net cost to society when they first arrive. Nazario cites statistics that services consumed exceeds taxes paid, and as a disproportionately poor and youthful population, they are currently using an above average level of services. Where they do provide an economic benefit due to lowering labor costs, much of that benefit goes to wealthier people who can afford gardeners, nannies, and even a higher proportion of fresh produce. By the way, there is nothing new with the US paying a cost for first generation immigrants. When I was young, there was still a derogatory term used for those of Italian ancestry (WOP - or "with out papers"), and in reality the Mafia was nothing more than a form of criminality brought into the country by immigrants. But no one now is looking for those of Italian descent to pay reparations, and I will have to say that in fields like mine of aerospace, 2nd and 3rd generation Italians are over-represented relative to the population, so immigration may be an investment with a strong return over time. But while the long term investment may be worth it for the country, a disproportionate burden is placed on lower income Americans
  • Immigration, both legal and illegal, depresses the wages of Americans.  Essentially, for many immigrants from Mexico and Central America, the benefits of living in the United States are a valuable part of their compensation, and so companies can take advantage of this and acquire their services without having to pay for that big part of their compensation. Because companies can get immigrant labor cheaply, that drives down the cost of competing American labor. Nazario asserts that primarily African American janitors in Los Angeles had compensation cut in half and benefits eliminated in response to the influx of immigrant labor. For those who say that immigrants will do jobs that Americans won't (like agricultural work), the way the free market is supposed to work is that wages rise where there is demand for labor. We should triple or quadruple wages for agricultural work if that is what is required for labor supply to meet demand, not give agricultural companies access to cheap labor 
  • The number of illegal immigrants exacerbates the problem because their lack of papers enables employers to depress their wages even further, and it makes them more likely to be victims of (and engaged in) crime because they have no access to law enforcement
  • The most logical path towards a solution will be to sanction employers, not illegal immigrants. Big fines to prevent noncompliance being a buiness decision, followed by and prison forrepeated offenses. Rationalize the illegal immigrants who are in the country today, whether through guest worker program or a path to citizenship.  But stop the status quo

DJQuag

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 06:13:51 PM »
I agree with pretty much all of this.  I grew up in Arizona, and now live in Europe, so I've seen immigration issues from different angles.

The one thing I would add is that it is essential to assimilate immigrants into the culture. When you have second and third generation descendents of Islamic immigrants who still believe things like democracy is evil, and women should wear burkas, then that becomes a very real problem. Europe still hasn't experienced the full consequences of that,  and it's going to get a lot uglier before it gets better.

Fenring

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 01:13:59 AM »
Good post Greg. Agreed about going after employers, since taking away the incentive is the only way to stop it. And yet we have to wonder that, even if denied gainful employment, people might still come across just because being in America is better in terms of environment. If you're going to be unemployed, better on this side of the border at the very least. Plus there is always the opportunity to find ungainful employment (meaning working for companies that themselves are not legitimate), which around where I live is fairly plentiful.  There would still be an incentive to come, but certainly not as high an incentive as there is now where there are jobs to be had in 'real' businesses.

Greg Davidson

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 12:05:44 AM »
Illegal immigration hit 11 million right before the Great Recession, and has not grown at all since then. I take this to be first an effect of the reduction in opportunities, and then when the economy recovered there has been an increase in anti-illegal immigration actions.

Seriati

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2016, 02:29:10 PM »
Here's where I am right now:

I disagree with the racist and xenophobia regarding the threat from immigrants that animates part of the intensity of the Republican opposition (both legal and illegal immigrants)
What's the point of adding "Republican"?  Virtually all studies that I've seen show the level of actual racism in the two parties (by percentage) is about equal.  Certainly, there are plenty of blue collar Democrats who are anti-immigrant.  This isn't an issue that aligns on straight party lines, with at least a large minority of each party holding "anti-immigration" views, and majorities of each party holding certain "pro-immigration" positions.
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The most logical path towards a solution will be to sanction employers, not illegal immigrants. Big fines to prevent noncompliance being a buiness decision, followed by and prison forrepeated offenses. Rationalize the illegal immigrants who are in the country today, whether through guest worker program or a path to citizenship.  But stop the status quo
That's not the most logical path.  Though I agree with you adding employer sanctions is logical and it's in fact illogical to  not have an employer sanction today.  It's not logical to "rationalize" large groups of immigrants who do not have useful skills and violated our laws to get her, you're confusing a disputable economic rationale with logic, when there are other factors that would weigh into a logical decision.  You also under sell the costs of trying to integrate large amounts of poorly educated low skill works with a demonstrable lack of concern for the rule of law into a stable society.  Believe it or not, that's not "where we are now" as we do not integrate and have not integrated illegal immigrants into our society en mass, but rather have kept them deliberated side lined and marginalized.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 08:48:40 PM »
Unassimilated immigrants are much more likely than locals to commit crime, particularly violent crime.  To the extent that the left refuses to acknowledge that, and demonized those that raise the issue (like obtuse Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 911) they have lost credibility with the mainstream. The excesses of political correctness is behind the appeal of demagogues like Trump.

There are ways to persuade Americans to square up to their global responsibility to take in refugees, and to minimize the risk in doing so, if the left will stop lying to us about the risk.

Greg Davidson

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 09:59:14 PM »
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What's the point of adding "Republican"?  Virtually all studies that I've seen show the level of actual racism in the two parties (by percentage) is about equal.
Show me those studies - I am highly skeptical.  Nixon's whole "Southern Strategy" was about capturing racist Democrats in Southern states, and the Republican use of racist rhetoric has carryied forward thru "Willie Horton" all the way through to Obama as the foreign Muslim. I am certain that there are some racist Democrats, because people are heterogeneous, but I don't believe that you can show an equal incidence of "actual racism" unless you torture that phrase to mean something else.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 11:43:37 AM »
"all the way through to Obama as the foreign Muslim"

Nationality =/= race
Religion =/= race.
Funny name =/= racism.

If some white guy with a German father, raised in Austria, named Rudolf Pittler ran for Republican candidate, would it be "racist" to have qualms about he is "one of us"?  Good hell we just came out of a war with a guy named Hussein.  Plus by Muslim law Obama *is* Muslim by definition just as you are "Jewish" under Halacha if your mom is a Jew.  Do you need news links to show you stories of Christians punished under Sharia for "apostasy" because it turned out they had a deadbeat Muslim dad?

D.W.

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 11:52:06 AM »
You make a good point on what isn't race(ism).  However you then go on to point out exactly why the issue becomes a gray area for some.

If you can be born into it, "by definition" it sure quacks like a duck.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2016, 08:52:29 PM »
You make a good point on what isn't race(ism).  However you then go on to point out exactly why the issue becomes a gray area for some.

If you can be born into it, "by definition" it sure quacks like a duck.

It doesn't quack like a religion, though.  I call Obama Christian by the same reasoning that I call Hitler non-Christian despite his infant baptism into Catholicism.  Obama has chosen Christianity as Hitler explicitly rejected Christianity, proclaiming that his followers had no need for Jesus Christ.  Anyone that proclaims that Hitler was a Christian because of his infant baptism but that Obama is "not a Muslim" through his father, is IMHO an intellectual who're.  An honest person cannot have it both ways.  We either recognize and respect informed choices to believe as the only meaningful religious identity, or we apply the random identity as a person's meaningful "religion."

Note that the anti-defamation league excluded murder of Apostates from their loopy definition of a "hate crime."

Greg Davidson

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 12:56:45 AM »
Let's not merely consider baptism, or the culture that someone grows up in, what if we judge religion by what a man says and writes?

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“"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.""

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My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

Both quotes are from Adolf Hitler, the first from Mein Kampf, the second in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942).

I have no idea if this means that Hitler is actually a Christian, I suspect that he was just using religious language out of expediency. But if we acknowledge that it is possible to assert religious language out of expediency, and if we cannot know really what goes on inside the minds of other people, how can we definitively tell what anyone's religious beliefs truly are?

Fenring

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2016, 01:03:06 AM »
how can we definitively tell what anyone's religious beliefs truly are?

You cannot tell what anyone's religious beliefs truly are, but you can tell what their convictions are based on how their actions match up against their supposed beliefs. Consistency is all we can identify accurately. The rest, so says Hume, is a misunderstanding of the word "belief."

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2016, 04:13:46 AM »
Let's not merely consider baptism, or the culture that someone grows up in, what if we judge religion by what a man says and writes?

Quote
“"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.""

Quote
My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

Both quotes are from Adolf Hitler, the first from Mein Kampf, the second in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942).

I have no idea if this means that Hitler is actually a Christian, I suspect that he was just using religious language out of expediency. But if we acknowledge that it is possible to assert religious language out of expediency, and if we cannot know really what goes on inside the minds of other people, How can we definitively tell what anyone's religious beliefs truly are?

Shallow, superficial tripe, Greg.  I could have a better argument that Barry was a Muslim based on his request that his family stop calling him Barry and on his decision to include his full middle name HUSSEIN (son in law of the Prophet, peace yada yada) in his coronation or whatever we yanks call it.

The shallow superficial crap cited above is completely overridden by the fact that while Hitler was placating old people by claiming to be a Christian, he was telling young people that they had no need for Jesus Christ: "Hitler is our Savior.". It's shallow and obtuse to say things like "How can we definitively tell what anyone's religious beliefs truly are?"  in the light of his teachings to the Hitler youth.  You really leave yourself no room to criticize the Brothers with those remarks.  Religion is deeply held commitment.  Hitler made it very clear that he regarded Nazism as his true religion (as Goebbels asserted in his journals) that should replace Christianity, which Hitler described as weak and "Semitic" in its origins and attributes.


AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2016, 07:03:31 AM »
It's hard to contest anything anyone does in the name of their committed faith.  One of the mysteries of faith is that it is not rational, hence inscrutable.  Cliven Bundy is a devout Mormon who believes that the Constitution is literal scripture and that God has empowered him to represent his Mormon interpretation of the rights and powers its words give him. He believes those rights and powers supersede those of the government that wrote the Constitution and enforces its provisions.  His son Ammon believes that he too is exercising God's will as expressed in the Constitution.  I don't understand any of that, except that they believe that no one who disagrees with them has the right to do so. 

For instance, Cliven Bundy believes that God gave the Mormons the federal grazing land he is using "since time immemorial", but his illegal use of the land is destroying Shoshone graves and artifacts that are far more ancient than the Constitution or the Book of Mormon.  Why should he have the use of the land and not the Shoshones?  His son Ammon is trespassing on and destroying artifacts on native Paiute land in Oregon.  The Paiutes complain that he has no right to take possession of their sacred lands, but like his father, Ammon has said that God has given him the land and neither the federal government nor anyone else has no right to deny him.

Which God allows them to deny the Gods and rights of anyone else?  Doesn't sound much different than the self-declared rights and powers you ascribe to Hitler.  If the Bundy's are Christians, so was Hitler, because both say they are.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 07:07:56 AM by AI Wessex »

Seriati

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 10:16:41 AM »
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What's the point of adding "Republican"?  Virtually all studies that I've seen show the level of actual racism in the two parties (by percentage) is about equal.
Show me those studies - I am highly skeptical.
What studies have you actually looked at?  Most of the studies that try to present a favorable view for Democrats focus on white on black racism when comparing the two parties, and even there when they look at actual racism they hardly find a difference.  Sometimes they try to track political positions and views about them as inherently racist (e.g. being against entitlements being racist, regardless of reason), but that's really a flawed approach when you ignore motivations.

If you consider other forms of racism, black on white, or any other mix of minority groups, the heavy minority membership of minorities in the Democratic party means it takes almost the full hit.

If you're seriously questioning this, and can't find anything useful I'll take the time to track down studies for you, but this is easy to find.
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Nixon's whole "Southern Strategy" was about capturing racist Democrats in Southern states, and the Republican use of racist rhetoric has carryied forward thru "Willie Horton" all the way through to Obama as the foreign Muslim. I am certain that there are some racist Democrats, because people are heterogeneous, but I don't believe that you can show an equal incidence of "actual racism" unless you torture that phrase to mean something else.
I don't have to torture anything, I lived in a rural Democratic state where most democrats have racist tendencies and many are open racists, and I've lived in urban North Eastern states dominated by Democrats where they all have the proper non-racist opinions, and yet somehow manage to manipulate zoning rules, and other local ordances to eliminate any risk their children will goto school with black kids.  Heck my current community doesn't have a public pool, only private pool clubs, in large part to prevent the poor masses from the community next door from mixing with their kids (and yes I've had multiple people give me actual winks and "you knows" when I explored the reasoning).

My actual experience with Democrats is that they say they aren't racist, but they don't practice what they preach.

Greg Davidson

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2016, 10:18:02 AM »
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You cannot tell what anyone's religious beliefs truly are, but you can tell what their convictions are based on how their actions match up against their supposed beliefs.

Except I see people asserting based on their interpretation that Christianity is all about love and peace and so any violence done in the name of Christianity isn't really Christian, and making assertions than Islam is all about violence so any act of violence done in the name of the "supposed beliefs" of Islam is of course all about Islam. 

Fenring

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2016, 10:39:34 AM »
Which God allows them to deny the Gods and rights of anyone else?  Doesn't sound much different than the self-declared rights and powers you ascribe to Hitler.  If the Bundy's are Christians, so was Hitler, because both say they are.

I think you may have achieved maximal efficiency, where there are more logical errors packed into this statement than there are ideas being expressed.

Except I see people asserting based on their interpretation that Christianity is all about love and peace and so any violence done in the name of Christianity isn't really Christian, and making assertions than Islam is all about violence so any act of violence done in the name of the "supposed beliefs" of Islam is of course all about Islam.

If we're talking about conviction and consistency it would be a matter of matching up the dogma of each and inspecting how closely each pairs up with such an assessment. Phrased as you just did I think it's clear that neither interpretation has much chance of being entirely fair since Islam can't be "all about" violence even if it's more violent than Christianity, and likewise Jesus never said that no man should ever defend his property or his rights. There is a lot one can read in Christian apologetics about whether war or fighting can be justified, and with a few notable exceptions it seems that for the most part the accepted answer is "yes", there can be justifications for violence within certain parameters. That raises the difficulty of having to inspect a situation from both sides and render an objective judgement about who's in the right, which in real life can be difficult; especially so when frequently both sides are largely in the wrong. As far as Islam goes I don't know enough to say.

One thing I'll grant you right off the bat is that people seem to be more inclined to give credit to Muslims that they are faithful adherents to Islam than they are to Christians that they follow the teachings of Jesus. It appears to be common to assume that bad Muslim actions speak to the tenets of Islam while bad Christian actions are a sign that they're not really Christian or that they're hypocrites. Maybe this is because people have a better opinion of Christianity; or maybe it's because Muslim people tend to come from more religious cultures and it's assumed that the people there are more likely to be believers. Certainly it's apparent that there aren't really any 'Christian nations' any more in the collective sense, even if sections of a nation, like the Bible Belt in America, can have a large religious contingent. But since there are so many cultural Christians around who aren't active in the faith I could see how one would be skeptical that someone calling himself Christian actually subscribes to a particular religious ethic. You can think about people who call themselves Jews for an analogy perhaps. I could hardly assume that cultural Jews actually believe any particular statement in the Bible, notwithstanding the moniker "Jew".
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 10:42:44 AM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2016, 10:45:17 AM »
Quote
I think you may have achieved maximal efficiency, where there are more logical errors packed into this statement than there are ideas being expressed.
Thanks for that analysis.  Can you be more specific?  Concision in your reply would help, too.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2016, 10:31:47 PM »
"For instance, Cliven Bundy believes that God gave the Mormons the federal grazing land he is using "since time immemorial",

Are you spewing more religious hate and lying, or did Cliven Bundy actually reference "Mormons" rather than ranchers in that "Time immemorial" quote?

"It's hard to contest anything anyone does in the name of their committed faith.  One of the mysteries of faith is that it is not rational, hence inscrutable.  Cliven Bundy is a devout Mormon"

If you concede that faith is mysterious and inscrutable to you then Ian't it glaringly hypocritical for you to assert as simple fact that Cloven Bundy is a "devout Mormon"?  I submit you would not know a devout Mormon if he sat on your face. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 10:37:16 PM by Pete at Home »

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2016, 12:13:24 AM »
Wessex, please stop misquoting me and others in order to make bigoted cheap shots and brazen misrepresentations about Mormons.

Ammon Bundy tried to wrap his struggle in Mormon religious terms, and the LDS church shot him down.  But his father to my knowledge never linked LDS teachings to his resistance to the US government. You made that up, just like you make up most of the bigoted and offensive  stuff you say about Mormons.

Seems to me that a "devout" Mormon doesn't violate his church's eleventh article of faith over cow food.  There's room for disagreement on that.  But it is pure hypocrisy for you to proclaim faith "inscrutable" and in the same breath proclaim someone a "devout" member of a religion.

Since you now subscribe to the school of Diabetes, making the test what people say at any time, then I defy you to show me where Obama said "I am not a Muslim".  Really, your Doherty reasoning here gives you no moral position to poke fun of birthers.

Dogberry
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 12:25:21 AM by Pete at Home »

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2016, 12:29:56 AM »
Apology for the last cellular errors.

Reporting the last paragraph:

"
Since you now subscribe to the school of Dogberry, making the test what people say at any time, then I defy you to show me where Obama said "I am not a Muslim".  Really, your Dogberry reasoning here gives you no moral position to poke fun of birthers"

My cell missiles the name Dogberry, apparently.

Greg Davidson

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2016, 12:52:59 AM »
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If we're talking about conviction and consistency it would be a matter of matching up the dogma of each and inspecting how closely each pairs up with such an assessment.

That means reading material in translation and speculating on how it affects people who are raised in that culture based on how we respond to the material.  There's a whole lot of risks of error in such a judgment, which is why I short-cut to a much simpler measure: look at groups raised under each culture and measure how much bad stuff they do.  If groups subject to influence "A" don't do more bad stuff than groups subject to influence "B", then the data support the hypothesis that there's no difference between A & B in causing people to do bad stuff.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2016, 03:09:30 AM »
That's one hell of a short cut, Greg.  Do you pretend that a group that called themselves X during the 12th century are the same "culture" or religion as the ones who use the same name during the 21st century?  Do you understand why someone might take you for foolish if you assumed twithout evidence other than group name that an illiterate group of people with no access to a book were  influenced by said book?

Dawkins has called himself a Christian, BTW. Shall we assume his behavior is influenced by the New Testament?  I don't rule that out, but it seems a strange thing to assume.

Behavior and beliefs canalise be shaped by reading a book that isn't part of your religion . 


AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2016, 06:53:12 AM »
Apology for the last cellular errors.

Reporting the last paragraph:

"
Since you now subscribe to the school of Dogberry, making the test what people say at any time, then I defy you to show me where Obama said "I am not a Muslim".  Really, your Dogberry reasoning here gives you no moral position to poke fun of birthers"

My cell missiles the name Dogberry, apparently.
See, I took you seriously when you said Diabetes.  You were defending Mormonism and attacking my interpretation of what the Bundy's have themselves said and what others have said about their beliefs.  I just figured it was another insider reference.  You should leave Shakespeare out of this; it's an insult to my beliefs and feelings when you freely quote His Work out of context without being yourself a believer.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2016, 08:06:36 AM »
I am a believer. What I am not is a member.  Doesn't change the fact that you are insulting my family and my people with your recurring ignorant cheap shots at Mormons. I don't know if that's just a part of your general loathing of Christianity or whether you single Mormons out to get my goat.  But that's not a moral issue. Regardless of what you really believe beneath your pretenses, the things you say and do, dirty you. You become what you pretend to be.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2016, 08:13:55 AM »
"my interpretation of what the Bundy's have themselves"
"Interpretation" is too kind a word for your Dogberry approach to religion.  You take two citations from Hitler, say look he says here that he's a Christian and ignore all the points where he said he wasn't. Also you ignore obvious propaganda context when he's speaking to the general public as opposed to talking to his more devout followers in his anti Christian statements.  No, Dogberry, no, that is not how to interrogate the text.  Think harder.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2016, 08:20:19 AM »
"my interpretation of what the Bundy's have themselves said and what others have said about their beliefs"

Well then by that Dogberry reasoning, Obama must be a Muslim since others called him a Muslim, and he never expressly denied being a Muslim. 

Me, I would look at the fact that Obama regularly attended a Christian church for years with his kids.  If you teach kids to be Christian you probably aren't Muslim.  Just as Hitler teaching kids that they had "no need for Jesus Christ" is strong evidence that Hitler was not a believing Christian.

Fenring

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2016, 09:54:13 AM »
Quote
If we're talking about conviction and consistency it would be a matter of matching up the dogma of each and inspecting how closely each pairs up with such an assessment.

That means reading material in translation and speculating on how it affects people who are raised in that culture based on how we respond to the material.  There's a whole lot of risks of error in such a judgment, which is why I short-cut to a much simpler measure: look at groups raised under each culture and measure how much bad stuff they do.  If groups subject to influence "A" don't do more bad stuff than groups subject to influence "B", then the data support the hypothesis that there's no difference between A & B in causing people to do bad stuff.

Pete pointed out one problem with this approach (different uses of the same title). Here's another one: People who don't live in a free society can't have their actions paired up against some belief system X, where the law says they must claim to believe X. Since X is obviously being said under duress there is no 'real belief' against which to pair their actions. You would have to take a completely free Muslim society with no penalties for apostasy or heresy and that might be a better indicator (it might).

AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2016, 10:22:15 AM »
"my interpretation of what the Bundy's have themselves"
"Interpretation" is too kind a word for your Dogberry approach to religion.  You take two citations from Hitler, say look he says here that he's a Christian and ignore all the points where he said he wasn't. Also you ignore obvious propaganda context when he's speaking to the general public as opposed to talking to his more devout followers in his anti Christian statements.  No, Dogberry, no, that is not how to interrogate the text.  Think harder.
Lots of Christians say non-Christian things.  What to believe?
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Well then by that Dogberry reasoning, Obama must be a Muslim since others called him a Muslim, and he never expressly denied being a Muslim. 
I am aware that you are offended by what I've said, but realize that your fascination with Obama's religious affiliations isn't a reflection of his.  Here's a (trick) question for you.  Who said this and is this the words a Christian might say?
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"In this hour I would ask of the Lord God only this: that He would give His blessing to our work, and that He may ever give us the courage to do the right. I am convinced that men who are created by God should live in accordance with the will of the Almighty. No man can fashion world history unless upon his purpose and his powers there rests the blessings of this Providence."

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2016, 11:35:32 AM »
Glad you stop playing Dogberry and apply your brain to making semi intelligent inferences when Obama's religious affiliation is concerned.  Yes, Obama said that, and yes,  it's that sort of statement that led me to say that Obama talks like a Christian, takes his kids to a Christian church, therefore probably is a Christian.  Glad that you are capable of turning your brain on when it suits your political interests.  Too bad you are unwilling to use that same rigor of thought with regard to Hitler, who certainly did not talk like a Christian, and explicitly rejected Christianity in talks to his followers.

AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2016, 12:59:33 PM »
No, actually that was a quote from Hitler.

DJQuag

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2016, 01:54:05 PM »
Aww, Pete, you fell right into that one. He even TOLD you it was a trick question.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2016, 02:54:37 PM »
No, actually that was a quote from Hitler.

Your man Hitler said different stuff about his religious convictions to his closer followers.  I have shown you those quotes in previous arguments and you have made clear that you refuse to be confused by the facts.

Anyone who teaches kids to say "we are pagans, we have no need for Jesus Christ, Hitler is our Savior" is Not a Christian. Regardless of what he said elsewhere.

Funny how you tweak me for my legal education, and then use duplicity and word traps to avoid weighing evidence.

AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2016, 04:03:40 PM »
First, I wasn't trying to trick you, which is why I said it was a trick question. I was trying to make the point that you can only tell so much from someone's words what they really believe.  Usually, when someone says they are not a Christian (or Muslim) they mean it, but when they say they are words aren't enough.

I'm not an enemy of Christianity, but I have no respect for piousness.  Most of the GOP candidates this go-round are pious hypocrites pandering for the votes of those who consider themselves true believers or are merely pious Christians.  It makes no difference to them as long as they pull the lever correctly.  Is Cruz pious:
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pious (adj.)     mid-15c., from Latin pius "dutiful, devout, conscientious, religious; faithful to kindred; inspired by friendship, prompted by natural affections," perhaps [Klein] related to Latin purus "pure, clean" (see pure). Often coupled with fraud (n.) from at least 1630s. Related: Piously; piousness.
or merely pious?

The problem with so many people trying to enlist someone's support or to get them to join in their cause is that they will play to the listeners beliefs, hopes and fears.  I have no idea whether Hitler believed he was a Christian, because he said he was and that he wasn't, but I think it's clear that he believed he was in his own insane way on the path to righteousness.  Whether that was a path of God's wishes or commands is impossible to know, only to infer from artifacts.  We've had this argument over and over on this forum, where one of us says what someone says reflects their beliefs and the other one says the opposite.  Then on the next occasion we say the opposite.

I think I was the first one to quote Vonnegut's dictum here several years ago.  Why isn't Bundy acting in accordance with his Mormon faith, even if the Church Elders say he is wrong?  Who are they to tell him that his interpretation of scripture is incorrect?

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2016, 05:03:19 PM »
Well for one thing, he would have had a year's supply of food in there with him :)

But seriously go read the thirteen articles of faith. It's less than a freaking page.  There's a lot more to the religion but these are the total basics of the LDS church .  It's pretty apparent that  there's been some straying from the faith.  As in, more than me.

This issue is more centrAl to Mormonism than, say, Kosher rules are to Judaism.  And how many bacon cheeseburger eaters do you classify as "Devout Jew's"?

Seriati

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2016, 05:49:28 PM »
I think I was the first one to quote Vonnegut's dictum here several years ago.  Why isn't Bundy acting in accordance with his Mormon faith, even if the Church Elders say he is wrong?  Who are they to tell him that his interpretation of scripture is incorrect?
Just one point on this, though I try to stay out of theology.  There's a difference between faith, which anyone can have on any terms, and religion.  Religion is a shared faith, and it does require an agreement to common tenants.  It's not as difficult as you seem to think to identify which beliefs and behaviors are consistent with a religion and which are not, and it's not something that is up to every individual to decide on their own.

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2016, 06:12:54 PM »
Also, Al, you are the one claiming Cloven was "devout." He didn't make that claim for himself.  You also made up that false crap about him saying God had given Federal land to the "Mormons".  So your analysis seems malicious towards Mormon's, just as that crap about Hitler seems born out of malice towards Christians.  And it seems pretty warped to hate Christians so much that one is willing to carry water for Hitler and collaborate with his entry point propaganda.

AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2016, 12:58:55 PM »
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Just one point on this, though I try to stay out of theology.  There's a difference between faith, which anyone can have on any terms, and religion.  Religion is a shared faith, and it does require an agreement to common tenants.  It's not as difficult as you seem to think to identify which beliefs and behaviors are consistent with a religion and which are not, and it's not something that is up to every individual to decide on their own.
If there's no quibbling over whether the Bundy family belongs to the Mormon faith, then it's moot whether the Mormon Church establishment endorses his views.  In fact I didn't see "Cloven" say he was devout, but inferred it from what he did say.  Ammon did say that what he was doing was directly connected to his Mormon faith, so I inferred that since his father's actions and statements were consistent with his that he likewise shared the same viewpoint.  So, I said more than I knew from direct evidence, but I think my inferences were right.

Pete, you are every inch a lawyer, always finding a way out of a losing argument by throwing back at your opponent.  Man up and admit you blew it on the Hitler quote instead of trying to make it seem like I stepped in something.

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2016, 01:12:47 PM »
Unless the Pope, the Elders or the Divine him/herself chime in with, "This guy's got it right.  They are the paragon of what it means to be X religion.", who cares?  It's such a ridiculous argument I'm a bit surprised you guys are stretching it out. 

When you are talking about faith it is an amazingly personal thing.  Maybe when we got mind reading down pat we can determine if someone is "really" X religion or not.  Until then it's about as productive as arguing which religion is correct or if God or gods exist.

Then again, I enjoy arguing about silly things too, so... carry on, I guess.

NobleHunter

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2016, 01:16:01 PM »
Unless the Pope, the Elders or the Divine him/herself chime in with, "This guy's got it right.  They are the paragon of what it means to be X religion.", who cares?  It's such a ridiculous argument I'm a bit surprised you guys are stretching it out. 

When you are talking about faith it is an amazingly personal thing.  Maybe when we got mind reading down pat we can determine if someone is "really" X religion or not.  Until then it's about as productive as arguing which religion is correct or if God or gods exist.

Then again, I enjoy arguing about silly things too, so... carry on, I guess.
It's why I have a fondness for hierarchical religions on such matters. You can tell if someone's a member based on whether or not the hierachy says so.

AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2016, 01:43:28 PM »
Unless the Pope, the Elders or the Divine him/herself chime in with, "This guy's got it right.  They are the paragon of what it means to be X religion.", who cares?  It's such a ridiculous argument I'm a bit surprised you guys are stretching it out. 

When you are talking about faith it is an amazingly personal thing.  Maybe when we got mind reading down pat we can determine if someone is "really" X religion or not.  Until then it's about as productive as arguing which religion is correct or if God or gods exist.

Then again, I enjoy arguing about silly things too, so... carry on, I guess.
We're not arguing about what sect someone is a member of, but about faith.  Pete's arguments tend to divide people into two groups, those who are X and those who aren't.  Nowhere did he argue that Hitler wasn't a Protestant or Catholic, and I'm not arguing whether the Bundy's belong to the Church of Latter Day Saints.  I remember claims that there are people who insist that Mormons aren't Christians, either, but Catholics and Protestants are.  Despite Pete's suspicions about my attitudes, when I talk about how people use their faith for purposes other than expressing their beliefs I wonder about their motives and often their honesty.  Even Donald Trump insists he is a hell of a good Christian, despite his obvious lack of expressions of faith.  Despite that, I think he's more honest than Cruz and less crazy than Santorum or Huckabee.  The one thing they all have in common is that they are authoritarian jerks, which is itself a kind of faith, though a pious one.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2016, 05:36:51 PM »

[Cheap shot stereotype -based slur against Pete's former profession]
Man up and admit you blew it on the Hitler quote instead of trying to make it seem like I stepped in something.

I blew the quote question.  And you didn't step in anything. Stepping in something would imply that your wrongdoing was careless or accidental, like mine was when I proceeded as if you were arguing in good faith.  You didn't step in, you dug this trench, doubled down, and fortified it.


You have twice dodged my question of whether Cloven Bundy actually said God had given federal land to the MORMONS so I can only infer that
1. you will not answer the question, because
2. You misrepresented Bundy, who was not actually talking about Mormons.
3. You see this discussion as some sort of contest, and
4. You don't care about the truth but only about looking good and making your opponent look bad , which is why
5. You hold no consistent moral or ethic or principle but adopt whatever ethos which best suits your strategy to smear what your opponent finds sacred.

You showed nothing but loathing for Cliven Bundy and his cause and only used the word Devout to describe him, to piss on Mormonism. If there wasn't a Mormon-affiliated person you wanted to piss off in the room, you never would have made the assertion.

How are you any better than G2?  You play the same games, same methods.

Man up and admit that you have no dog in the fight of whether Hitler was Christian or whether Bundy is "devout" but only say that crap to piss on the religion to play superior to  adherents.


"Despite Pete's suspicions about my attitudes, when I talk about how people use their faith for purposes other than expressing their beliefs I wonder about their motives and often their honesty. "

Then why do you take Hitler's Mean Kampf assertions on Dogberry like faith?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 05:44:01 PM by Pete at Home »

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2016, 05:49:29 PM »
I agree as to your assessment of certain named politicians as "Authoritarian jerks.". But wonder how much more dangerous that makes them than the softer, fluffier authoritarians such as Bush I and II, Clinton, etc., and perhaps even Obama.  Not sure on that last one.  But is it really such an improvement to close Gitmo because we are killing folks we previously would have taken prisoner?

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2016, 06:07:36 PM »
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Pete's arguments tend to divide people into two groups, those who are X and those who aren't.

Not sure why you say that.  I never argued that the Bundys were not LDS. I said you had no basis for saying Cliven B was "devout."   Devout is an attribute, not a group. 

The fact that Ammon Bundy is willing to die or go to prison for what he believes, but not willing to take life except in self defense, to me shows that he is *something* of a Mormon.  Even though I agree with church leadership that his application of scripture is wrongheaded and embarrassing.

I can't be binary about what makes a Mormon, since i myself am a believer and not a member.  Still fond of pipe tobacco, too. :(

Cliven's rejection of the 11th article of faith is significant.  I repeat my question of how many bacon-cheeseburger eating folks you refer to as "devout Jews."

As for the argument that Mormons aren't Christian, I think the bull crap test is whether the person making that assertion uses their definition of Christianity consistently.  If a pagan were to ask then what a Christian is, would they use the same definition of Christianity that they use when they "define" Christianity to exclude mormons.  Everyone I have seen that assert llds are not Christian either relies on falsehoods about lds teachings, or uses a different definition of Christianity that the one that they use in other contexts.  Of the latter, I say they seem to hate mormons more than they love Christ, since they change the definition of Christianity to exclude Mormons.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 06:09:52 PM by Pete at Home »

AI Wessex

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2016, 08:37:32 AM »
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You have twice dodged my question of whether Cloven Bundy actually said God had given federal land to the MORMONS so I can only infer that
I did respond, but infer and insult away.
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Then why do you take Hitler's Mean Kampf assertions on Dogberry like faith?
This is the fundamental problem with talking to you about one of your pet topics. I said quite clearly that it's ambiguous and likely unknowable what Hitler's "real beliefs" were.  That's why you attributed the quote I gave you to someone else of similar stature whose honesty about his Christian faith is challenged by millions of people who oppose him on personal and political grounds.  Nothing he says will change their minds.  The other glaringly obvious problem with what you said here is that I don't take much of anything on faith when it comes to using a bully pulpit for political speech with the purpose of persuading a general public.  That's why I say that I don't believe Cruz and am terrified of most of the other GOP candidates.  If I have faith in anything, it is rooted in skepticism and has to overcome it.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2016, 07:39:06 PM »
"You have twice dodged my question of whether Cloven Bundy actually said God had given federal land to the MORMONS so I can only infer that
I did respond, but infer and insult away"

If you did, I missed it.  Please repost.

Pete at Home

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Re: My changing (more conservative?) view on immigration
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2016, 07:46:29 PM »
"I said quite clearly that it's ambiguous and likely unknowable what Hitler's "real beliefs" were"

Well the cherry picked out of context quotes that you posted uncritically here, don't sound very ambiguous.

If someone claims one religion in texts clearly intended to get others to accept him, and then preaches another religion that he's actually trying to get others to believe in, you have to be obtuse not to see which religion is closer to his heart.