July 2, 2007

Monday 070702

Rest Day

GamesHeat5a-th.jpg

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CrossFit Games - Aromas, CA


"Jeremy" - video [wmv] [mov]


CrossFit Journal July 2007


"On Letting Go: How We Become American" by Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at July 2, 2007 9:52 AM
Comments

thank goodness.

Comment #1 - Posted by: wilson at July 1, 2007 7:12 PM

In memory of Jeremy, May God bless his family and friends. This WOD actually looks like fun.

Comment #2 - Posted by: sarena at July 1, 2007 7:21 PM

Great photo of the top three finishers at the games. It was an honor to compete with these guys and all the other awesome athletes that were there. An AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME event!! Way to go Dave Castro and everyone at Crossfit HQ for putting the weekend together.

Comment #3 - Posted by: freddy c. at July 1, 2007 7:25 PM

Am I to assume from comment #3 that the boys from OPT went out there and did us proud? Did they kick some butt despite Brett's rather obvious T-Rex form on the rowing? WAY TO GO, FELLAS!

Comment #4 - Posted by: gaucoin at July 1, 2007 7:47 PM

Great event, great efforts, even greater people.
How is it that the top three male finishers are also three of the most gracious, humble guys out there?
Coincidence? Nicht nicht.

Nice!

Comment #5 - Posted by: kstar at July 1, 2007 7:57 PM

I anxiously wait for official results but confident that OPT and AFT were in the top three based on the photo and comments so far. And yes, that's some row stroke Brett. It's no doubt that all crossfit athletes are gracious and humble.

Comment #6 - Posted by: Trevor S at July 1, 2007 8:12 PM

I have to second that "AWESOME". I really enjoyed meeting everyone and getting my butt kicked at the games. Thanks to everyone who helped put the event together and run it! Very smooth running considering a first event and I enjoyed every moment.

Im strongly considering moving to Canada to train for next years event =-)

Comment #7 - Posted by: Nate Pierce at July 1, 2007 8:18 PM

Excellent article.

Comment #8 - Posted by: FireSmac at July 1, 2007 8:18 PM

Awesome video. In honor of Jeremy, I'm going to have my 5 and 7 year old daughters do a scaled down version tomorrow. They love watching daddy do Crossfit, now it's their turn...

Comment #9 - Posted by: FireSmac at July 1, 2007 8:26 PM

Wow...what a great video and workout. Our prayers go out to the Blosniaz family...my apologies if misspelled.

Comment #10 - Posted by: TimW at July 1, 2007 9:45 PM

m/32/66kg

did murph today, first time with this one, very happy with time. 40.07 that last 1m run I thought my lungs were going to burst! Feeling sore now but good.

Comment #11 - Posted by: matt daly at July 1, 2007 11:26 PM

Great CF Journal...however, regarding "Palmer"...

What are the dimensions of a Stryker tire? Or, more to the point, how high a Box Jump are we talking about here?!

Thanks in advance!

Mike
www.valleycrossfit.com

Comment #12 - Posted by: Mike in L.A. at July 1, 2007 11:39 PM

Wow. The Games were absolutely unbelievable. If you didn't go this time, make you sure go next time.

Thanks to everyone who helped put it together (Dave, Kenny, Ronnie, the whole CFSC crew, Rip, Coach, etc), and to everyone who kicked my ass (AFT, OPT, Speale, Josh, Brendan, Thiel, etc) for giving me motivation to train harder.

Comment #13 - Posted by: russ greene at July 2, 2007 12:15 AM

every group of immigrants craps on the last group. it's nothing new. racist, xenophobic screed thinly veiled as heart warming patriotism. what unmitigated tripe.

Comment #14 - Posted by: thaddeus at July 2, 2007 12:25 AM

WOW! This article hit home.

Both my parents are immigrants who deeply loved this country and entrenched themselves in every possible way. Talk about commitment, and never looking back.

My mother (to the point of being extreme)made sure we never learned to speak Italian. My father would throw in Irish tales from time-to-time and weave stories about his homeland.

I understand exactly what Ms. Noonan wrote about! God bless this great nation of ours (especially those who choose to serve and protect its name and our way of life) and I'm glad I feel connected.

Finally, I feel sad for you #14...what a pitiful attitude to have towards life, and this great nation of people.

Comment #15 - Posted by: matt hunt at July 2, 2007 1:49 AM


I was watching these video clips about 9/11 on YouTube called "9/11 Coincidence" and the first thing I thought about was the United States Soldiers and the people who are fighting for this country to keep it standing...even with all the evidence and facts that point out to the 9/11 event not being a terrorist attack, for the sake of our fallen soldiers and hope that their efforts and lives went towards something good not for something evil, I choose not to belive that the 9/11 event was not a terrorist attack for the reason not to offend and disrespect the honor of the United States Soldiers.

May God bless Jeremy D. Bloniasz.


Comment #16 - Posted by: Nick C. at July 2, 2007 2:49 AM

I am a little behind here. I was doing Fridays workout last night and after the 90th squat I felt like I was going to throw up; will try again today.


#14: I can't say you are completely wrong. However, we have to keep in mind that the immigrants that came and built this country to what it is today are not the same immigrants as the ones coming in today. Majority of the immigrants coming in today are coming here to benefit or to "make this country their own" not necesseraly to build or contribute. The ones who are fighting and still trying to build are the people who are already here; they have immigrated 300 years ago but of those type of people few still immigrate here today.

Comment #17 - Posted by: J. Cross at July 2, 2007 2:54 AM

Nick C.,

Do your homework. Every competent engineer that's been consulted has been able to model precisely how the Towers fell. The "conspiracy" was cooked up by Leftist hacks to enervate the war on Terror, and emasculate the Bush Administration's standing among those who otherwise would have sided with common sense. It's propaganda of the sort Goebbel's would have recognized. You need to remember that according to the Germans, the Austrians asked for help, and the Poles invaded Germany first.

The links are out there. If you lack sufficient drive to do your homework, then you should at least have the sense to keep your mouth shut in public.

#14: I'm going to assume you are 15-ish kid, because otherwise your mental deformity is truly profound. I do expect that sort of pabulum from teenagers, but from adults I would expect them to first read the article, and then realize there was nothing even remotely xenophobic in that article, and that nobody is criticizing anyone else.

The point is that there is value in accepting the reality of being an American citizen, versus being a foreigner stuck here. We need people who want to be here, who recognize the unique opportunities American citizenship offers them, and who are willing to adopt the mantle of American.

This in no way requires forgetting who they are, or where they come from, but this country has a culture, a shared political and social heritage, and we need to preserve it, and we can't preserve it if everyone keeps one foot in the old country.

Our diversity is a strength, but only if there is an "us". If we devolve into a nation of collective "I's", of islands that don't interact with one another like the Irish, Italians and others described in the article--then our power will begin to ebb, and it is foolish to watch this happen.

There is no nation capable of more good on this planet than the United States, and it is regrettable that so much of our "polis" seems intent on diminishing our power rather than working to redirect it intelligently into yet more good.

Comment #18 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 2, 2007 4:08 AM

M/33/84kg

R.E.S.T. day!? Stands for: Really Elementary Strength Training day, right!

"Starting Strength" Back Squat, work set 110kg

+ 3 rounds for time of:
50kg OH Squat, 10reps
20kg Weighted PU's, 10reps
20kg Weighted Dips, 10reps

time 10:15

Have a nice week, everybody. I'm out...

Comment #19 - Posted by: M-force at July 2, 2007 4:17 AM

Hello, I am new to the Crossfit Nation... regarding yesterdays workout. How do you do a muscle up? I am about 180lbs. 5'11''. I played two intercollegiate sports so I'm not a total weakling or completly uncoordinated, and I can do about 30 pullups (non-kipping), 30+ dips and can do a grand total of 0 muscle ups. The pullup part is cake as is the dip part, but when my hands are between my nipples and my chin I have no power. Can someone please tell me what exercises or technique I can work on to overcome that isolated area of weakness so I can actually do 1 muscle up. Thanks!!

Comment #20 - Posted by: Brad at July 2, 2007 4:20 AM

>racist, xenophobic screed thinly veiled as heart
>warming patriotism. what unmitigated tripe.

I've certainly read worse. I don't know that I would call the article all those names, especially when compared with the normal selection of far-right opinion that is regularly linked from this site.

>The "conspiracy" was cooked up by Leftist hacks to
>enervate the war on Terror, and emasculate the
>Bush Administration's standing among those who
>otherwise would have sided with common sense.

Actually, it was cooked up by people who have trouble dealing with reality on both the left and the right. As to whether those who would side with common sense would side with the Bush Administration, I leave it to your judgment.

>There is no nation capable of more good on this
>planet than the United States

On this, we are in agreement.

Comment #21 - Posted by: Tom at July 2, 2007 5:58 AM

#20 Brad, There are a whole bunch of videos in the Exercises and Demos section showing how to do them. The one titled "BJ Penn Muscle Up" made the difference for me.

#14, Do you mean everyone craps on the latest arrivals or the latest arrivals crap on the group that came before them? Its true that the latest to arrive seems to be low man on the pole for a little while, but that's only true until they learn the English Language and American culture well enough that no one can tell the difference. As near as I can tell, the new groups now are getting a good deal in that respect. We've become a kinder, gentler nation and no longer tolerate racism as an institution. Other nations are not so kind. Go to Japan sometime. There are establishments that will no kidding tell you "no Geijin (foreigners)" as they escort you to the door. There may be some isolated racists around, but the majority of people here are not and the institutions are constantly being reworked specifically to avoid racism. Your accusations are baseless.

#16, 9/11 was a government conspiracy. The CIA shot JFK. The moon landing was faked. Elvis is alive and living on a farm in Michigan. Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix are his neighbors. The space aliens revealed all this to me when they abducted me from Roswell NM.

Comment #22 - Posted by: JPW at July 2, 2007 6:25 AM

Ahh. The race card. Before the 20th post even.

Comment #23 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 2, 2007 6:40 AM

36/M/65kg

30 Muscle-ups for time. As rx'd

6:14

Comment #24 - Posted by: mrjling at July 2, 2007 7:24 AM

4th generation Italian, my great grandparents were proud to come to this country. I never saw an Italian flag once in their homes. Only American flags in front of their house, proudly waving.

Now I see illegal immigrants who want rights and free citizenship waving Mexican flags in my country? I chuckle. I also applaud our Californian governor again because he told a whole heck of a lot of legal people in this state how to get ahead. Learn English. Turn off Spanish language TV. Pretty common sense, but that makes him a racist? If it was France...they'd tell you to learn French.

Tell you what, I'll respect people who want to contribute, just like the article says. But if all someone wants is a free ride only because they occupy a certain space, I have lots of sand in the Middle East that needs building on and they need workers to do it.

JPW - the point the article is slyly making is that the latest batch of immigrants aren't learning (nor have any motivation to) English and American culture. They want all the benefits of being in the US but none of the responsibility. Japan isn't a melting pot (yes I've been there a multitude of times) so their situation while it may seem grotesque in our view, it is not in Japan. Try finding the bathroom in a Middle East mall and accidentally walking into the mosque. You'll find "no Geijin" really fast. There are closed doors to foreigners without getting to know people everywhere.

The world is inherently racist. That isn't going to change until people realize there really is only one race - human.

#16 - why not choose to believe or not believe something because you have evidence to support something (YouTube is not evidence, it is propoganda, I hope you are smart enough to know the difference). Choosing to believe something based on someone's feelings or the thought you might offend someone is a weak and terrible way to live. Do you have a conviction about anything based on...what are those things, facts?

Brad - practice muscle-ups with your feet on blocks (WFS):
http://www.beastskills.com/MuscleUp.htm

Scroll down till you see Feet on Blocks. Helps a ton to learn the transition.

Comment #25 - Posted by: Angry G at July 2, 2007 7:26 AM

#20 Brad, Order the back issue of CrossFit Journal #3 (Nov 2002). Meanwhile lots of pull-ups and dips.

Comment #26 - Posted by: Mary Conover at July 2, 2007 7:48 AM

#20 Brad
If you can do 30 pullups and 30 dips the problem is most likely your false grip. Check the beastskills link listed above and the videos.

Comment #27 - Posted by: CraigL at July 2, 2007 7:49 AM

"Actually, it was cooked up by people who have trouble dealing with reality on both the left and the right."

Please give me some examples on the Right. People that have written and publicised books and videos describing--with suitable suspense and well executed detours around uncomfortable facts--the terrible tricks they claim have been played on the American people. I haven't seen any. I could be wrong.

Certainly, this is standard fare in the Leftist blogosphere and taken as self evident among many thousands of people.

Comment #28 - Posted by: barry cooper at July 2, 2007 8:00 AM

Peggy Noonan's article is a sweet, second hand story of assimilation from the viewpoint of the assimilator. What it reminds us is that most every nation's laws regulate immigration to a rate at which immigrants can assimilate themselves, facilitated with rules like having a sponsor and a job. In short, the laws are about culture protection.

But the trickle has turned into a flood. The invasion insults every sensible person who has seen the videos. And to make matters worse, it is Mexico's affirmative foreign policy. We should be prepared to close every controlled port of entry unless Mexico takes effective action to stop the flow of illegals.

The current flap over immigration is natural conservative resistance to changing laws and policies. The liberal propaganda is about kindness and generosity, and the Borg-like futility to resist. Why, everyone knows we can't deport 12 million people! As if instant housecleaning was the alternative. Actually, it's a matter that the Administrations WON'T deport illegals. According to Fox news, the greatest employer of illegals is the federal government. And it's not just about job opportunities, it's about welfare opportunities from clinics to schools to Social Security. Behind the movement is the true liberal motivation of growing its constituency. It thrives on underclasses, oppressed groups. It is Marxism. It is anti-individualism.

In the liberal scheme, to be an American is to identify oneself first as a laborer, a woman, a Black or a Brown, handicapped, poor, an addict, a homosexual, or just unsuccessful. The Party has a program for you! It's about victims. It's dependency. As Reagan said, the Democrats want to turn the country into a vast plantation. To promote pride in our country, individualism, hard work, from each according to his wishes and to each according to his contribution, are all jingoism. According to Edwards, Americans sacrifice for Abu Ghraib and genocide, not liberation.

The liberal theory supporting their open border plan is Multiculturism. Its not about roots, it's about bring the whole canopy. At its core, it is anti-assimilation. Public schools are indoctrinating our children with this particular form of unAmericanism. As advocacy has replaced journalism, environmentalism has replaced science, and two mommies have replaced the family unit, multiculturism and the UN have replaced civics. Too many of our public schools and universities are liberal madrassas.

Comment #29 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at July 2, 2007 8:17 AM

What's funny about it all is how easily our country could fall into the problems which plagued the Roman Empire. In the history of Western civilization, they're the closest comparison to the present-day United States; nothing else comes close in terms of world-power, organization, military might, or economic prowess. I don't have time to repeat it all, but let's just say that we will either learn from history or will repeat it. Will history remember my generation as the one that brought us into the black ages at the beginning of the millennium? I sincerely hope not.

Comment #30 - Posted by: CPT Eddie at July 2, 2007 8:51 AM

I'm not sure why rest day discussions are so rife with ad hominem arguments, rather than rational discussion. Railing against racism or the liberal thought police isn't particularly productive either for discussion or as a mindset for individual thought. The article is a nice story with some good points, but doesn't try to be a solution.

The facts of the matter are that the current law does not work, and something has to give. We can either 1) repeal IRCA, which mandated penalties for employers of illegal immigrants, 2) start enforcing it, or 3) loosen restrictions on legal immigration. Repealing IRCA would simply acknowledge the status quo, where illegal immigrants are subject to deportation, but corporations are left alone. Enforcing IRCA or tightening the borders would raise wages for unskilled factory workers and agricultural laborers. Many of those factories would likely move south to Mexico, which would hurt the economy, and the price of many foodstuffs would increase tremendously. In addition, the illegal immigrants do buy groceries, pay rent, pay taxes (through employer withholding under falsified SSNs), etc., and the factories they work at provide skilled supervisory and management jobs for American citizens. However you want to do it, more immigration than is currently legally allowed is necessary to provide cheap labor and grow the population/consumer base/economy (b/c with a trade deficit, new consumers aren't going to be found overseas).

Comment #31 - Posted by: Patrick at July 2, 2007 9:21 AM

As a first generation immigrant (I moved here when I was seven) I have to concur with what the acrticle is saying. I personally identify my roots with pride as being filipino, but identify myself as american without question. I get upset when I see first generationers not even attempt to assimilate into the culture here (even though some have been here for 10+ years). I don't expect them to be fully versed in the culture, goodness knows my parents aren't, but at least the attempt is there, they speak english (most filipinos do), pay their taxes and are active in the community, and politically.
My 2 cents.

Comment #32 - Posted by: Alanr at July 2, 2007 9:22 AM

Want REAL energy? Drink "Powerthirst"

An amusing mock-commercial in light of Rip's article in this month's CFJ.

One curse word, not immediately work/family safe:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=2033322252

Comment #33 - Posted by: Duvall at July 2, 2007 9:52 AM

CrossFit Games!
Beyond description...
After participating in a number of certs and CrossFit events I can say that the CrossFit Games stand alone. This event had athletes from all over with the desire to get some, the passionate staff orchestrating like virtuoso jazz musicians and enthusiastic supporters injecting energy for one more rep or inch all producing power, sweat, drama and of course suffering. In spite of knowing what these events will hold, I always leave transformed. The "Spirit of CrossFit" award , presented at the games to those who display character, commitment and community possess just a few of the attributes contributing to this experience. It is always an honor and privilege to be in the presence of so many individuals who display these traits and more.
As most who have attended CrossFit events will attest, there are no words to describe the experience or the personal impact.
I can only say go, taste, drink...
I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to the brains, the brawn and contributers at every level making this another matchless event for all.

Comment #34 - Posted by: Bill P at July 2, 2007 9:57 AM

My parents came here about 40 years ago with the intention of finishing their education and going back "home."

Well in that 40 years they had 2 American sons and have become American citizens. This is home now.

I think it's important to remember where you come from but it's also important to remember where you are now.

That means that you learn new things like language, culture, and food. It can be difficult in the beginning, but like anything worth having, it is worth the hard work.

Comment #35 - Posted by: JoeW at July 2, 2007 9:58 AM

Missed 3 days last week, no rest today.

Deadlift 5x5
275
300
300
300 Rolled lower back on #5
275

205x10

Double Under practice: 300 Jump ropes with DU's on every 5 and 0.

Comment #36 - Posted by: Josh N. at July 2, 2007 10:08 AM

To me this is not just about illegal immigration. It is about non-assimilation and the lack of fairness through tough love.

You assimilate by following the legal track, coming to love and respect your new country and countrymen, and be productive/responsible. Do what you can to be functionally literate in the native language. With that you get less tough love as you have shown no or little need for it

If you choose not to become legal, you must be at the mercy of the evil forces trying to exploit you. If you choose not to assimilate then you should not reap the benefits of citizens and legal residents. You don't learn the language you must suffer through alienation and seclusion. In essence it is tough love time.

If you are shown to favor your home culture or country to the detriment of our society, then BLAM-O! SEE YA! We have enough un-American activities from our own. Bottom feeding illegal ingrates sucking off the teet and griping about it can take a hike. You start burning an American flag as a non-citizen in protest? You guessed it, get the heII out. There is just not enough teets to go around for our own bottom feeding ingrates and those who need legitimate help, to be encouraging foriengers to get a free pint.

We must not reward laziness and coruption, hence we will get more than we can handle. Someone has to pay for that.

Fact: the Truman administration in an effort to curb illegal immigration deported, for a time, 6000 illegals a day with less than 1000 agents. Buses, trains, and boats loaded up and pushed to deep within Mexico. Illegal immigration turned back to a trickle.

To say it can't be done today is a lie. It won't be done is the truth.

To be fair, it is not just Mexicans and those South of them to me. Anyone gets a free ride back to a large city in the country they are from, at least 500 miles from our border. I'd willing to through in Immunizations for free.

Comment #37 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 2, 2007 10:15 AM

Did OPT win the 165lb division at CF games?
What was the hopper event and what did the off trail run consist of?

Comment #38 - Posted by: bleedcf at July 2, 2007 10:45 AM

>Please give me some examples on the Right. People
>that have written and publicised books and videos
>describing--with suitable suspense and well executed
>detours around uncomfortable facts--the terrible
>tricks they claim have been played on the American
>people. I haven't seen any. I could be wrong.

Check out Stephen E. Jones, Brigham Young University professor, for someone on the right who is a conspiracy theorist. Note: I think the guy is off his rocker, but a divorce from reality is shared by many on the right and the left.

Comment #39 - Posted by: Tom at July 2, 2007 10:45 AM

What warm up events do you all use to replace the pull-up, dip or back extension in the standard CrossFit warm-up when the WOD calls for one or more of these events? I looked in the discussion board but wasn't able to find an answer.

Comment #40 - Posted by: TFDCrazyEyes at July 2, 2007 10:55 AM

For those who missed:
Men's overall winner - OPT.
AFT 2nd and Josh E. third.
The Crazy Canucks won . . . But since they accidentally forgot to sweat, it was discovered they were not human (replicants); they were disqualified in disgrace and sent home with the hired human families they brought with them.

Okay, maybe that last part is a little untrue.

All I can say is ... WOW. I'll take my humble pie a la mode, please.

Comment #41 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 11:00 AM

#40
I know one of the events was CFT, was was other 2 events?

Comment #42 - Posted by: bleedcf at July 2, 2007 11:02 AM

Hopper WoD. Then rest for a few hours, then a run up Mt. Kickameboot-ay, and then back down, then up, then down, then up. Something like that. I'm going to leave out the details so I can lie years from now about how it was something far, far worse. Plus, I'm sure a vid clip is coming once Tony B. and his crew put their Pixar-like skills to the video taken.

Comment #43 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 11:09 AM

On the article - more drive-by's:

Thaddeus - I will presume you're not serious. You can't be. No one could possibly read that article and call it a "racist, xenophobic screed thinly veiled as heart warming patriotism. what unmitigated tripe." If you truly believe this, please point out [specifically] the racist passages. I'm missing them. Unlike you, Noonan at least offered some concrete examples (like television stations in "old country" languages) to show that the current crop of immigrants only have "one foot" in this country and one foot back home. I'm not sure how that qualifies as racism.

Do you also have examples of how "one immigrant group craps on the next"? Or is that supposed to be self-evident? I'm of Canadian french descent on dad's side. European on Mom's. My grandfather's and grandmother's families came down from the Montreal area. Mom's mom still has a Brit accent, but she's actually Spanish and French. So, who are we supposed to crap on? And who was supposed to be crapping on us? Should the Irish or Italians have crapped on us, 'cuz I think they missed the memo. How about the Chinese immigrants from the 1800's - should they have shat upon us? 'Cuz they didn't get the word either. How about emancipated blacks? They were here long before my family. Forced immigrants, you could say. The kids that lived in the projects next door to me (incidentally where my mom was raised), many of whom were black, also didn't get the memo.

Oh, wait a minute, I remember now - when I was in 5th grade we had a lot of Laotian and Cambodian refugees in my public school show up suddenly. That whole post-Vietnam exodus thing. They spoke ZERO, and I mean, NO english. Yes, that's right. And then our teachers (in this half-white, half-black school) said "ye shall shat upon these poor new immigrant souls."

Actually, no. Wait a minute, many of us, the moderately better or simply kinder students, volunteered to teach them english painstakingly, one word at a time. And the toughest kids in the school left them alone, or even took them under their protection. They were untouchable. And everyone tried to help them.

I feel cheated of my American patrimony - I was not crapped upon by previous groups. And I did no crapping, either.

Thad, the word clearly needs to get out better next time.

Comment #44 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 11:27 AM

Does anyone know what the Canuck replicants eat? (besides mean children and kryptonite) Seriously...how's about it fellas...I'm curious to hear from the bros at the top of the CF game.

Comment #45 - Posted by: wilson at July 2, 2007 11:54 AM

That was a great photo of some of this weekend's fantastic performers at this weekend's games. I am sure there are more photos to come, but I have to say there were many inspiring performances, both on and off the playing field. One thing that struck me about this weekend's competition was the camaraderie that came with the competition, which I find typical of Crossfit-related activities.

I found many inspiring performances in each event with every competitor I watched. I particularly enjoyed watching the hopper WOD competition, where the intensity was turned up all the way to 11, especially as each and every competitor faced off with the pull up bar. Many competitors' hands tore (some early and often). Some competitors hands bled (you know who you are, and we who witnessed it were inspired by your perseverance). And yet everyone pushed through the misery, to the end.

I cannot adequately express how these competitors inspired me. It engendered a sense of pride just to be around these people. I could go on and on (with detail after detail), but I will forbear. There were plenty of people worthy of admiration. I just wish so many more could have witnessed it. You would have loved it.

And before you tell me "I am not the boss of you" or "you cannot tell me what to do (or love, in this case)," all I have to say (with a dramatic, yet completely unnecessary wave of the hand), "these aren't the droids you are looking for."

Comment #46 - Posted by: brento at July 2, 2007 12:12 PM

I think the Hopper WOD was a 1K row straight into 5 rounds of 25 chins and 7 push jerks (135lbs).

I'm so proud OPT and AFT were #1 and #2, we are just so happy for them back here in Calgary.

Comment #47 - Posted by: gaucoin at July 2, 2007 12:14 PM

Gaucoin - you have much to be proud of, bro. Beasts. With wonderful families, to boot.

There was a moment that may have passed unseen or unrecorded, right before AFT started the hopper, where he took a moment to get a kiss from wife and child. But, of course, we know they were merely there to keep up the replicant facade.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 12:42 PM

Congrats to OPT & AFT. You guys kicked my butt! I wish you guys wern't so darn nice so I'd have a little motivation for next time. I couldn't have had my butt handed to me by a better pair of guys. Believe it or not these guys are even better people than they are athletes!! Beauty of a crossfit games eh!

Comment #49 - Posted by: josh everett at July 2, 2007 12:45 PM

CONGRATS OPT, AFT
pumped to hear all the details
pumped for 2008 games.

Comment #50 - Posted by: bleedcf at July 2, 2007 1:02 PM

Fantastic XFit Games. Wow, I had no idea that there are so many more people that are so fast AND so strong and so GD pleasant. It was awesome to be around so many great athletes, and the sense of community was phenomenal. Thanks to everyone who cheered and volunteered and helped out and put out.

Comment #51 - Posted by: NikHawks at July 2, 2007 1:07 PM

Kudos to OPT, AFT and Josh Everett. What about Womens' results?

Comment #52 - Posted by: john wopat at July 2, 2007 1:14 PM

Today I did 120 pull ups and 120 push ups in place of 30 muscle ups. I'm not strong enough yet, but I hope to be soon. My time was 15:23 (with interruptions)

Comment #53 - Posted by: Nicole Ox at July 2, 2007 1:18 PM

My takeaway from CF Games?

Everyone in the world, including women and children, are faster, stronger, and better looking than me.

- Josh Everett was in my weight class. 'Nuff said.
- A 13 year old girl (Bill Pappas' daughter Clarista(sp?)) smoked me on the run. Badly.
- I saw someone's dog eyeing me up and down and I know just what he was thinking: "If I had opposable digits, I could take you, too."

Comment #54 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 1:24 PM

There's a new kid in town, and he's making noise!

All props to the three winners, OPT, AFT, and Josh Everett, who are all amazing athletes. But that leaves out a young mutant named Chris Spealler. Chris is not a big guy so when I tell you that he finished the WOD Hopper event amongst the top three by completing it as RX'd, understand that meant he was push-jerking 5 pounds OVER bodyweight, every rep, every set.

Then Chris went on to finish the off-trail run in the lead by a WIDE margin. Zoning out with an Ipod strapped to his arm, the guy just smoked the rest of the field through the hills that left many very fit folks walking to the finish line.

And on Sunday he smiled politely as all the nice guys (and they were all terrific folks, families and all) cleaned up in the total.

But I'm biased, I'm not a big guy either. ;-)

Great event, great people...get some, go again!

Comment #55 - Posted by: RossB at July 2, 2007 1:33 PM

How can we determine a person's rights based on their culture? If we deny immigrants access to citizenship because the current wave of immigrants refuse to "make The Decision" or "cast their lot," how can that be constitutional or moral? We are basically denying rights based on views, opinions, heritage, religion, or whatever, the types of things we as a country try and protect.

Now you may say, "hey these are immigrants, not U.S. citizens, and they don't deserve the rights of citizens unless they accept 'US culture'."

Isn't that a bit off-putting? What's the difference between an immigrant and a U.S.-born citizen? The land they were born on. I view citizenship as a roll of the dice. We natural-borns are privileged to have plopped down on a magnificent country. Why should we deny this to fellow humans? If there really is only "one race," how can you deny these rights?

Furthermore, even the conception that there is some master "US culture" is suspect. The incredibly diverse population in our country has so many sub-cultures and associations, sometimes within city blocks of each other. Let's assume there is a definable, shared heritage among all of the immigrants of the past 231 years or so. Who says what culture is "better" than another? Why should someone ever have to give up theirs?

I guess in summary, my main problem is that sure, there are bound to be some people, like Peggy Noonan, who would like to have things "settle down" and more or less return to 'old-style American culture.' In the face of a world where social forces are explosively mixing and melding, traveling all across the world in a high-velocity onslaught you might call globalization, it can seem pretty scary. Let's not have change, and have some good old culture for once.

But this is the problem: you are screwing people's lives over by pursuing your all-important cultural comfort. It's not just Mexican-flag-waving to worry about. I would say a far more important concern is the amount of bread on the table of those Mexican immigrants. Social, political, and economic rights. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Comment #56 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 2:11 PM

#43 Dale
thanks for sharing your story. Pretty heart-warming. I feel like the only problem is that the prevalent attitude is not an accepting one as held by you and your schoolmates, but rather exclusionary under one guise or another.

Comment #57 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 2:15 PM

Oh yeah, and this is not to say that having a diverse, multicultural nation is easy. I may be messing up the scholar, but I think Seymour Lipset showed that the more heterogeneous a nation, the less likely democracy was to develop there. I mean, just look at Iraq.
But is the answer for immigrants to throw away their past identity? It stresses society as we can see, but wouldn't it be better to accept and appreciate all cultures and heritages? Blanket assimilation not so fun.

Comment #58 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 2:22 PM

Oh, and if we want to foster love and respect for American culture in our immigrants, the answer is boot them out? Show them anger for their foreignness?
Wouldn't acceptance and appreciation breed the cultural buy-in that's desired?

Comment #59 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 2:27 PM

"Michael"
T = 32 min

Comment #60 - Posted by: C_Mel at July 2, 2007 3:08 PM

the discussion on ethnicity and assimilation brought to mind the Germans in Chicago. The attached (w/f safe link) gives an idea what it was like.

http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/512.html

Comment #61 - Posted by: franklie at July 2, 2007 3:10 PM

Yeah OPT and AFT. sorry gaucoin but exclamation point, exclamation point.
Being friends and co-worker with both of then I agree they place even higher as gracious human beings

Comment #62 - Posted by: Trevor S at July 2, 2007 3:13 PM

#53, Ben Moskowitz

"How can we determine a person's rights based on their culture? If we deny immigrants access to citizenship because the current wave of immigrants refuse to "make The Decision" or "cast their lot," how can that be constitutional or moral? We are basically denying rights based on views, opinions, heritage, religion, or whatever, the types of things we as a country try and protect.

People from other countries do not have the "right" to live in the US. There is nothing in the Constitution that says "there shall be open borders."

Comment #63 - Posted by: Hari at July 2, 2007 3:16 PM

Thanks to all for the posts on the Games, it's great to get a sense of how they went.

The article is at worst an entry into dialogue about the implications of immigration.

It raises questions like: if previous immigration was good, made the USA better, is there something different about the incentives facing present immigrants that will lead to behaviors that will make the USA weaker instead? In what ways can one analyze the phenomenon of a pool of immigrants, some percentage of which feels it can manipulate the political process for special favors under the law? Is it inevitable from now on that any self-perceived minority group will target abuse of federal and state government power, now far far greater than the Founders intended and corrupted to a corresponding degree, in order to gain some ‘benefit’ from their minority status?

The intolerant answer to such questions as seen in #14 above highlights quite nicely the approach of the consistently intolerant "tolerance police."

In my view, a consistent pattern in immigration ‘discussions’, health care discussions, tax discussions, abortion discussions, land usage/zoning/imminent domain, any entitlement discussion (and now even discussions of oil company profits) boils down to: “now that government power can so easily over-ride the rights of the individual, which group will win the power struggle and be able to use it against the others?” Which of our rights will this generation of politicians auction off in their quest for election? The greater the power of the government, the greater the motivation to fight over control of it.

Whether or not immigrants choose to see themselves as Americans, invested in the future of and well being of America, and whether or not some policy element or another will influence that choice, is a discussion worth having.

From my small world it’s silly to talk about immigration issues and ignore the root cause. Why is it so hard for hard working people to make a living for themselves in Mexico and other South American countries? There are two common denominators for nations to achieve an economy in which the average can achieve a reasonable standard of living – rule of law and economic liberty (property rights). Democracy is only partially correlated with these factors. Why doesn’t Mexico have these things? How can places like Hong Kong and Taiwan grow from rocky islands to economic power houses in a generation, but Mexico cannot? Why aren’t investors falling all over themselves to take advantage of the pool of motivated, low wage workers in Mexico? Why are Mexicans productive workers in the US, but not in Mexico? Seems to me that if we want the immigration issue to resolve in the best way for all, a solution to that puzzle must be unraveled – strangely, no one even talks about it in public.

That puzzle is broadly applicable to the ‘GWOT’ - if the US cannot lead its neighbor to a state in which it can grow and compete on its own, it does not bode well for those who would hope to do that in some desert somewhere. There are at least some interesting papers being written about why ROL and EL has been successfully established in some places – which better highlights the obstacles to same in others. In the mean time, as some try to sort out how to give the gift we have (an economy that has given most Americans a status of 99th percentile in world wide standard of living) to other nations, I see ignorant big govt initiatives every day that would help kill our ‘golden goose’ and in our economic ignorance and pursuit of the mythical quality of fairness, most of us don’t even notice.

I have some specific thoughts about a rational immigration policy but will let this do for today.

Comment #64 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie at July 2, 2007 3:17 PM

#53-#56 Ben M.--

What are you talking about? Nobody is saying we should determine anything by a person's culture. Is it OK to drive without a license? Of coarse not. A driver's license is a legal requirement for the benefit of society as well as the individual. America welcomes all cultures. But you have to do it legally and become part of the team. Anything less is criminal.

Be proud of your heritage. Teach your children your native language. But you must earn your education and learn English if you want to succeed here. Tough love with opportunities, not handouts and social programs, is the "right" direction, regardless of its immediate impact to our economy. Haven't you ever had to make a decision that wasn't particularly kind to the wallet that was necessary because it was the right thing to do? We need to make the right decisions now if we want our great country to survive.

Don't expect to sneak in illegally and disrespect the country that provides you with so many undeserved privileges. The article recognizes those past immigrants who came to America seeking opportunity. Ones that were willing to make the difficult transition into "becoming" an American, in contrast to those today who have no desire to become productive members of our society. Living within our borders doesn't make you an American.

Comment #65 - Posted by: wilson at July 2, 2007 3:33 PM

Ben,

You make an apparently honest, earnest post - I will attempt to match your tone, though I disagree on many levels.

"Oh, and if we want to foster love and respect for American culture in our immigrants, the answer is boot them out? Show them anger for their foreignness?"
--I posted about this sort of thinking a few days back wrt foreign policy, but it’s equally applicable here. Pandering is not the means to gain popularity and "popularity" as such is highly over-rated. There's no "fostering love and respect" for American culture. We are what we are, they can take it or leave it. The sort of approach you describe - I can't help but wonder if you are just baiting.

Wouldn't acceptance and appreciation breed the cultural buy-in that's desired?
--Absolutely not, never. Cultural buy in comes from a person who realizes that they can get more by playing by the existing rules, works extremely hard to decode the existing rules, and commit to playing by them. Whether the existing rules are different now, than they were 50 or 100 years ago, is a debate worth having. I think entitlement laws, and the present political culture of bribing the electorate with special favors of one kind or another, are perverting incentives and making it less clear to immigrants which rules they need to play by to excel.

"Furthermore, even the conception that there is some master "US culture" is suspect."
--The fact of its existence is beyond question; though quantification of US Culture is easy to speculate on and hard or impossible to know. My judgment is that the US culture is better, it provides more benefit for US citizens than any other culture I know (and to the rest of the world than any other culture), and if I saw it differently, I'd most likely head off to some other place. I hope our neighbors the Canadians, and loyal allies in the UK and Australia and Japan and Korea feel like they have the best culture and thus choose to remain in it. There is a means to quantify the goodness/badness of a culture - how do the citizens of a culture live? The diversity in our culture means we will not answer that sort of question the same. You can guess how I would answer that question.

Your rights, and my rights, in the legal sense, derive from the Constitution of the United States which recognizes a larger sense of the right of an individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. My rights being dependent upon the legal protections based on the Constitution, I will not place the theoretical rights of a non-citizen on par with the rights of a citizen due to the likelihood that doing so would undermine the Constitution I'm counting on (and sworn to defend). Because the US is an immigrant nation, the path to legal citizenship is available regardless of race, religion or hair length. I came by my citizenship through the luckiest means of legal compliance there is – I was born here. Since then I’ve complied with the requirements of a citizen. I am not ashamed to demand that immigrants do the same.

Should a non-citizen, a bright one smart enough to desire a legal defense of the rights acknowledged by the Founders, desires to gain the benefit of the protections of the Constitution of the United States, he/she may do so by complying with the existing citizenship requirements. Failing to give legal protection to those who are not legally entitled to it is not 'screwing' anyone, but the fact that you choose to view it as such betrays a lack of clarity in thought that is puzzling to the reader when contrasted with your clarity of expression in the written word.

Which again raises the question of baiting.

Comment #66 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie at July 2, 2007 4:12 PM

Ben, you seem nice, but your arguments are polemic; they are questions laden with factually inaccurate or legally incorrect assumptions, rather than rational discourse or any other useful form of debate (like Peggy Noonan's "story").

For example (just a few):
1 - You open with "If we deny immigrants access to citizenship because the current wave of immigrants refuse to "make The Decision" or "cast their lot," how can that be constitutional or moral? We are basically denying rights based on views, opinions, heritage, religion, or whatever, the types of things we as a country try and protect."

A. We do not deny immigrants anything because of their refusal to "make the decision" or "cast their lot". I am unaware of any such law, other than the commitment and oath required for citizenship. Worth reading, by the way. The article is an opinion piece and an adjuration to preserve the identity of America and what it means to be American, which I think is mainly in committing to the ideal of BEING American, rather than being a (fill in the blank - Mexican, Brazilian, Briton, Frenchman) living on this particular piece of dirt.

B. Someone else has addressed the Constitutional question. I am not sure where you learned that someone has Constitutional rights who is not a citizen. If you want to talk technicalities, we could discuss federal habeas rights and extraterritorial application of the Constitution, but I don't think your argument is near there yet.

C. The moral argument - you need to do some reading here, as well. Every nation has always controlled just who could and could not come into its territory. That is one of the chief characteristics of the nation-state. Someone living in Botswana has no inalienable "moral" right to come here. If you have a source for this right, please do tell.

D. "We are basically denying rights..." blah blah. This is one of the worst conlusory statements I have read. If I taught civics and you were a student of mine, you would fail. Badly. This is some kind of yuppie suburban guilt for being one of the "haves" that leads to these bromides that "the man" is keeping all of "the have nots" down. You go on to evidently conclude that any immigration policy that keeps someone who wants to come in this country "out" is a denial of that person's "right" to be here. Wow. You then dismiss this point out of hand and follow up with the continued "guilt" theme and note that such a view is "off-putting". That's it? That's how you defeat the argument that a nation can control its borders? Because it's off-putting to outsiders? Again, I am stupefied. I suppose Al Qa'eda terrorists are terribly put off by our immigration policies. We like to call that "national security".

You go on with what I figured I would see, the old "it's just an accident of birth being here and shouldn't we all feel guilty about that." I was wating for you to follow up with the line about the same thing applying to the wealthy and so shouldn't we just redistribute their wealth.

Comrade Moskowitz, a brief story to illusytrate a point. It is no accident I was born here. My father's and mother's families each fought and clawed and scraped to get here - like many others in this country. It wasn't "an accident". It was the result of something called hard work. And they did it legally. And gave up their Candian French for English (except when they wanted to swear in front of the kids) and taught us to value education. And that is why my grandfather, a WWII veteran who landed at Normandy, and has almost no formal education, is proud to have the first male Saran who graduated college as his grandson, me. And even prouder when I became a lawyer - because my accomplishments are the direct result of HIS hard work, his willingness to "cast his lot" in this country, legally.

Sorry for the intensity Ben, but you have engaged in almost every logical fallacy possible in your short attempts at the Socratic method. I have offered my story instead. One good diatribe deserves another. Peace.

Comment #67 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 4:17 PM

Aw, man, ASwab beat me to it. Mine's being held. Darn it, Paul.

Comment #68 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 4:19 PM

I want to live in Ben's world, unfortunately I get drug tested regularly.

1. Really don't care if my view is 'off putting'.

2. Rights are bestowed on citizens. Citizenship is a priviledge not a right. It can be taken away.

3. There is one culture better than others. It is ours. No one has to give their's up. They can try somewhere else or atleast respect the one we have.

4. No one wants to 'screw' with others lives on our side of the debate. We are trying to keep ours from getting screwed with.

5. The problem is that people from culturally bankrupt societies want to bring that culture here and use our social system and PC policy to morph our laws and culture.

You want to be American; grab a burrito, potato, side of fried rice, sausage, plate of spagetti and piece/slice of quiche'. Most importantly grab a slice of APPLE PIE and get back to work. We are trying to get something accomplished.

Comment #69 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 2, 2007 5:01 PM

OK, I agree that under the law, there certainly is a distinction between citizen and non-citizen. There should be some basic human protection for non-citizens, which I think exist somewhat decently, but of course non-citizens do not deserve the same rights and liberties as citizens under the constitution. I would argue that they do, but I digress.

Anyway, the issue is that path towards citizenship. In the bill that failed, I believe it would take 6 to 8 years at the minimum for immigrants to gain citizenship. That's for those living in the country for more than five years, which is normal.

The current tack it seems is to close off the route to citizenship. Some are upset about 'lazy, unproductive' immigrants who don't contribute to society. I would say it's difficult make blanket statements about a whole group of people. I do know that the US is increasingly becoming more of a service in general, where there is distinct divide between the formal (e.g. doctor) and informal (housemaid) sector. Middle America is being squeezed as manufacturing jobs and the like move elsewhere. And largely, the immigrant population is taking advantage for the demand for the informal sector 'below.' They will probably continue to do so until, as a migrant farm worker said in the NY Times yesterday I think, there is no more work.

So... they come to work. Yeah, there are social problems and corruption like tax evasion, illegal driving, etc. As citizens, they can bear both the burden and benefits of responsibility. Without hope of citizenship, people aren't as happy. And millions protest in the streets a year ago.

I feel like there are two answers to the cultural debate. One is to pretend to be Sweden with a mostly homogeneous society (according to a Swedish friend, the influx of immigrants is putting a strain on their social welfare system, and there has been a rightward response. Just noting it, in case anyone knows anything).
The other option is to accept, even embrace, a changing cultural dynamic.

Either way, culture is a social phenomenon. While it has a bearing on the attitudes and beliefs of those that affect public policy, it's not OK to base law and policy on it. You don't put the salad above the plate? No citizenship for you! While this is an extreme example, I think the "rules" governing culture and the ones governing society (laws) are distinct.

Just throwing this out there, but the way immigration is going and the way populations within the US are growing, I think there will be more Spanish speakers in the US by 2050 or 2070 or something. If English were to become the official language, would we change it at that date?

Comment #70 - Posted by: Ben M at July 2, 2007 5:11 PM

"one culture better than others... culturally bankrupt societies"

I am really glad that you are a proud American, but not that it comes at the detriment of other nationalities/cultures.

Comment #71 - Posted by: Ben M at July 2, 2007 5:17 PM

oh here's the article that I round-a-bout "cited"
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/30/us/30reactweb.html?n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fI%2fImmigration%20and%20Refugees

Comment #72 - Posted by: Ben M at July 2, 2007 5:24 PM

28/F/110#

made up Murph today

29:14

cindy style x20

almost 30 min improvement from last time 8/2/06

p.s. congrats OPT and AFT! I look for your posts everyday, you guys are animals!

Comment #73 - Posted by: nadia shatila at July 2, 2007 5:24 PM

Ben, what detriment, might that be? That I can use my rational mind and come to a conclusion?

You should try it.

I feel no need to accept those that do not accept us, espaecially if we are paying the price to make their life better.

No thanks, I will pay more for lettuce.

Like I said above this is about assimilation not immigration with me.

Comment #74 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 2, 2007 5:25 PM

Day behind. 120 PU/120 dips 20:20, details there.

Hmmmm...tempting, but I think not. The high ground of logic, common sense, and historical analysis is adequately staked out by Paul, Dale, and Joey. In that knowledge I'll rest comfortably tonight...

Comment #75 - Posted by: bingo at July 2, 2007 5:26 PM

30 MU,s 6:00 pr by 2:39 better pacing
HPC 95x1-115x1-135x1-155x1-160x1-165x1-170x1 pr

Comment #76 - Posted by: Troy at July 2, 2007 5:48 PM

YAAHOOOOO! Finally, got the muscle-up! They weren't pretty, but after watching Conner in the Brand X Skills film for the last 5 months, and reading the Beastskills tutorial from angry G, something finally broke through.

30 muscle-ups and around 10 misses in 24 mins.

Comment #77 - Posted by: mas at July 2, 2007 6:12 PM

Ben,

“OK, I agree that under the law, there certainly is a distinction between citizen and non-citizen. There should be some basic human protection for non-citizens, which I think exist somewhat decently, but of course non-citizens do not deserve the same rights and liberties as citizens under the constitution. I would argue that they do, but I digress.”

Huh? You agree that there “certainly is a distinction between citizen and non-citizen.” You write, “of course non-citizens do not deserve the same rights and liberties under the constitution.” But [you] would argue, “they do.” What precisely are you saying?

I don’t find anyone disagreeing with the premise that “there should be some basic human protection for non citizens.” Are you saying that the US denies illegal immigrants “basic human protection?”

Comment #78 - Posted by: Hari at July 2, 2007 6:18 PM

I have to confess, I have been cheating on CrossFit by arguing in a couple other places. It doesn't mean anything, these are innocent flings that could happen to anyone, but I may sit this one out for a day or two.

Did want to comment on the video, though, which I think is classy. Of course, I remember when we were all told about that, and I just want to say that I hope Jeremy's parents are holding on, and making progress against the waves that have been crashing in on them.

I will relate a dream I had, that I refer to myself, when things get hard. I don't think I've mentioned this. If so, I apologize.

I had been out fighting all day, and half the night, and finally was able to come home. I was so tired, I couldn't use my legs, only my arms. I couldn't even muster the strength to crawl, so I was literally pulling myself along on my arms and dragging the rest of me. I had to sleep on the hard ground, in a very small room, but before I fell asleep, I looked up at the sky, and felt the breeze, and suddenly the night became brighter. I was suddenly able to see in the dark like a cat. And I felt it was all worth it, and went to sleep.

May God's light shine on you too, if you are reading this, as well as all the rest of you out there fighting the good fight, in whatever arena.

Comment #79 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 2, 2007 6:25 PM

Ben--

I didn't mean to imply that all imigrants are ignorant or cannot be productive. On the contrary, just as the article does, I'm distinguishing the difference between those that are interested in becoming American citizens, want to attend public school and learn English and become financially independent and those that would just prefer to take advantage of our welfare system and kinder, gentler judicial system. As the article alludes, this has become a fundamental diffence in our melting-pot process. Some immigrants end up on the PTA and some end up in gangs. I would hope that there is a faster way for the first group to become American citizens because they are what make America great. However, I also hope that there is a way to prevent the second group from draining the life right out of our great country. It is America's responsiblity to create and enforce higher standards in our immigration system. Until then our borders will overflow with those wanting an easier way to get by.

You seem too politically correct to acknowledge that our country is better than others (the best in my opinion). It's ok to be better. It's even better to be the best. That's exactly why we have this immigration problem in the first place. And before you go there, I'm not saying any particular race is better than another. I'm saying that we became successful because of the basic freedoms, "citizen's rights" and Judeo-Christian principles on which America was founded. If we cease to maintain these then we will fail.

It is not bigoted to believe that English should be our national language. I'm working on several other languages myself, but English is what we speak in American society. It is who we are and there's nothing wrong with protecting it for our own benefit.

Comment #80 - Posted by: wilson at July 2, 2007 6:30 PM

however I am ignorant and can's spell immigrant...lol

Comment #81 - Posted by: wilson at July 2, 2007 6:31 PM

Ben,

What is your plan about immigration reform? Do you support amnesty for all the illegals here? Do you think we should open the borders more to allow people easier access? Do you support the bill that just failed? I understand your "why" but not your "what".

Do you understand why guys who put their butts at risk for America might be annoyed by people who are, under the law, not supposed to be here waiving another country's flag and demanding rights in our country?

Barry C, that first paragraph in #74 is the funniest thing I've read all day.

Comment #82 - Posted by: JPW at July 2, 2007 6:52 PM

Hari,
I acknowledge that there is citizen vs. non legal difference, but having the outlook that I do, I would like to extend the liberties offered. Like imprisoned immigrants dying from not getting medication. Sort of a side issue than the one being discussed today.

While cultural indoctrination for immigrants might be good, I don't think it's necessary. You shouldn't be forced into anything. Isn't that kind of the freedom we want to preserve in the US?

Why should English be official? If you could hypothetically do everything required of you as a citizen of the US speaking Spanish the whole time, why not? If not, then shouldn't there be decent establishment of ESL programs and education? Otherwise, you kind of catch immigrants in a Catch 22 situation where you require them to do things without providing the adequate possibility of doing them. Guest worker program but no driver's license, so just walk five hours a day you illegals.

Comment #83 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 6:53 PM

Ben,

I neither know nor have ever met anyone who supports the premise that immigrant prisoners should be allowed to die in custody for want of medicine. That position is so absurd that I cannot take serious the rest of your comments.

Ben, you need to appreciate that the people on this site will actually read what you write and respond accordingly.

Comment #84 - Posted by: Hari at July 2, 2007 7:06 PM

#14-Thaddeus, anonymous author of insulting screeds, hiding behind a fake email address, sneering at the opinions of lesser mortals whenever they deviate from the multiculturalist/Marxist party line, you are no doubt convinced that your post has contributed to rational discourse on the subject of immigrants assimilating into this country . You are a excellent representative of all that is wrong with modern liberals. You don’t think. You believe that spouting bumper sticker slogans amounts to reasoned debate. You don’t ever need to defend any statement with facts or logic because you, the anointed, the chosen, the elite, the acme of human perfection are so much better than the rest of us that a mere sneer from your lips suffices to destroy all who disagree with you.

America has become the greatest nation on earth, the beacon light of freedom to oppressed people the world over in large part because we do try, if not always successfully, to live up to the ideals of our founding. Wave after wave of immigrants from all corners of the globe have come here, often at great risk, with the idea that their children and grandchildren would become Americans. But the bacillus of Multiculturalism, an offshoot of Marxist theory, is changing all that. Immigrant children are told that countries and cultures their parents risked their lives fleeing from are just as good as America, that they don’t need to assimilate, they don’t even need to learn English, and that ethnic identity is more important than anything else. Marx’s class struggle has morphed into racial struggles, the first and most famous iteration of which was the Holocaust, and the current exhibits are in Darfur, Timor, Bosnia, etc. Arthur Schlesinger, the liberal historian, wrote more than 20 years ago in “The Disuniting of America” that such policies would lead to the destruction of America. He was right.

Ben #53, you ask some good questions. And to answer I would say that all people on earth deserve the blessings of liberty and prosperity that we in America enjoy. But America can never be home to all the oppressed and poor of the world. There are too many of them. One significant reason America enjoys degrees of freedom and prosperity not seen in so many other countries is that we have, since founding, encouraged immigrants to become Americans, to learn English, to abide by our laws instead of retaining their native language and laws. In France right now there are large unassimilated Muslim communities into which the police dare not go, and where Sharia law applies. Multiply that by every conceivable ethnic group and religious sect and you would have the end game of multicultural folly and the destruction of America. I am not suggesting that anyone lose pride in their heritage, only that if you take the trouble to come to America, then take the trouble to learn English and obey American laws. Right now we are mostly talking the fact that Spanish speaking immigrants do not have to assimilate by learning English. Bilingual road signs, everything at Home Depot in Spanish and English, Spanish TV, Press 1 for English. But what about all the other languages and other immigrants? Why should American government and business prefer Spanish over Arabic or Farsi or Pashto or French or German or Gujarati or any other language? Why shouldn't it be "Press 23 for English" when you call the doctor? There is no end to it along that path, and that is an insoluble problem for multiculturalism.

Comment #85 - Posted by: Dan MacDougald at July 2, 2007 7:17 PM

#86 Dan-- Best post today. Thanks.

Comment #86 - Posted by: wilson at July 2, 2007 7:28 PM

whoops my last thing on English was written after you posted, Wilson. I mean yeah, English is how we get stuff done. It would make a lot of sense for an immigrant to pick it up. I think the "protection" should come from offering, not forcing, English education. If all the obvious benefits we see in English aren't necessary in some situation, why force it?

#77 JPW,
I understand that it's really unsettling to see what seems like an invasion. Why are they waving their flags? Social solidarity, as a rallying point for rights maybe. Why rights? Well, they're people too. And the determination of who's supposed to be here should be based on a fair path to citizenship.

As for the "what:"
well I wish I had the sufficient education in government/sociology/whatever and was well-versed on the issues to know what to do, with the justification to back it up. Through my half-knowledge and beliefs I would vouch for:

More open borders. People are on the move regardless, so you either make it less dangerous by giving them in-roads or more by not. Maybe it would be less dangerous if there was a 50ft concrete wall because no one would cross the border but there's more to it than that. Plus the vast majority migrate legally.
According to the ACLU (obviously biased, but 2nd most cited 'think tank' type thing in Washington, immigrants create more jobs through capital investment and business creation than they take and pay more taxes than they take in services.
(safe) http://www.aclu.org/immigrants/gen/11713pub20000908.html

An easier path to citizenship will allow immigrants to put their energies and productivity towards the US, which we like. Something like 30% of Mexico's GNP comes from remittances. If we had an open border, that wouldn't be a big deal (although it would be a problem for Mexico, not good).
Sort of edging away from the US, we have Free Trade Zones in Mexico with terrible conditions where clothes and stuff get made for little pay. Maybe we can work out some sort of border deal with Mexico so that improvements are made in Mexican conditions, and in border stuff. My main point on this is if conditions improve in Mexico (and around the world) than immigration is less of an issue, I mean, why leave.
So... our "US foreign interests" in Mexico, the Philippines, Iraq, etc., held by giant multinationals for cheap labor or access to resources isn't in the best of interest for their local population. As a result, the effect is felt in the US too. You would pay more for US cabbage, but what about Peruvian grapes or Iraqi oil? How far does "fair trade" extend in your view?

Maybe I wouldn't advocate blanket amnesty, but along those lines. Something better than attaining citizenship in 6-14 years (failed bill I think).
I would've been somewhat glad if the bill passed. You might guess I would like something more left-leaning, but as far as our democratic process of compromise goes, I think it would've certainly been an accomplishment. And I love that democratic process and America too, don't get me wrong. Although, you have to keep in mind it's the worst form of government around, besides all the other forms of government.

Comment #87 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 7:32 PM

Nadia, that's incredible! I bow down to you...if you did two 7-min miles (average) then you did 20 rounds of cindy in 15 min? Wow, what an inspiration...I'm only sorry I'm on a taper week for a triathlon or I'd have gotten to do murph too.

Comment #88 - Posted by: Sarah at July 2, 2007 7:35 PM

Hari,
sorry but I mean, that kind of stuff happens. That's why I am advocating for more rather than less rights. See where I'm going?

Comment #89 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 7:35 PM

Dan,
I agree about the elitist liberal thing. Should be avoided. Same goes for conservatives.

I mostly agree with you about the language/multicultural thing. Like I said before, cultural differences make it difficult to run a country. However, it's not impossible, at least I hope not. Otherwise we would be facing Holocaust II.

Speaking of which, I feel like you got it somewhat backwards on the class/race struggle bit. I would say that class divide and racial injustices breed the kind of anti-assimilation posture of French and US immigrants. If you dropped a million bucks in their laps, would they burn American flags? Scale that notion down a bit to fair wages through citizenship, rights, social and racial equality, and I think that's the level I'm talking about. And this is not just a drop-in-the-lap handout, this is same kind of give-and-take citizen-to-America that everyone enjoys, and some take for granted.

Comment #90 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 7:58 PM

Ben,

Yes, that kind of stuff happens, but it does not happen because immigrants lack basic human rights in the US. It happens because people make mistakes. People who are criminally negligent in their treatment of illegal immigrants risk prosecution, the same as if they were criminally negligent in dealing with legal residents or US citizens. Can you think cite a single instance where someone was treated less harshly for abusing an illegal immigrant?

Exactly what additional rights are you advocating?

Comment #91 - Posted by: Hari at July 2, 2007 8:03 PM

Sarah-

Thanks! I get lucky with Murph because "cindy" is one of my better WOD's. I am no good at running and ran just under 8 min miles so about 16 min there which leaves a little over 13 min for the 20 round cindy portion. I didn't believe it myself when I was looking at my watch, but then thought I'm just about at a 30 round regular cindy so I guess it makes sense. I also think I was able to push a little harder on the cindy portion because I kept telling myself 'the faster you go the sooner it will be over' not like the regular cindy where the faster you go= the more tired you get! ;-)

Best of luck on your triathalon, that is some hard core stuff! I'm sure you will kick butt!

Comment #92 - Posted by: nadia shatila at July 2, 2007 8:13 PM

Ben,

There is currently a fair path for citizenship and people who are not here legally ignored it. The problem with amnesty is that it sends a clear signal to everyone who wants to come here that the laws of the land in the US can be ignored. There are thousands of people (probably hundreds of thousands but I don't know) who are signed up with the INS to come here legally. Are they suckers?

Legal immigrants have always contributed more to the country than they have taken. I believe the ACLU on that. I just don't want to reward people for ignoring the law.

I agree that it would be ideal if we could prop up the rest of the world to our standard of living. I don't agree that we can make a dent on Mexico's, the PI's or any other country's economy enough to improve their standard of living significantly. We are already in the position of raising the first generation who will not make more than their parents. We have our own poor. We have to look out for number one. We don't have the money to teach everyone English. In California, we can't even come up with money for Phys Ed, Art or Music unless the PTA raises it.

I am normally pretty tolerant when it comes to protests but seeing foreign nationals waiving their flag on American soil demanding changes to American domestic policy made me see red. When you move here, you have to move your old countries flag below Old Glory. If you don't, you aren't American. If you aren't American you can't demand change to our laws. All the way in or all the way out.

Comment #93 - Posted by: JPW at July 2, 2007 8:13 PM

Ben, are you an undergrad at some east coast university? No offense meant, I got my education there, too. You write well, but your reasoning is, um, not so good.

You failed to address one single point I made in response to your post. Your standard tact seems to be just ask semi-rhetorical questions and make everyone else answer yours. But you are at least polite.

More amnesty? For everyone? Okay, so where do we put everyone who wants to come here?

Do we just "open the borders"? To everyone? Have you even considered the implications of that? How does the nation defend itself from simply being overrun? What on god's green earth are you talking about?

You say English should be "offered" but not "forced". Do you even think about what you are saying before you write it? How is that practically possible? And by the way, Ben, who is paying for all of this? I'm going to make a small wager you don't pay much in the way of taxes. But for those of us who do, we're a little concerned with your largesse of "our" treasury.

Barry Cooper - great line. That was funny.

Comment #94 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 2, 2007 8:16 PM

What's great about this is you guys are forcing me to read up on stuff.

Maybe rather strengthen rather than weaken the family reunification policy that's sort of in effect. Instead of a worker-based program that breeds an underclass of immigrants, continue to allow citizens to advocate for permanent resident
relatives.
I would say have permanent residents/citizens advocate for non-perms. Maybe get some of the 27,000 non-perms/aliens detained per day out of jail and into homes. I mean, yeah if they are jailed for committing a crime sure. But jailed to work, live with their family? I disagree.

That's one policy, sort of. I was reading an interview with Stan Mark on Democracy Now. I mean, there's a lot of stuff, and I don't know it all. But hundreds of thousands of people protesting must have a reason for doing it. Muslims don't just burn cars in France for the fun of it.

JPW, I agree with you. Obviously America can't fund the whole world. We might be able to have some collaborative efforts, though. The Mexican and Guatemalan Presidents seem to want to have it, as far as immigration is concerned. If we didn't spend so much on national security, then we would have other domestic funds. Solve world problems as a pro-active measure rather than military engagement? I am in la-la land.

Anyway, I would say it's tough to be all the way in when there's institutional and non-institutional forces stacked against you. I think you are saying that immigrants have to suck it up now and become citizens. Then they can tackle the issues. I say, we shouldn't commit injustices along the way. Especially when "the way" will take 14 years for an immigrant.

Comment #95 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 8:37 PM

Ben,

"Muslims don't just burn cars in France for the fun of it."

Why do you think that you think Muslims are burning cars in France?

Comment #96 - Posted by: Hari at July 2, 2007 8:54 PM

unequal social and economic opportunities. Large disparities between the rich and poor. Ghettoized suburbs. Injustice and contempt for the black and Islamic populations (I guess sometimes combined in those of North African descent).

"expert analysis" (safe)
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1f5e4cc8-4fab-11da-8b72-0000779e2340,dwp_uuid=d869c7e2-5b68-11da-b221-0000779e2340.html

video of French teens responding (although it's old and you have to download a plug-in)
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2005/11/05/burns.france.riots.day9.ap

Comment #97 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 2, 2007 9:25 PM

Ben,

"unequal social and economic opportunities. Large disparities between the rich and poor. Ghettoized suburbs."

So now we have come full circle. You wrote (#84), "If you could hypothetically do everything required of you as a citizen of the US speaking Spanish the whole time, why not?"

The answer to your question is this: Refusing to embrace the language and culture of the country to which one chooses to emigrate leads to "unequal social opportunities" and "ghettoized suburbs."

You write (#84), "While cultural indoctrination for immigrants might be good, I don't think it's necessary."

Apparently France shared a similar perspective with disastrous results.

Comment #98 - Posted by: Hari at July 2, 2007 10:10 PM

Ben,

"unequal social and economic opportunities. Large disparities between the rich and poor. Ghettoized suburbs."

So now we have come full circle. You wrote, "If you could hypothetically do everything required of you as a citizen of the US speaking Spanish the whole time, why not?"

The answer to your question is this: Refusing to embrace the language and culture of the country to which one chooses to emigrate leads to "unequal social opportunities" and "ghettoized suburbs."

You write, "While cultural indoctrination for immigrants might be good, I don't think it's necessary."

Apparently France shared a similar perspective with disastrous results.

Comment #99 - Posted by: Hari at July 2, 2007 10:12 PM

Mr. Cooper,

By telling me to keep my mouth shut you have oppened to oppurtunity of disrespect.

This is my response to your response to me and to #14: I am an immigrant and I have lived in three other countries prior to the U.S., I have European and American school, and I can tell you that you are the definition of ignorance. As for your comment on doing my homework, you should do the same and maybe take a physics and a logic course at the same time.

Diversity is not a strenght. It was because of diversity that the Roman and Greek empires fell and this is how the United States empire will fall unless there is something done about it. People come here to get a piece of the pie not to bake it and everyone hates other who come here to do the same; but your ignorance helps you not to see such things.

Comment #100 - Posted by: Nick C. at July 2, 2007 10:18 PM

Thad (#14):

Read your attempt at haiku:

Every group of immigrants craps on the last group.
It's nothing new.
Racist, xenophobic screed thinly veiled as heart warming patriotism.
What unmitigated tripe.

Sorry, bub. Commonly, English haiku should be no longer than 18 syllables, include at least one "season word," extend for no more than three lines, and include at least one punctuation mark to compare, contrast or otherwise explain different views, events, or circumstances. Hence, your missive is less haiku and more, well, Thad-ku. Nonetheless, you've inspired me. How 'bout this?

Thad takes offense
But why defend point?
Though the days are long, summer is short.

Not bad, huh? Now you try.

Randy

Comment #101 - Posted by: Randy at July 2, 2007 11:26 PM

Thank you everyone at CrossFit for a fantastic experience at the games. It was great to see, in person, the outstanding performances of these elite athletes, in particular Greg E's deadlift. Wow!

I've been doing the WODS for about 8 months now and in that time I've made more progress than I could have dreamed possible. I can't wait to see what the next year brings. Getting some more!

Comment #102 - Posted by: Brian V at July 2, 2007 11:30 PM


Why is everyone talking like the U.S. has no problems, especially in the diveristy and racism sector?

I guess Socrates would be right even today; "all people are ignorant - it is those who know of their ignorance that are..." ahead of the game.

And everyone talks about hope and fighting to keep this country standing and all I see are people that don't give this country any hope.

Maybe a little history of the world will help; focus especially on the Dacians, Romans, Greeks, and Germans...see what they have done wrong - what caused them to fail - who caused them to fail, and you might find yourselfs in a state of deja-vu.

Comment #103 - Posted by: Nick C. at July 3, 2007 2:35 AM

We need to define terms.

Some things that Ben has wrote above have convinced me that most of his point is based off emotion and not facts.

Example, he writes above about Mr. Guest Worker not being able to get a drivers license. That is wrong.

Guest Worker- Foriegn Citizen, Temporary legal Staus

Illegal Alien- Forign Citizen, illegal status

Undocumented Worker- See Illegal Alien, PC code words

Undocumented American- See Illegal Alien, PC code words

Legal Alien- Foriegn Citizen, Perminant legal status


Ben it has also occured to me you do not understand what the bill a few senators drew up did that got most people in a tizzy.

Z Visas- If an illegal alien could show that he was here before 1 JAN 07 he would be given an application for a Z-Visa.

The Z Visa is a 6 year visa that would make him a Guest Worker, indefinately, thus a Legal Alien. The renewal was to be automatic.

Also the Government had 1 business day to find a reason to regect the application. This may sound reasonable, but Pasports are taking 12 WEEKS for citizens that the government has information on already.

Criminals and gang members would be allowed to gain status by 'denouncing' thier former lives.

This is looked at as amnesty by many.

There is much more.

Ben, you really need to do some reading on why this is a BAD idea. More opinion in your head about how great it would be if we all lived in a rainbow world and everyone got an equal check for equal work nonsense.

Comment #104 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 3, 2007 4:02 AM

Nick, C.- People are trying to say that America does not have race relations issues because as a matter of law, we don't. We can not change individual feelings through coercion.

Ben- The problems in France are exactly because of what you are advocating. Immigrants (legal and illegal) not being assimilated into the French Culture. So the power structure rejects them since they do not offer anything other than cheap labor. There is only so many 'labor' jobs to go around. Couple that with the sense of entitlement the French people have in general to short work weeks and governemnt services, you have the makings of disaster. With radical Islamic movemnets spreading throughout Europe, they just added a fuse to the dynamite.

Comment #105 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 3, 2007 7:04 AM

Nick C,

"Why is everyone talking like the U.S. has no problems, especially in the diveristy and racism sector?"

What do you see as the the US's problems in the "diversity and racism sector?" Can you give an example of one other country that has a government agency comparable to the EEOC and/or anti discrimination laws comparable to those of the US? What country is more heterogeneous and/or more committed to equal opportunity?

We have problems in the "diversity and racism sector" because we are committed to equal opportunity. Where would your rather be a minority, in the US or somewhere else?

Comment #106 - Posted by: Hari at July 3, 2007 8:03 AM

MAS/#78 - congrats on your muscle up!

Dale, your posts all day were a treat to read, thanks.

Barry, thanks for a funny one liner and two moving comments; in particular, I appreciated and echo your thoughts on Jeremy's family. I jumped into his WOD yesterday, and was surprised by the 5 minute ride to exhaustion.

Ben - there are many assumptions that underly your thought process, as for all of us. Kindly allow me to address one, 'fair trade.'

The statement implies that there is some kind of trade that is not fair. In my view, any free trade is by definition fair. That is, I have something you want (clothing), and you have something I want (money), and we trade, there's nothing more fair than that.

Those who have thrown out terms like 'sweat shops' as a symbol of Western predation through paying 'low wages' ignore the obvious - why will these people take such jobs? They take them because that's their best alternative. Their next best option is worse than the 'low wages' they are paid to make clothes/shoes/whatever. I don't believe an employer owes a worker more than the best option that the employee can get.

In Bangladesh, for example, at a time when the 'sweat shops' were closed, the laborers, children among them, either went back to subsistence farming (16 hours a day, 7 days a week, rain/shine) or something worse, which was often child prostitution. It was certainly no moral victory for those who used the gullible press or the coercive power of govt to prevent these workers from taking the best option they could find.

In the world, there is no tangible greater force for good outcomes for humans than co-operative exchange. I have something you want, you have something I want, we arrange for a trade, we're both better off. Multiply that by a gozillion exchanges - that's why there's so much more wealth in the world today than at any point in history. That's why the economy of the US has grown since 2001 by an amount larger than the entire ecnomy of China. It's magic - it's free trade.

To make things better for more people, the critical puzzle to solve is how to help poor nations change so their citizenry can engage the global of system of trade.

"If we didn't spend so much on national security, then we would have other domestic funds. Solve world problems as a pro-active measure rather than military engagement? I am in la-la land."
--The first and highest purpose of government is to defend the rights of the individuals that government serves. To provide for the national defense is part/parcel; the govt that cannot defend itself cannot defend the rights of its citizenry. Many of the present functions which the Federal Govt has taken on could be eliminated tomorrow and our nation could survive and thrive - but not national defense. On this, there can be no equivocation.

Your position, that our government should use force to take money from individuals (taxes), and spend it to attempt to create good outcomes (foreign or domestic), is a commonly held view in our nation of late. However, demonstrably, outcomes from govt coerced redistribution of wealth have produced questionable results in the real world. There's evidence to support the assertion that you cannot dump enough money into a nation that does not have rule of law and property rights to create positive change - ergo, all the years of fruitless contributions resulting in Africa's present morass. See also Mexico and other 'remittance nations' (in which they receive large amounts of cash from either oil or workers sending money home) - why are the all poor? These nations are the black holes of wealth, money goes in and vanishes, as they do not have rule of law, or property rights (except for their elite).

On the other hand - look at Hong Kong or Taiwain; rocky islands transformed to ecnomic powerhouses in a generation. Do you know why?

Due to these and other reasons, I ask you to reconsider your thoughts about what the US "should do" with the money the govt coercively takes from it's free men/women instead of paying for our common defense.

Comment #107 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie at July 3, 2007 9:11 AM

The problems in France seem to stem from existing attitudes in the power structure, i.e. not hiring people because they are from the suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois and resultant high unemployment, having drastic differences in the funds different burbs receive, police harassment and brutality (with one incident really setting off the 2005 riots).

I would argue that the social context sparks a non-assimilationist mentality, not the other way around. That's why I pointed at France.

Actually, "the [French] suburbs are full of people desperate to integrate into the wider society." (safe) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4414442.stm
Still, why would you want to assimilate into an oppressive culture? That's what seems to make assimilation unsavory for some/many immigrants.

Regardless of "who started it," I don't think an offensive escalation, potentially like a 1950s-style bootout is the answer. That's when things go bad, and you get big social problems, as exemplified by the French riots.

Joey, sorry for misusing lingo. I wish I was more informed and precise about the actual laws and their implications.
I would say the Z-visa doesn't sound too bad except for the criminal/gang member part. Maybe have a longer review period, and it's somewhat sound. Although a more progressive path to citizenship might be good.


Even if the US is the best darn state in the world in racial/minority terms, that is no justification to kick our heels up and accept injustices. Being "committed" is a good thing, but the real-world implications and results are important too (more so?).

Comment #108 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 9:13 AM

Hong Kong and Taiwan, where countless human rights violations occurred. The Philippines and Iran, where dictatorial rule and state-and-crony-led development stripped money from the poor and gave it to the rich. And the US position was to back the dictators, crush labor protests, suppress rights, and promote exploitation. "Authoritarianism now, democracy later" comes at a distinct human price, despite the rare economic success of the East Asian Tigers.

The US wealth isn't magic it all. It comes in part on the backs of the exploited masses across the globe. Free trade and the Milton Friedman model of the economy rests on co-operative exchange, like you said. The world is very far off from an equal playing field where co-operative exchange is possible.

Is child prostitution a better option? No. But working for 10 cents a day isn't a great option, either.

"To make things better for more people, the critical puzzle to solve is how to help poor nations change so their citizenry can engage the global of system of trade."

I agree with you big time. But I don't think that the neo-liberal position of free trade held by the Western/Northern powers, the IMF, the World Bank, etc. is the right answer. It has resulted in economic and social disaster in many cases.

Comment #109 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 9:30 AM

Yeah, money-dumping has a bad track-record too. Like Africa or maybe even LBJ's war on poverty, I'm not sure. Is this to say that all public spending is bad? Is there the possibility for programs that work?

Capitalism is the most efficient kind of economy out there today. In the long run, it raises the overall level of wealth, the poor included. In the short run, however, it creates victims. For every winner, there's a loser. And not because of the "survival of the fittest" and "freedom of mobility" that we would like to attribute it to. The children of the rich tend to be a lot richer than those of the poor. There's a vicious cycle of unequal prosperity and development. And it's global.

As much as we like to believe it, "equal opportunity" unfortunately doesn't really exist. "Free exchange" then isn't so free.

Comment #110 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 9:41 AM

Ahh, I predicted it 40 posts ago. (actually 43).

I said at #67 - "I was waiting for you to follow up with the line about the same thing applying to the wealthy and so shouldn't we just redistribute their wealth."
I also jokingly called you "Comrade Moskowitz", Ben.
And voila, it rears its head at #110. It took a little while, but there we have it.
The old "[capitalism] creates victims. For every winner, there's a loser... The children of the rich tend to be a lot richer than those of the poor. There's a vicious cycle of unequal prosperity and development. And it's global."

Ben, Marxism and communism have been proven to be morally bankrupt philosophies that fail miserably. Sorry, you guys lost that argument in the only place it matters - the real world. Maybe on paper your Utopia works or on some other planet with another species, but not here where the rest of us live.

I'm not even going to go beyond saying this - capitalism is not a zero sum game. The site you are visiting is just one example. I am sure you have had a nice socialist education, but the worker's paradise is an illusion, friend. Take a good trusts and estates class at a local law school, or a legal history class, and look into the origins of wealth distribution, property ownership, and land transfer. FWIW, it had its origins in England as a result of the Crusades. I'll let you research it. The USSR tried to eliminate wealth transfer (i.e. the will) and it failed miserably.

You missed the point of the story of my grandfather up above. He got and gathered and saved, so that his son could have a little more, and the son did the best he could, and now I have a BA and a JD and make more than my ol' Pepe could ever have dreamed from his trench in WWII. That is simply not possible in your socialist paradise, Ben.

Comment #111 - Posted by: Dale Saran at July 3, 2007 10:52 AM

Ben, you need to practice some simple if/then statements. It's pretty much how logic works. There may be some curved space logic that's equivalent to non-Euclidean geometry, but pretty much what I think we should use here is the good old fashioned premise/consequence/conclusion.

For example: If free trade is the quickest route to generalized prosperity, and if restriction is the opposite of free, then trade restrictions reduce the rate of prosperity growth.

This applies even if in some localized areas wealth is redistributed more rapidly than might otherwise be the case. The wealth doesn't stay there, as the peasants who have been given land stolen from the wealthy in Venezuela will soon find. Who will loan them money to work the farms? Chavez, from oil revenue? Given that he lacks any motivation to make intelligent loans, what happens if the default rate is high, which loans normally are when given to the economically unsophisticated?

Obviously, that becomes a liability on the budget. It becomes open welfare. Money going out without any hope of coming back. The opposite of giving money to people who invest it, then pay more taxes.

And how does he deal with this growing deficit? He steals more land--compounding and delaying resolution of the problem, or he prints more money--generating inflation, prompting further capital flight--or he tries to borrow money from the IMF and condemns "global capitalism" when they rightly tell him no? What does he do? Well, he holds on as best he can, initiates police rule along the lines of Cuba, goes to conferences in New York and Geneva talking about income equality, and lives a pretty cushy life in his mansion. Sooner or later, an insurrection happens, or someone pulls him out of office, resecures property rights, and starts them back onto the road to sustainable wealth creation.

To put it another way: I can hold someone up at gunpoint, give the money to the nearest bum I see, and then claim that I have in fact accellerated the rate of wealth accumulation on the part of the poor.

However, you are hopefully clever enough to see some systemic shortfalls to this approach, not least of which is the person with money, otherwise capable of investing in the neighborhood, will remove himself from the situation entirely, like Exxon and Shell just did in Venezuela. That only works once.

Comment #112 - Posted by: barry cooper at July 3, 2007 10:52 AM

Ben,

Do you really have a point? If so, what is it? It seems to me that you are merely reciting the standard PC indoctrination points of a typical Ivy League campus.

We're arguing that there is no "right" to illegally enter a country. We are arguing that people who choose to emmigrate from country A to country B ought to make an effort to embrace the laws and culture of country B, and that if they fail to do so, they are never likely to realize the full opportunities that country B has to offer.

Comment #113 - Posted by: Hari at July 3, 2007 11:16 AM

Ok, I recognize that socialism and Communism didn't exactly pan out that well. At the same time, all democracies have existed in mixed economies, i.e. not free capitalism, such as the US. There's a pretty broad spectrum between full government control (bad) and zero government control (bad).

There is more going on in Venezuela than state-run blanket-style programs, what you might exemplify with "dumb loans" or "open welfare." There is the push for putting the power of governance in the hands of the people, to determine who in their town needs the most health care, or how to undertake land redistribution, or hashing out loan programs. Check out the Circulos, the "Bolivarian alternatives," and BANMUJER.

Now, there is definate friction between the poor and the middle and upper classes in Bolivia. The hard-line reformists/Communista Crazies vs. moderate to right-wing workers, doctors, and business tycoons. It escalated to a failed coup.

Venezuela is funding two systems of government sort of, the old version and the new Bolivarian alternative, with big oil revenues. Not something very reliable given the world market and inherent foreign dependence. I would like to see a unification of policy and class compromise.

Foreign capital can both be beneficial and predatory. It's a dangerous game with no perfectly good answer.

As far as worldview is concerned, I would say I lean towards the side of masses, and maybe even trust them. Definately contrary to the "tough world" mentality. I mean, it's sort of a leap of faith, but I would rather err on the good side in humanity than on the bad.

Comment #114 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 11:19 AM

I can't find why I'm getting stopped by spam, but I will fix it after lunch.

Comment #115 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 11:20 AM

To all of you with the kind words and especially to the great people in the CF community.

Thank you all very much!

-Jeremy

Comment #116 - Posted by: Jeremy at July 3, 2007 12:32 PM

So now we have drifted from the 'Racism Card' to the 'Victim Card'. I say we stick with the 'get in line' and 'get back to work' cards

Comment #117 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 3, 2007 12:57 PM

To the moderator:
I have tried to "clean" up this comment and post it several times, but I can't for the life of me figure out what's wrong. I hope nothing written here is offensive, scandalous, or spam. This is the final iteration of this particular post, so if you get around to posting one of my failed attempts, I guess choose this one. Thanks.

------
I agree, the most institutionalized thing there is, well, an institution. Fortunately the institution I'm at fosters challenging that notion somewhat. Can the same idea affect other notions we hold dear? Does the concept that we have the best culture ever, and that other people should yield their culture and identity to ours, run counter to the idea that all men/women are created equal?


OK this is what I wrote an hour ago
------------------
Ok, I recognize that socialism and Communism didn't exactly pan out that well. At the same time, all democracies have existed in mixed economies, i.e. not free capitalism, such as the US. There's a pretty broad spectrum between full government control (bad) and zero government control (bad).

There is more going on in Venezuela than state-run blanket-style programs, what you might exemplify with "unintelligent loans" or "open welfare." There is the push for putting the power of governance in the hands of the people, to determine who in their town needs the most health care, or how to undertake land redistribution, or working out loan programs. Check out the Circulos, the "Bolivarian alternatives," and BANMUJER.

Now there is definite friction between the poor and the middle and upper classes in Venezuela. The hard-line reformists/Communista Crazies vs. moderate to right-wing workers, doctors, and business tycoons. It escalated to a failed coup.

Venezuela is funding two societal systems, the old version and the new Bolivarian alternative, with big oil revenues. Not something very reliable given the world market and inherent foreign dependence. I would like to see a unification of policy and class compromise.

Foreign capital can both be beneficial and predatory. It's a dangerous game with no perfectly good answer.

As far as worldview is concerned, I would say I lean towards the side of masses, and maybe even trust them. Definitely contrary to the "tough world," fearful, or suspicious mentality. I mean, it's sort of a leap of faith, but I would rather err on the good side in humanity than on the bad.
---------

Comment #118 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 1:33 PM

OK I agree. Let's get back to work. I've tried to fix my comment so the spam filter doesn't pick it up, but to no avail. I am hoping a moderator eventually reviews them or something, and posts one.

Until then, good luck with work or working out.

Comment #119 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 1:36 PM


#106 Harri.

Let me give you a scenario and then tell me if this is a definition of equal oppurtunity.

An African America or an Asian person has a higher chance of getting into UC Davis than a white person; even if the white person is more qualified. That I experienced on my own skin as did other friends of mine. Equal oppurtunity? Yeah right. And that is only an example of the many. Please don't feed me the line that they are minorities because in California we know damn well white people are minorities.

And for the record I am not mad at the races I am mad at the system.

Comment #120 - Posted by: Nick C. at July 3, 2007 1:59 PM

Here ya go guys, Happy 4th.

http://www.keepingapace.com/blogarchives/sports/baseballs_greatest_play.php

Comment #121 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 3, 2007 2:07 PM

Can't get enough of that one, Joey. Thanks...

Comment #122 - Posted by: bingo at July 3, 2007 2:50 PM

#118, Nick C,

"An African America or an Asian person has a higher chance of getting into UC Davis than a white person; even if the white person is more qualified. That I experienced on my own skin as did other friends of mine. Equal oppurtunity?"

If your point is that reverse discrimination is still discrimination, I completely agree.

Comment #123 - Posted by: Hari at July 3, 2007 3:00 PM

I agree, but it's a different order of magnitude.

Comment #124 - Posted by: Ben M at July 3, 2007 3:25 PM

Ben,

"I agree, but it's a different order of magnitude."

Why?

Comment #125 - Posted by: Hari at July 3, 2007 3:37 PM

That was a beautiful play. Thanks CCTJOEY.

What I want to know is, who were those guys trying to burn the flag and why?

Comment #126 - Posted by: Nick C. at July 3, 2007 5:17 PM

Nick C,

"What I want to know is, who were those guys trying to burn the flag and why?"

Does it matter why?

In the seminal case on Flag Burning, Texas v. Johnson, Justice Stevens, dissenting from the majority opinion upholding flag burning as free speech, wrote the following:

"It seems obvious that a prohibition against the desecration of a gravesite is content neutral even if it denies some protesters the right to make a symbolic statement by extinguishing the flame in Arlington Cemetery where John F. Kennedy is buried while permitting others to salute the flame by bowing their heads. Few would doubt that a protester who extinguishes the flame has desecrated the gravesite, regardless of whether he prefaces that act with a speech explaining that his purpose is to express deep admiration or unmitigated scorn for the late President. Likewise, few would claim that the protester who bows his head has desecrated the gravesite, even if he makes clear that his purpose is to show disrespect. In such a case, as in a flag burning case, the prohibition against desecration has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the message that the symbolic speech is intended to convey."

Comment #127 - Posted by: Hari at July 3, 2007 5:41 PM

Ofcourse it matters. It is like having a book with 20 chapters and you only read one chapter. It would be good to know for many reasons. Who? -Maybe those people represented a country or a group that have a plan to act even further than just buring the United States flag. Getting to know who and why can help other people stop people who are willing to do the same; maybe they were mislead. You can't just ignore the why? and the who? because it could actually be part of something bigger.

Comment #128 - Posted by: Nick C. at July 3, 2007 6:29 PM

I have to salute Ben's crossfit like determination - reminds me of 'damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.'

From my limited perspective, Ben, your style of discourse is not impressive but your sheer gumption is admirable.

As a bonus, your comments got under my skin enough to force me to try and write down some stuff that it was good for me to write. It's one thing to think one understands, another for one to learn how to offer an understanding in a concise, useful way, it's a good drill.

Until the next time.

Comment #129 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie at July 3, 2007 10:44 PM

To the moderator:
I again have no idea why my post, or even half of it, is being spam-filtered. Please accept this as the final version of this post. Thanks.
------------------------------------------

Hari,
I would say being arbitrarily thrown in solitary confinement trumps not getting accepted to a particular college.
(safe)
http://aa-peacemaking.quaker.org/haddad.html

Plus, I believe Latinos have a 4 times higher dropout rate than their white counterparts, and 2 times that of blacks. Are blacks and Latinos just not suited for education? Does black or Latino culture clash with learning in the United States? Why is there a giant disparity between blacks, Latinos, and whites in imprisonment? I think the answer is sociological disparities, e.g. opportunity, and dare I say regular discrimination.

This might not be so direct as "Hey, let's jail that black guy" (although it's not like it hasn't ever happened), but the whole social context that a significant number of minorities are subdued to is less than equal.

I have the notion that people believe that the US is at cultural war, against Islamic fundamentalism, and I guess against "immigrant culture." In the same way that the 1978 Iranian Revolution is misconstrued as a cultural revolution, I believe the discontent of "the others" comes from real-world disparities. Of course, attacking their identities doesn't exactly help things.
More compactly:
Socio-economic-political problems -> Perceived as cultural affront -> Cultural response generates real-world negative impacts like laws.

I don't think the appropriate response is fear. I am not calling anyone a scaredy-cat, but I would say that fear-mongering by those above has created and framed the cultural debate.

Comment #130 - Posted by: Ben M at July 3, 2007 11:11 PM

"another for one to learn how to offer an understanding in a concise, useful way, it's a good drill."

So basically I suck at writing. I knew that. Maybe I could write you guys a term paper, and review it and stuff, and actually make it readable. Until then, I will work on the clarity.

Swabbie, thanks for the respect, and right back at you. I would say the benefit of this kind of discourse is although we might not "solve" anything, at least we consolidate our thoughts and maybe even read up on what's going on.

p.s. I tried to make another post, but it got spam-filtered. Maybe my writing is too convoluted, haha!

Comment #131 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 3, 2007 11:18 PM

Ben, the problem with your view of victim-hood, is that it is misplaced.

The true victims are the American taxpayers and those 1000's whose identities are stolen every year so these poor, picked on 'immigrants' can exist in this country.

The law abiding citizens are the recipients of liberal 'justice'. You know, "do the right thing and shut up now while we harvest fresh voters on your back".

Comment #132 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 4, 2007 5:24 AM

OK, so give identities to immigrants and tax them. I think we will be hard-pressed to force 12 million illegals out of the country. Plus, I think the political, social, and economic ramifications for doing so won't be good. I think that route would cause more harm to both the US and the illegals.

Comment #133 - Posted by: Ben M at July 4, 2007 11:21 AM

How about instead of giving them more, they earn it.

Comment #134 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 4, 2007 11:32 AM

They are getting that "more" anyway: showing up in the ER at hospitals, driving w/o a license (or maybe even stealing IDs I suppose), receiving other benefits, etc.

I hold the position that some provisions are necessary for the underprivileged, like healthcare. The opposing view is that the poor should "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." I would argue the possibility of bootstrap-pulling is close to nil. Counter-examples, while really impressive and deserving of high praise, are very low in number, like statistically insignificant. Especially so for minorities. Upward mobility, while it does occur, is mostly impossible.

Either way, a welfare state that lacks revenue is bound to fail. That's the immigration troubles in Sweden as far as I know them.
So, we can boot those immigrants, or we can get them into the system so they can give back. I vote the latter.

Comment #135 - Posted by: Ben M at July 4, 2007 12:36 PM

Missed sunday, so we got creative

100 spare tire shoulder press (70#)
100 pushups

15 minutes, ish

Comment #136 - Posted by: Kfeldt at July 4, 2007 2:16 PM

Ben,

I second Apolloswabbie. Your intellectual determination is impressive, though poorly focused. You seem to be genuinely interested in developing your arguments. If so, it will be a pleasure to help.

Try rewriting either of the following in the form of a clearly developed statement or question, one that invites an equally clear response:

"I would say being arbitrarily thrown in solitary confinement trumps not getting accepted to a particular college."

"More compactly: Socio-economic-political problems -> Perceived as cultural affront -> Cultural response generates real-world negative impacts like laws."

Comment #137 - Posted by: Hari at July 4, 2007 3:08 PM

like, re-post those? Or just for my own benefit?

BTW, I realize my last post might not directly answer you, CCTJoey. Perhaps you would like the immigrants to earn citizenship as well, not just the benefits of citizenship.

In that case, I would recommend putting immigrants (illegals included) on a path to citizenship. Not a blank-check version of amnesty or a Z-visa with no oversight. Rather, a thorough but timely process that leads to citizenship for those who "pass," and something else for those who "fail."

Comment #138 - Posted by: Ben M at July 4, 2007 5:19 PM

What do you know, we have that now. We just need to enforce it.

Ben, the problem is you are arguing a 'this would be nice' proposition. Unfortunately, you appear to be misinformed about what the law is and what a few Senators tried to shot gun through the Senate.

you wrote "I would recommend putting immigrants (illegals included) on a path to citizenship. Not a blank-check version of amnesty or a Z-visa with no oversight. Rather, a thorough but timely process that leads to citizenship for those who "pass," and something else for those who "fail."".

That IS amnesty my friend. That is the problem.

We have done this before in 1986 for what was supposed to be just 1.3-1.6 million illegals. Clarify, it was supposed to be a ONE time thing. It became a 3 million illegals that applied and were granted citizenship.

Now if we did the same to 12 million, which many think is actually 20 million, what do you think would happen?

Since you do not understand, I will spell it out.

Even more would push over the border and wait for the next time we did a "one" time amnesty. Then as they grow asa amovement with rights to vote we will sse whole regions cities and regions that will become more interested in "reconquista" than the current law of the land. I am kidding, since that has already happened.

What we hold dear is based off of borders, language, and culture. There are those coming here that you want to legalize that do not respect nor care about any of those truths. I hope you are more careful about who you let into your home than you are about our country.

I suggest you look up:

Reconquista movement
Illegal Alien
Guest Worker
Undocumented American
Undocumented Worker
Z-Visa
Amnesty
Identification fraud
social security number

Comment #139 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 4, 2007 6:26 PM

Mexico doesn't "work" because it fails to properly protect property rights, and reward entrepreneurship. Most businesses there belong to families who keep them, and the support of new business is next to nil, as far as I can tell. We likely create more businesses in a day than they create in most years.

Given this, their citizens want to come here to work for peanuts on the dollar because it is better than what they have back home. This is not intrinsically bad until we consider that they also want the right to never learn English, never interact with people who speak English, and raise their children to never speak English. They want to act as if they were still in Mexico, just with rational economic policies.

This doesn't play in Peoria. It is a stupid, and self absorbed, culturally solipsisitc policy, that we should not, and cannot accept.

If America stops being "America", a lot of bad things will happen in the world, that will impoverish further people already poor, and bring war to nations where there is currently peace.

Comment #140 - Posted by: Barry cooper at July 4, 2007 6:49 PM

what's "America?"

Comment #141 - Posted by: Ben M at July 5, 2007 12:03 AM

The home of the free, and the land of the brave. That's an easy one.

This depends on our continued strength, and our continued strength depends on rational social policies. The "melting pot" has always worked for us. It makes sense from every possible perspective, except that of selfish people who want to use our system for their own ends. It doesn't work that way. Work for and support the common good or leave. Pretending that English is not our language, or Anglo-Saxon moral philosophy the basis for our common law and system of government is ignorant, unhelpful, and contrary to our own interest in every way.

In should be remembered that many of the people arguing for the multicultural fragmentation of our nation also want us to fail. They view us as a hegemonic power that needs to be trashed. What they want to substitute, I don't know. I don't think they have thought that far ahead. Something along the lines of what is described in the political travel brochures for the various People's Paradises that exist in various places, presumably. That those places don't actually exist anywhere in forms conformable to the florid prose used to describe them apparently has escaped their attention.

Comment #142 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 5, 2007 4:03 AM

Well Ben, if you knew "what is America" we would not be having this discussion.

You know, I am a Sociologist. You are exactly the type of person that the program I went through tried to create.

You can make a weak attempt to somehow make a philosophical stand with Barry and I. I will tell you that is a bad move. That kind of comment might elicit a response, out of kindness, but don't think that either of us want to play that game. You are simply out classed.

How about 'What if our brains were actually in a vat?'

or
'What is the universe? What if there were universes in my toe nail, would I be God?'

or 'what are fences? Why do we need them?'

You are a Meatstick, who wants to take this discussion to a level of discourse that I know all to well. Good luck existing in your made up eutopia. Come back when you've been mugged.

I am done with your sillyness.

Comment #143 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 5, 2007 5:53 AM

Ben, what is the "Universe"?

Comment #144 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 5, 2007 7:28 AM

Make that: "the land of the free, and the home of the brave. . . and one moron"

Comment #145 - Posted by: barry cooper at July 5, 2007 7:43 AM

what about "the salad bowl"
where different veggies keep their own flavor but contribute to the overall mix.

I never knew that morality had a race attached to it.

Comment #146 - Posted by: Ben M at July 5, 2007 8:11 AM

Ben,

"I never knew that morality had a race attached to it."

What prompted this statement?

Comment #147 - Posted by: Hari at July 5, 2007 9:08 AM

Let me put it this way: if we someday elect a Japanese-American woman to the White House, I expect her to govern in concordance with the same moral philosophy upon which our nation was founded. In the real world, ideas come from somewhere, and some of them are better than others. There are no cultures out there which do not have moral codes, but some of them are better than others. Communism doesn't work well, but our tradition is particularly good, and there is no valid reason to disrespect or even consider discarding it.

The notion of multiculturalism which you are apparently implicitly referencing is a culture with no culture. It is a box with nothing in it. No one believes anything, except that other people can believe what they want. Because it is intellectually bankrupt, it is incoherent, like most of the points you are trying to make.

Comment #148 - Posted by: barry cooper at July 5, 2007 9:59 AM

"another for one to learn how to offer an understanding in a concise, useful way, it's a good drill."

"So basically I suck at writing. I knew that. Maybe I could write you guys a term paper, and review it and stuff, and actually make it readable. Until then, I will work on the clarity."

--Just a quick clarification; I wasn't commenting on your writing ability, I was noting that even when what I'm writing doesn't register (based on your response), it's still worth doing.

If you were going to clarify or focus your advocacy, it would be valuable to identify a basis for that advocacy. In other words, you are suggesting in your posts many uses of govt power. Some questions - to what end? From what authority does the use of coercive government power derive? What consideration should be given to the rights of free men and the conflict between those rights and use of govt coercion?

I can answer all of these questions as a basis of what I advocate wrt govt policies. If you desire to be more convincing, I suggest you should be able to do the same.

'salad bowl' - doesn't work for me. In a salad bowl the proportions are carefully chosen and cut/sliced/arranged for a variety of flavor/aesthetic benefits. In the real world, govts are not competent to make such choices. In terms of best outcomes, govts have a miserable track record, which impacts the statistics you cite in an earlier post ("#131 - Plus, I believe Latinos have a 4 times higher dropout rate ...). Your comment that mixed economies vice free market economies are predominant is correct - but a slightly deeper analysis shows that there is a direct correlation between economic liberty and national standard of living measures (one conclusion; less govt intervention equals better living conditions).

" welfare state that lacks revenue is bound to fail"
--A more relevant question is 'can any welfare state succeed?' States with the largest amount of remittance are performing miserably. The 'welfare state' in the US is re-proving what the Europeans have proved the last 50+ years - socialist math only works with a rapidly expanding population base (which is frankly unsustainable in itself) or a miserably low life expectancy (http://www.reason.com/news/show/33915.html).

Nearly every problem you have identified in the series of posts made above can be traced back to unintended consequences of govt intervention. Virtually every effort the govt has made to solve the problems you are identifying has made those problems worse. That's my frame of reference, and I can lay it out for anyone's that's genuinely interested in understanding that perspective (which is entirely different than believing that perspective).

"I never knew morality had a race attached to it."
--That's trite and beneath the quality of your earlier posts. Not that I'm suggesting you should care about my appraisals of such things.

Aswab out

Comment #149 - Posted by: Apolloswabbie at July 5, 2007 11:39 AM

Ben, what about Gumbo?

Comment #150 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 5, 2007 11:57 AM

Aswab,
I can understand that you believe government intervention is bad. There are a lot of people that do in this country. That idea has been gathering steam since the 70s.

I would say there are some things that the government does well, or has the opportunity to do well. Those same things have no place in the private sector.

I think part of the argument is the efficiency latent in capitalism. The government has no prerogative compared to the individual/business out to succeed. Unfortunately, I don't believe everything can be solved by capitalist efficiency. Here's a couple examples:

Let's pretend for a moment that global warming is real. Left to the private sector, there would not be a change of course until there was a consumer demand to do so, i.e. gas rises to $10 a gallon or something. If the vast majority of scientists' hunch is correct, we will be already screwed by that point.

Could you imagine a private military, fire department, or police? If the fire department arrived at a burning house, and then decided to put the fire out or not based on the bottom line?

Arguably, the same applies to health care. How can you have insurance companies making moral decisions about whether to treat someone in the ER based on profit? The interest of HMO's is to not pay out in order to turn a profit. They are obligated to turn as much profit as possible, as private corporations, by law. And that privatization of health care is in direct conflict with improving people's health.

Additionally, the red-tape, bureacracy, and overhead required by HMOs is 30%. 30% of their gross incomes goes towards filling out forms. Now if it's that bad, we KNOW the government must be worse. It's the government right?

Actually, the overhead of the state-run healthcare system in Canada is 1.7%. I think the U.S. mail system operates on 3% overhead. The total "waste" of the U.S. government is around 7%, which is on par with the most efficient corporations around.

Comment #151 - Posted by: Ben M at July 5, 2007 12:57 PM

Ben,

Those are interesting statistics. Where did you get them? How are they defining overhead? 1.7% of the net revenue taken in by the system? Have you ever run a business? If so, does that sound plausible to you?

Was there an estimate on the number of operable cancers rendered inoperable by delays in getting the patients on the table?

A good study was recently conducted in the Midwest showing that most statistics are made up on the spot. 87.2%, in fact.

Comment #152 - Posted by: barry cooperb at July 5, 2007 1:06 PM

whoops, I double-checked and I messed up a little.

Overhead for private healthcare is up to 30%, like 25-30%.

The U.S. program running on 3% overhead isn't the mail, it's actually the more direct comparison: Medicare and Medicaid.

While you might not like it, these stats come from Michael Moore. A highly politicized guy to be sure. So, while it isn't the peer-reviewed journal I would like to cite, I bet those numbers are within the ballpark.

FWIW 73% of all statistics are made up. This was a front page article in... The Onion. If you are arguing for something, 73 is the mostly likely made-up number. 37 for the opposite. People tend to choose made up numbers that are odd. FW

Comment #153 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 5, 2007 1:22 PM

This is growing sad. I have no hope for this one. He really wants the world to be different than it is. Unfortunately, he is a victim of his own statistics.

Example, of course the post office does not have a high overhead. It does not pay taxes or rent. Yet amazingly inefficient.

Healthcare. Are you serious? Of course the government can run it at a lower overhead for the same reasons. Plus, if your average Beaurocrat in the DMV or the post office was in charge of "deciding" on health care decisions we would have the mess that Canada has. HMO's have a vested interst in not going overboard in bad service. The government just eliminates the competition.

Comment #154 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 5, 2007 1:28 PM

"bad service"
like an HMO denying coverage for a pancreas transplant, but OKing a kidney transplant. In the same guy. Of course, the kidney is sort of useless without the pancreas.

Here's sort of a fact check on Michael Moore:
http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2007/jul/03/how-well-does-sicko-stand-up-to-facts/

"'SiCKO' got a lot of the little things wrong. But it got most of the big things right."

Comment #155 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 5, 2007 1:44 PM

Ben,

You seem to lack even rudimentary knowledge of business. Like Michael Moore. According to most definitions, overhead is the combination of all costs which get applied as debits to my gross profit.

You subtract overhead from Gross Profit to yield Net profit. If I sell someone something for $1.00 that costs me $.50, then I have $.50 gross profit. However, my fixed operating expenses--my overhead--is $2,000/month. This means I need to sell 4,000 of these things to break even. After I break even, I get to keep what I make over and above that. Often, in order to make my top line better--how much I sell--I have to invest in my operational infrastructure, which means increasing my overhead. This could be widget presses, a new building, more or better employees.

If you are claiming that someone out there has operational overhead of 1.7%, then you have no clue whatsoever. None. This would mean they were netting 98.3% net profit, which is farcical.

Now, they may be claiming that only 1.7% of the money flowing out--the money they spend--goes to people who support the process of administration, but that is a number that is so easy to cook it isn't funny. It gets into the process of job title, classification, and what people actually do. For example, they may not be hiring clerical people because they are forcing the paperwork problem on to nurses, who being multi-functional get classifed outside of the 1.7%, but actually belong there. Something like that is almost certainly happening.

It also avoids entirely the question of how efficiently, within the context of that expenditure, the system is running. You can engineer a really cheap system that doesn't work. That isn't hard to do. What's hard is being efficient, and no one has documented that per dollar spent our system doesn't deliver more value than competing systems.

We are also suffering from extensive government regulation of the insurance industries. If companies could sell insurance easily to individuals in all markets, then we would see increased competition and price efficiencies. Perhaps we could even back the insurance companies with something like the FDIC, enabling somewhat higher risk profiles, although that could also lead to an S&L/subprime loan type of problem. There are many ways to skin this cat, though, that are smart, and just as many ways to be dumb.

Comment #156 - Posted by: barry cooper at July 5, 2007 2:00 PM

To the moderator:
although I realize my comments filtered in the past have not been posted, I am hopeful they will be eventually. I again cannot find anything wrong with this comment. Please post this as the 'final version.' Thanks.
------------------------------

Barry,
thanks for the business 101, I could use it.
I think the problem is that HMOs have more incentive for whatever reason to reduce payout than improve service and bring in more insurers for profit. I am not an expert, but I think the current system drives this. Will reduced regulation fix the problem? Maybe. I think it won't, because it seems like medicine falls under the same social service category as providing a police force.
And I don't mean that in some theoretical sense of splitting up categories. I mean like the latent motivations affecting how these categories of business are conducted. Should a doc be thinking "how can I make the most money out of this patient" when someone is wheeled into the ER?


To return to the culture thing, I came up with a weird analogy. What if America is like Crossfit. Both have historically-based foundations (like Coach and Olympic weightlifting). But can't you apply the Crossfit mentality to a wide variety of movements? Can't you hold the same goals in mind, with the same style of methodology?

I mean, would Crossfit be so steadfast as to not adapt protocols as sport science progressed? To stick with "tradition," like so many bodybuilders do? I don't think so.

I feel that the principles that underpin our nation are fantastic: democracy, freedom, individual rights, etc. (but maybe not infalliable). However, the way we approach those need not be forever rooted in a particular cultural viewpoint.

To stretch the language a bit, the "culture of America" is greater than just its Judeo-Christian/Western European foundations. The "culture of America" is greater than any one national, racial, ethnic, or historical culture. It is all-encompassing and hopefully inclusive and accepting.

Comment #157 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 5, 2007 3:15 PM

wow cool that actually worked!

Comment #158 - Posted by: Ben Moskowitz at July 5, 2007 3:15 PM

'It is all-encompassing and hopefully inclusive and accepting.'

Ben that is the problem and what we have bben talking about. They (the immigrants which are being cited) do not want to be inclusive or accepting of OUR culture. Yes, we do have one.

Comment #159 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 5, 2007 3:46 PM

the point I was trying to make is that "American culture" is above and beyond "culture" culture.

Comment #160 - Posted by: Ben M at July 5, 2007 4:18 PM

Our culture is all-encompassing because it is based on Western European notions developed in the Enlightenment, like the notion of universal and inalienable rights. The Chinese have no equivalent notion, and so if you lived there you would not be able to take the "all encompassing" nature of your nations with such flippant disregard to how it came about, and what sustains it.

In fact, if you study history, you will find that the "all encompassing" nature of our freedoms and rights is unique. Nowhere else in global history--outside of Western Europe and nations deriving from their cultural heritage--have fundamental notions of human rights been enshrined into a political Constitution and combined with Democratic processes of governance. And I believe our Bill of Rights is unique even within that group.

Look at Africa before it was colonized. America before it was colonized. Australia before it was colonized. None of that was there. They fought each other incessantly, and only group membership mattered. It was literal tribalism. Is that what you want to bring back? In what respect would that lead to a more just world?

With respect to medical care, I thought about it, and it seems to me there are a couple of basic issues. One, doctors pass along to their patients the inordinate cost of malpractice insurance. This insurance is made necessary by the nature of our system, in which as human beings doctors make mistakes, then get sued.

This basic process typically goes into a calculus of the cost of fighting an allegation, versus paying out. Most of the time, paying out is cheaper, even if the case is bogus. Money flows out, premiums go up. Premiums go up, doctor bills go up.

This has to be substantially mitigated. Tort Reform based on the obvious facts that all humans err, and that no doctors out there are trying to kill people (obviously, if they are, then criminal charges come into play). Mistakes happen, they are tragic, but these massive lawsuits have got to end.

Second, the threat of lawsuits comes into play as well in that doctors do more tests than are really necessary, and insurance carriers pay for more tests than are really necessary, so as to prevent lawsuits. This costs an inordinate amount of money, and would in no respect be addressed by socialized medicine outside of tort reform.

Third, we need to remember that medical care is a product, no different in kind than legal advice, or car repair. There is no reason to expect anybody to offer anything for free on an ongoing basis. Many doctors run free clinics. This is admirable, but somebody has to pay even for those.

Asking doctors to not make money, to ignore the "profit" motive, is stealing from them. They work long and hard to get where they are, and they deserve what they get. Taking medical care is no different in principle than taking land. If it's not yours, don't take it.

Four, we expect to pay for car repairs, so we should expect to pay for medical care. It used to be like this until FDR got socialism into this country, to our detriment.

When I had my $5,000 deductible, I wrote a check when I got served. It's very simple: they give me something, I give them something. With a $5,000 deductible people don't feel the need to constantly be getting this that and the other. It comes out of their pocket so they make no excessive demands on the system.

But if somebody gets really sick, the $5,000 is a very nice thing. Cancer is paid for, mostly.

Thus, an obvious solution to me is to deregulate insurance so that all the carriers can offer one on one insurance to individuals, families, and any other entity desiring coverage. We create a system where the deductible can be put in the bank, tax free, over any period. If I want to put $5,000 in tomorrow, then I can. If I want to do it at $10/paycheck, I can do that too.

We could create $10,000 and $20,000 deductible that would cost next to nothing. We could let poor people divert taxes to their insurance premiums.

We need to remember, that if I'm poor, and I want medical care, I am demanding a service that costs something. If I don't want to or can't pay what it is worth, then I am demanding charity. Nothing more, nothing less.

People seem to think that if they have insurance that somehow the bill goes away. If the government pays the check, that the bill wasn't what it was. That somehow a service has magically been rendered at no cost. This is patent nonsense.

The reason I got the $5,000 deductible is my company was billing me $600/month for coverage that I rarely used. I realized that even if I paid the $70 or so doctors bill every month, I was still ahead paying $150 for the higher deductible. It put more money in my pocket.

Anybody that thinks their medical coverage is not being in effect deducted from their paycheck--whether visible or not--is smoking crack. It's income that you rarely see.

Bottom line: tort reform, prices go down. Prices go down, individual programs, high deductibles, insurance affordable. Insurance affordable, more insured. Very poor still covered just like they are now. Nobody except the very poor are asking for something for nothing.

Comment #161 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at July 5, 2007 4:19 PM

Ben, if it is, then it is for a reason, and open borders and rewarding criminal behavior is not it.

Comment #162 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at July 5, 2007 4:29 PM

"freedoms and rights is unique"

to which I say:

"Primitive Democracy in Ancient Mesopotamia"
Thorkild Jacobsen
Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Jul., 1943), pp. 159-172

There was a definite role of "the assembly" in executive, judicial, and legislative affairs of the governments of Assyria, Babylonia, and the surrounding areas.


It's interesting you mention The Enlightenment because that also breeds the Western hierarchical views of the world.

Are the life a car and a life of a human really morally comparable?

Tort reform seems to make sense, as you put it. Cool. I am not sure about extraneous testing because, well, I'm not a doctor, and don't really have the knowledge to make that call.

I guess the very poor are covered, maybe. Although there are 40 million Americans uninsured, including 12 million children. It's not like a non-issue or anything. I think medical bills are the highest ranking cause of bankruptcy, or its up there. And anecdotally, it happens to the rich as well as the poor.

Comment #163 - Posted by: Ben M at July 5, 2007 11:31 PM

Ben,

"To return to the culture thing, I came up with a weird analogy. What if America is like Crossfit. Both have historically-based foundations (like Coach and Olympic weightlifting). But can't you apply the Crossfit mentality to a wide variety of movements? Can't you hold the same goals in mind, with the same style of methodology?

I mean, would Crossfit be so steadfast as to not adapt protocols as sport science progressed? To stick with 'tradition,' like so many bodybuilders do? I don't think so."

Would it make sense for a group of people to enter a CrossFit facility without joining and then go off in the corner and work on an eliptical trainer, all the while complaining that they are not getting the full benefit of the CrossFit program?

Comment #164 - Posted by: Hari at July 6, 2007 9:42 AM

That's a good analogy, if you assume immigrant culture is inherently "lesser" than ours.

I would call Mexican/Chinese/whoever culture akin to say... MMA or something. So we've got these MMA fighters doing their own thing, training hard, but seperately. Rather than chastize the MMA fighters for not doing the WOD, why don't we collaborate and come up with CrossPit?

The seperatist, isolationist mentality is a reaction from both sides. Us and them feel threatened in jobs, culture, and politics. Can we make the first positive move?

Comment #165 - Posted by: Ben M at July 6, 2007 1:16 PM

Ben,

Why doesn't your school, Dartmouth, simply admit anyone who wants to show up and study hard? Does it consider people who want to study subjects of their own choosing and in their own way to be inferior? Does Dartmouth consider people with 1000 SAT's or without high school diplomas to be less worthy? Why do people have to go through an application process, and how can Dartmouth deprive people of their "right" to study at any university they can sneak on to? Why does Dartmouth insist on defining a curriculum, and on teaching most courses in English? Why can't I just show up, take whatever classes I want, not hand in assignments, not pay tuition, and then be granted the same diploma as you?

Comment #166 - Posted by: Hari at July 6, 2007 1:59 PM

The US has no obligation to let anyone in besides those seeking political asylum, running from genocide, and so on.

Aside from that, it is in the economic and political interest of the US to connect employers with employees. The demand for work drives the mass migration.

Comment #167 - Posted by: Ben M at July 6, 2007 3:55 PM

It would be like a school having room for students, but arbitrarily limiting the spots available. Meanwhile, professors are saying "Hey you, study in my classroom." Why not make it official and have the students post tuition?

Comment #168 - Posted by: Ben M at July 6, 2007 3:58 PM

BEN M: For Pete's sake, make a post ONCE, and if it gets filtered, just WAIT. Posting the same thing 10 times will not help, and only gives me more to wade through, guaranteeing a MUCH SLOWER time from your frenzy of multiple attempts to my reviewing and posting.

Comment #169 - Posted by: Lynne Pitts at July 6, 2007 7:29 PM

Ben,

You've sidestepped my questions: Why does Dartmouth have admissions standards that it alone defines, and why does Dartmouth limit both class and faculty size?

Don't you find it hypocritical that you reap the benefit of belonging to such a closed elitist institution, while you simultaneously argue that the US should have no application or admissions standards?

Comment #170 - Posted by: Hari at July 6, 2007 8:37 PM

oh, Lynne, sorry about that. Although I did make a frenzy of posts a while ago that never got posted, so I thought I just had to beat the spam filter myself.
Thanks for doing the job, though!

Hari,
There you go. The US is not, and should not be an elitist institution. We are a democracy. Of, by, and for the people. Sure, we have elite systems of government in place, i.e. representatives. I see that as a result of the anti-federalist distrust of public power, which has been around for a while.

Making our country closed and elite doesn't seem to make economic, political, or social sense. Unless you fear that immigrants will steal jobs, take over the government, and erase American society. I have tried to show that these fears are at best unfounded, and at worst xenophobic.

Comment #171 - Posted by: Ben M at July 6, 2007 11:44 PM

To directly answer the questions:
because Dartmouth is an elite institution?

I thought about your analogy for a while, because in many respects it's pretty good. Except for the
"demand-pull" of the US vs. the "supply-push" of elite institutions. There's a bunch of qualified applicants dying to get into Penn, but there's big hankering for workers over in the US. Not to say that most of the immigrants are underqualified as people, or something.

I am not arguing for zero applications or admission standards. Rather, let's use them, including with the illegals. The illegals issue is a problem, and those people aren't just going to disappear. "Making them disappear" not only does economic harm, but is morally questionable because of the atrocities that would ensue.

Comment #172 - Posted by: Ben M at July 6, 2007 11:59 PM

My point is that despite the demand for seats at Dartmouth, there is still an admissions process. Of course admission to the US doesn't need to demand the same skill set as admission to Dartmouth, but there still is a process (and there are still more people who want to get in than actually get in).

You write, "I am not arguing for zero applications or admission standards. Rather, let's use them, including with the illegals."

If this is what you believe, then we're now only debating details. Most people opposed to the recent immigration bill are not opposed to legal immigration. The difference is the honoring of "standards" for immigrants, as opposed to open admissions for anyone and everyone who chooses to enter illegally.

Comment #173 - Posted by: Hari at July 7, 2007 6:02 AM
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