Trump’s immigration success

It’s notorious that bureaucracies are hard to change from the top down.

He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, ‛Do this! Do that!’  *And nothing will
happen.*  Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it
very frustrating.  — Harry S Truman

But Donald Trump has pretty much done that. He’s really in practice
cutting back immigration to just those people that the US allows in, and
cutting back which people the US allows in … all without getting
Congress to change the laws.

One of the more amazing bits is the shutting of the asylum pipeline that
people from Central America were using. For a while there, about
100,000 people a month were arriving from Central America and claiming
asylum, and due to the details of US immigration law, were “caught and
released” into the US. That was a significant fraction of the workers
coming into the US labor market. Needless to say, it caused apoplexy in
Trump supporters.

I’ll note here that I don’t know the details of asylum law, but given
the general violence in Central America, I wouldn’t be surprised if all
of these people qualified for asylum. What I would be surprised is if
this is different now than from any of the last 100 years.

But despite what one would think possible, Trump has managed to shut
this pathway off. I’d be interested in reading a clear discussion of
exactly how this was managed.

Views: 86

Poem of the day

Careless Content
by John Byrom (1692-1763)

I am content; I do not care,
      Wag as it will the World for me;
When Fuss and Fret was all my fare,
      It got no ground, as I could see:
So when away my Caring went,
I counted Cost and was Content.

With more of Thanks and less of Thought,
      I strive to make my Matters meet;
To seek what ancient Sages sought,
      Physic and Food, in sour and sweet:
To take what passes in good Part,
And keep the Hiccups from the Heart.

With good and gentle-humour’d Hearts
      I choose to chat, where’er I come,
Whate”er the Subject be that starts;
      But if I get among the Glum,
I hold my Tongue, to tell the Truth,
And keep my Breath to cool my Broth.

For Chance or Change, of Peace or Pain
      For Fortune’s Favor or her Frown,
For Luck or Glut, for Loss or Gain,
      I never dodge, nor up nor down:
But swing what Way the Ship shall swim,
Or tack about, with equal Trim.

I suit not where I shall not speed,
      Nor trace the Turn of ev’ry Tide;
If simple Sense will not succeed,
      I make no Bustling, but abide;
For shining Wealth, or scaring Woe,
I force no Friend, I fear no Foe.

Of Ups and Downs, of Ins and Outs,
      Of they’re-i’ th’ wrong and we’re i’ th’ right,
I shun the Rancours and the Routs;
      And wishing well to every Wight,
Whatever Turn the Matter takes,
I deem it all but Ducks and Drakes.

With whom I feast I do not fawn,
      Nor if the folks should flout me, faint
If wonted Welcome be withdrawn,
      I cook no Kind of a Complaint,
With none disposed to disagree,
I like them best, who best like me.

Not that I rate myself the Rule
      How all my Betters should behave;
But Fame shall find me no Man’s Fool,
      Nor to a Set of Men a Slave:
I love a Friendship free and frank,
But hate to hang upon a Hank.

Fond of a true and trusty Tie,
      I never loose where’er I link;
Tho’ if a Bus’ness budges by,
      I talk thereon just as I think;:
My Word, my Work, my Heart, my Hand,
Still on a Side together stand.

If Names or Notions make a noise,
      Whatever Hap the Question hath,
The Point impartially I poise,
      And read, or write, but without Wrath;
For, should I burn or break my Brains,
Pray, who will pay me for my Pains?

I love my Neighbour as myself,
      Myself like him too, by his Leave;
Nor to his Pleasure, Pow’r, or Pelf,
      Came I to crouch, as I conceive;:
Dame Nature doubtless has design’d
A Man the Monarch of his Mind.

Now taste and try this Temper, Sirs,
      Mood it, and brood it in your Breast;
Or if ye ween, for worldly Stirs,
      That Man does right to mar his Rest,
Let me be left, and debonair:
I am content; I do not care.

Views: 46

Poem of the day

“An upper chamber in a darkened house”
by Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (1821-1873)

An upper chamber in a darkened house,
Where, ere his footsteps reached ripe manhood’s brink,
Terror and anguish were his cup to drink;
I cannot rid the thought, nor hold it close
But dimly dream upon that man alone:
Now though the autumn clouds most softly pass,
The cricket chides beneath the doorstep stone,
And greener than the season grows the grass.
Nor can I drop my lids, nor shade my brows,
But there he stands beside the lifted sash;
And with a swooning of the heart, I think
Where the black shingles slope to meet the boughs,
And, shattered on the roof like smallest snows,
The tiny petals of the mountain-ash.

Views: 33

Poem of the day

A Psalm of Life
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
      Life is but an empty dream!—
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
      And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
      And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
      Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
      Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
      Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
      And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
      Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
      In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
      Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
      Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
      Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
      We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
      Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
      Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
      Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
      With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
      Learn to labor and to wait.

Views: 42

Poem of the day

Who Ever Loved, That Loved Not at First Sight
by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

 It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows, let it suffice,
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?

Views: 36

Poem of the day

by Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

How sweet the answer Echo makes
      To music at night,
When, roused by lute or horn, she wakes,
And far away, o’er lawns and lakes,
      Goes answering light.

Yet Love hath echoes truer far,
      And far more sweet,
Than e’er, beneath the moonlight’s star,
Of horn, or lute, or soft guitar,
      The songs repeat.

’Tis when the sigh in youth sincere,
      And only then, —
The sigh, that’s breathed for one to hear,
Is by that one, that only dear,
      Breathed back again!

Views: 41

We desperately need healthcare reform

Nicholas Kristof in the NYT: “Democrats’ internecine battle over so-called Medicare for all is largely irrelevant, because the plan won’t get through Congress. What’s imperative is simply achieving universal medical and dental coverage, either by a single-payer system (like Britain’s) or a multipayer system (like Germany’s); both work fine. What matters is the universal part.

“In some ways, America’s health care is outstanding. Specialized anti-cancer treatments are saving lives. But over all our system has two fundamental flaws.

“First, outcomes are mediocre and inequitable. Rich Americans live 20 years longer than poor Americans, and low-income American men have approximately the longevity of men living in Sudan. …

“The second fundamental problem with our health care system is that it delivers these second-rate outcomes at enormous cost.”

I would add that the coronavirus is a strong argument in favor of universal health coverage. Sick people with health coverage seek and get the care (and quarantine, if necessary) that they need. Sick people with no or inadequate coverage tend to avoid seeking treatment. That puts us all at risk.

Views: 48

Poem of the day

The Triumph of the Flesh
by George Moore (1852-1933)

We have passed from the regions of dreams and of vision
And the flesh is the flesh and the rose is the rose;
And we see but the absolute joy of the present
In the Sunlight of beauty.

I am filled with carnivorous lust: like a tiger
I crouch and I feed on my beautiful prey:
There is nought in the monstrous world of Astarte
So fair as thy body.

Let me lie, let me die on thy snow-coloured bosom,
I would eat of thy flesh as of delicate fruit,
I am drunk of its smell, and the scent of thy tresses
Is as flame that devours.

Thou art demon and God, thou art hell, thou art Heaven,
Thou art love that is lust, thou art lust that is love,
And I see but the heavenly grace of thy body,
A picture—a poem.

Views: 41

Poem of the day

“When I have fears that I may cease to be”
by John Keats (1795-1821)

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charactry,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the fairy power
Of unreflecting love;—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Views: 49

Game of the week

Views: 44