Is This Supposed to Be Irony?

John Hinderaker had an article titled "THE TIMES GOES KNOW-NOTHING ON IMMIGRATION".  In it, he criticizes the New York Times' for being too supportive of open immigration.  He proceeds to point out what he believes to be serious negatives of immigration.

I won't go back to my defenses of immigration today.  But I did find his article title ironic.  Was it purposefully so?  I can't imagine that it was.  The word "Know-Nothing" is most associated in American History with the Know Nothing party, formerly the Native American party (meaning "native" white folks, not indigenous peoples).  As you might guess from the name, their main rallying cry was to limit or stop immigration -- at the time their ire was mainly aimed at the Irish.

This is obviously ironic because from historical use, it is Hinderaker that is going know-nothing, not the Times.   And further ironic because the Irish, whom the Know Nothings wanted to keep out, now are considered by most Conservatives to be part of the backbone of America that is being threatened by all these new immigrants.  Most of the arguments he uses against immigrants are virtually identical to those used, and since proven incorrect, by the Know Nothings in the 19th century.

Postscript:  The term Know-Nothing, if I remember right, came not because they were ignorant, but because they tended to be very secretive.  When asked about their party, they would answer that they know nothing (this works best for those who watched Hogan's Heroes and can say this in a sergeant Schultz voice; if you are too young for Hogan's Heroes, then imitating Ygritte in GOT is acceptable).


  1. Stan:

    Schultz and Klink were the only two Nazis I loved.

  2. Seekingfactsforsanity:

    Wouldn't it be great to have legitimate and controlled immigration like we had when the Irish were coming! Today, who knows who or why illegal immigrants are crossing the border.

  3. James:

    I don't disagree with your post, but I thought that the "indigenous" people of America actually arrived after another group of people that were already here. And really maybe there was another group before that. The last I heard, humans originated in Africa and migrated outwards from there according to extensive geneology research. I don't know, as I'm generally skeptical of most things I'm told.

  4. c_andrew:

    And both were played by actors who were victimized by the Nazis. Speaking of Irony, John Banner, who played Schultz, was imprisoned in a concentration camp, was released and managed to flee Germany before the war started. In Hollywood, his tall physique and handsome face meant that he very often played the Nazi heavy. By the time the 60's rolled around he had gained quite a bit of weight.
    Werner Klemperer, who played Klink was actually an accomplished violinist, even if his recitals on the small screen bore a close resemblance to torturing a cat. His father, Otto Klemperer, was famous conductor in his day, and targeted by the Nazis. They too managed to escape Germany and Werner said that he would only take the role of Klink if the series consistently ridiculed the Nazi Regime. I think that the producers kept their word on that one.

  5. herdgadfly:

    Coyote would have us join Obama and his policy on illegals by agreeing to permit criminals to go unpunished. I know he thinks he is being altruistic in his defense of the downtrodden - but their sub-culture was created when they crossed our border.

    Obama simply wants more Democrat voters - which adds yet another criminal charge to the long list of laws already broken by the Mexicans and Central American citizens living here without papers.

    We need to build the fence and repeal all automatic citizenship laws. Time to go back to restricted immigration enforced by rule of law. As for those millions already here? If they do not have jobs or citizenship, they have to find their way back the same way the tide flowed in. One difference, of course, is that we would not stop the retrograde.

    An oddball candidate recently suggested that Americans are reasonable. If illegal immigrants pony-up 50 Grand, they can stay in the United States - the Pay or Go policy.

  6. Dave B:

    It's even quite popular in Germany, where they dubbed it in such a way to make the Nazis more bumblingly foolish and the show more appealing to the general populace.
    Using local accents (french, austrian,...), dialects and idioms, adding more puns and removing much of the strict adherence to nazi discipline. Like Klink answering his phone not with Heil HItler but "Yeah, yeah whatever" or just randomly starting to rhyme.

  7. obloodyhell:

    Actually, it was aimed more at CATHOLICS than simply the Irish. The Irish were simply the largest target sub-group, which also included lots and lots of German Catholic immigrants, too.

    As usual, this was just the natural bigotism of any group against people "not from around here".

    And of course, your own idiotic stance pro-immigration continues to refuse to even discuss the issue I've raised multiple times, which is readily exposed by this NYT census-based infographic (note it does not include 2010 census data, but there's no reason to presume it would not follow suit):
    Click on the link.
    Run the Slider back to 1880
    In the pulldown at left, select a country -- say, "Italy"
    Now advance the slider decade by decade, noting the manner of the bubbles that appear -- which are proportional to the local, intrinsic population vs the size of the immigration.
    Run the Slider back to 1880 again
    In the pulldown at left, select a country -- say, "Poland"
    Now, again, advance the slider decade by decade, noting the manner of the bubbles that appear
    Run the Slider back to 1880 again
    In the pulldown at left, select a country -- say, "Sweden" (I've picked demos with a large, over-time influx of people to this nation)
    Now, again, advance the slider decade by decade, noting the manner of the bubbles that appear

    Note the overall size of the bubbles, and see how they compare to the local population, showing the comparative influx of people to the areas into which they have gone over time.

    Run the Slider back to 1880 again
    In the pulldown at left, THIS time, let's select "Mexico"
    Now, again, advance the slider decade by decade, noting the manner of the bubbles that appear -- through 1960, it's pretty much identical to the previous "invasions" by other countries' peoples.

    Since then, it's a whole different ball of wax.

    Q.E.D., Warren, your stance that this influx is "no different from previous ones" is absolute fucking BULLSHIT. The influx from Mexico is literally an order of magnitude greater than ANY previous influx, and it's getting WORSE every decade.

  8. obloodyhell:

    Coyote is being disingenuous, in that he refuses to address the very most important issue I've raised above -- time and time again. I know he has a general policy of not responding directly to missives, but he's TOTALLY IGNORED the rather blatantly valid issue I've raised time and again in the last five-odd years every time he brings up the issue-- because it obliterates his prime hypothesis, that this current round of resistance to immigration isn't far more reasoned and justified than previous instances to the immigrations that were relevant to building this nation. This time, it's not simply prejudice, it's blatantly out of hand.

  9. zog:

    Not all immigration is the same. Huge difference between immigration to the US from Native European peoples and immigration of people African origin. Not least on the issue of IQ. If you invite immigration of people below your mean IQ then when their genetic make up mixes with yours you get a permanent reduction in IQ. And IQ does link with national income. So, in the long run, if you want to be poorer then do what the Europeans are doing and invite a lot of lower IQ people into your country and watch the country fail as you grow old.

  10. vikingvista:

    So if the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich officiously proclaim that certain people should be assaulted, you don't even care to know why? All that matters to you is the proclaimation? I take it then that you find the "I was just following orders" defense to be perfectly acceptable.

  11. mlhouse:

    Here is the problem with "open immigration". You cannot combine open immigration with an entitlement social welfare system.

    At least in theory I am all for the free migration of labor. However, that is not what is happening. Instead many people come to the United States and are immediately signed up for the complete welfare package. The immigrant leaders in the communities are very adept at maximizing these benefits.

  12. vikingvista:

    Except from the very few who openly admit their asthetic distastes for certain groups of people, anti-migrant arguments across space and time are characterized by irony, double standards, directed mypoia, arbitrariness, and no small measure of viciousness (even if by proxy). All that incoherence often belies a cowardice for revealing true motives.

  13. vikingvista:

    Given that the economic benefits of free migration are extensive and well known (and measures to restrict migration are often inhumane to both migrants and natives), it is odd that you choose then to oppose immigration rather than either the welfare state or state welfare to immigrants.

  14. CapnRusty:

    We in the US have benefited because (until recently) we adhered to the Rule of Law, as opposed to the Rule of Men. People in countries which do not adhere to the Rule of Law suffer because of that failure. It is ironic that the first thing illegal aliens do when they come here is violate our law.

  15. mlhouse:

    Since my statement does not address the "welfare state" your conclusions are wrong because you made them without fact.

    However, I understand the politics of the welfare state. It AINT going away. I would like to see it made more efficient and even more effective. I would like to see more incentives created to make it possible for people to move off the welfare system, or avoid it all together.

    But the reality is that our welfare state is a cost of doing business. We have a large segment of people that will never become productive citizens. Modern medicine means that instead of dying of some horrible infectious disease, many of these people will live long lives. Maybe the secret would be to give them a shove, but the fact is there is not an ounce of political support for such measures.

  16. mlhouse:

    PS, I also find it quite ironic that the same people who support "Raising the Minimum Wage" are also supporting the "amnesty" of illegal immigrants who swamp the lower ends of the labor market, driving down the wages for such employees. How those two ideas go together is beyond me.

  17. vikingvista:

    "Since my statement does not address the "welfare state" your conclusions are wrong"

    So you would've made the same statement even if there were no such thing as a welfare state?

  18. vikingvista:

    No irony. In the mind of the naive min wage advocate, such wage bans prevent downward wage pressure. Of course the reality is that it bans entry level productive work, keeping generations of people (natives and immigrants) either impoverished or forcing them into the black market (usually both). And this true effect serves the sophisticated min wage advocate who seeks greater demand for government services.

    There may be some selective or transient wage suppression, just as with any dynamic market, but overemphasis of that effect shows a misunderstanding of what happens with free migration. Migration is the transportation of *economies* to more productive uses. Immigrants not only supply labor, they also demand output. And since the migration is by choice, the output of that transplanted economic activity is greater than from where it originated. It tends to be greater both because social conditions in the destination country are more conducive to their productive work, and because the mixture of economies creates many more choices for increasing productive coordination.

    The reason free migration empirically so greatly benefits economies, is because it reflects the addition and integration of growing economies into the existing native economy.

  19. skhpcola:

    You need to examine what actually constitutes "assault". Defending our sovereignty and borders ain't it.

  20. skhpcola:

    You Libertarians are an obtuse cult. Try to keep up, simp.

  21. vikingvista:

    First, notice that you've missed the point. The point in my reply, is that herdgadfly doesn't care what they have done. He cares only that politicians have proclaimed them to be disobedient (i.e. criminals). That is all he needs to know to send in the armed agents. You on the other hand rightfully do care to know what they've done, as you specifically invoke the right to self defense.

    Second, *defend* against what exactly? What specific human actions do you feel so threatened by that you feel the need to send in armed enforcers to quell your fear? Is it the mother who accepts her American daughter's live-in invitation rather than returning to her overseas home? The physics student who misses his flight back to Moscow? The young pregnant couple who strolls across open desert to join friends or family in a border town?

    One has to wonder what other types of human action you personally find threatening and requiring of defensive retaliation. A 6th grader playing hooky to attend a monster truck show? An old lady skipping evening mass to play bingo? A lodge member skipping initiation rites to pursue an extramarital fling?

    You ever consider that maybe your threshold for demanding violent action against remote strangers might be a tad bit low? That perhaps your fear of certain human activities might be bit neurotic?

  22. vikingvista:

    I must be a simp, since I can't find a single argument, question, or contextually relevant point in your brief post.

  23. skhpcola:

    You are focused on believing that being anti-illegal immigration is based on fear. It's a Libertarian straw man that is hauled out frequently when Libertarians feel the need to preen. I'm unconcerned with "remote strangers," unless they mean to do harm to my country. Illegal immigrants aren't "remote"...they are criminals invading my country. Libertarians are incapable of understanding the concept of "borders".

  24. skhpcola:

    Apply that statement to the absurd comment of yours that I replied to.

  25. vikingvista:

    "You are focused on believing that being anti-illegal immigration is based on fear."

    If you are not afraid, then what do you feel the need to defend against?

    "Illegal immigrants aren't "remote""

    A person 1000 miles from you, whose presence you will never be able to discern is not remote to you?

    "...they are criminals invading my country."

    Would that invasion be in tanks, or just armed chariots? BTW, what violent retaliation do you wish to use against those many invaders into your state from Kansas or Missouri?

    "Libertarians are incapable of understanding the concept of "borders"."

    Why don't you explain it?

  26. vikingvista:

    Again, I must be a simp, because I can't find any absurd statements among mine. Yours on the other hand...

  27. skhpcola:

    Libertarian arrogance and ignorance, on proud display. What a fucking joke.

  28. vikingvista:

    Where? Perhaps a quote would help make your cerebral point.