(Mis)Adventures in Portland and a Visit to Occupy ICE

I’ll have more to say about some of the other meetups just completed (Chicago, Green Bay, San Francisco, and Seattle), since I learned a lot at each of them. However, quite a lot happened at the Portland one, plus reader Andrew Watts showed up my tardiness by providing his own write up of the event.

The short version is my hotel reservation had been cancelled when there were literally no other rooms in Portland to be had, which led me to arrive late and considerably frazzled to the event. My fallback would have been to leave the meetup early and go to Seattle, where the hotel where I was booked for the next night had space. But readers volunteered to put me up, and my host, reader Thomas, gave me a tour of Occupy ICE.

The other important development was that Charlotte, whose husband and daughter were also there, volunteered to hold a meetup in Salem in their very large and attractive yard, in the hope of perhaps attracting readers from Eugene. Enough people in attendance said they were interested for Charlotte and her family to go ahead, probably in the early fall. So stay tuned!

Hotel Mishap

I’d thought my afternoon was going well. Plane landed on schedule. I arrived at my hotel, the Mark Spencer, with what I’d thought was enough time to check in and be able to get to the meetup without any rush or drama.


It was not a good sign when I was dropped off and discovered that there was not porter and guests were expected to haul their bags up a flight of stairs on their own to get to the lobby. I have a bad ankle sprain and a hip injury, so this was a non-starter. I managed to get someone to help me but was already in an upset.

The receptionist told me I had no reservation and the hotel was fully booked. I had originally booked for two nights, the night before and the night of the meetup, but had decided to stay an extra day in San Francisco and only one night in Portland. The Mark Spencer site did not allow for nights to be removed from an existing reservation. I thought I had called to cancel out the first night, but they obviously didn’t think so.1

So now I am really stuck.

To his credit, the receptionist refunded my no-show charge (a full night’s room charge) and spent, no joke, 35 minutes trying to find me a room. The only thing he could find that he deemed to be OK after a lot of web searching was the Holiday Inn at the airport. But he couldn’t book for same day online, he had to call a call center. He got someone not very good because it took her forever to take the information. Then she put him on hold for five minutes while the system rebooted. She came back on the line to tell him the room was gone.

The receptionist got the number for the hotel itself and called them directly. They confirmed they had no rooms.

He said my next option was a Motel Six, which he clearly regarded as skanky. I was at that point already ten minutes after the meetup start time. I schlepped my bags (this time down an elevator to a back entrance) where it took nearly ten minutes to get a taxi. I first called Kells to tell them I was the host of a group and to announce I was late due to a mess at a hotel and was en route (that apparently did not happen). I then my hotel in Seattle and Delta re going to Seattle that evening. That would work but I’d have to leave the meetup before 7:00 PM to make the flight.

The Meetup

I got to Kells after 5:30 PM (peak time traffic in Portland is slow!) and there were 35+ people there having a fine time. I dumped my bags, announced my lack of a room problem and asked if anyone had any pull with hotels. Several people offered to put me up. The most sensible option seemed to be Tom, a trim fellow in his 30s who was relatively nearby and said he and his wife had a spare bedroom. I asked if it was OK with her. He said she was an ER nurse, she was used to rolling with the unexpected.

I sat at a long table (where Charlotte from Salem was sitting and offered to host a meetup) and someone pointed out that Oregoncharles was sitting at a different table and some people wanted to know where he was. Since I knew Gaius was there too and other readers might want to track him down, I spoke up again and had everyone introduce themselves (this is not normal meetup protocol), including their handle if they commented. Not surprisingly, we had a fair representation of computer industry professionals (including two Cobol programmers), as well as people in landscaping (it seemed like architects as well as workers), professors, a lawyer, a food industry worker, teachers, an economist, and retirees (forgive me if I missed your profession).

Additions from Andrew Watts’ recap:

After that we began introductions and it was during this time I realized how many lurkers there are in the comments section. During my introduction I got some laughs when I ended it with “…and if I’ve ever offended you by one of my comments I just wanted to say I’m sorry NOW!”. The funniest and crowd-pleasing introduction was by somebody who claimed they became aware of Naked Capitalism thanks to ProporNot. The crowd skewed older and professional but there were a few other working class stiffs and there were even a few other millennials there.

One of the poignant points that Yves made to everyone before people began circulating was how things have changed. Everybody’s tempers are now on a shorter fuse. Undoubtedly this is due to recent events and the increasingly stressful environment we are living in. I was surprised to find out that Yves had spent some time growing up in an area of rural Oregon close to where I had lived and still have connections. Another instance where I discovered previously unknown connections occurred when one of the people who came to talk to me mentioned that his company was financing my employer’s expansion. I was momentarily taken aback by this knowledge as I wasn’t aware that the board had any financing.

It started to get late and I said goodbye to Yves at 8:30 PM who was still tirelessly holding court. I asked her what she thought the next crisis was going to look like while mentioning parallels to the previous financial crisis involving the yen and dollar carry trade and she said she’d probably write a post about what she thought. The short version is she doesn’t think there will necessarily be a financial crisis and an economic one instead.

Kells has a fairly diverse clientele for a downtown bar with everything ranging from hipsters and Timbers fans to older regulars. The restaurant area was louder then the bar which amusingly caused quite a few bar patrons to see what the commotion was about. Overall it was a lot of fun and I’m not the kind of person that enjoys these kind of gatherings. It was great meeting fellow commenters and lurkers alike. If you have an opportunity to attend one of these meet-ups I encourage fellow introverts to attend.

I will confirm that Kells was a very good venue. The room did get noisy but that was by virtue of it being reflective and our group being large and talkative. We had ample space and the staff was reasonably prompt with taking and delivering orders given the size of the crowd.

Tom, Helen, and the Field Trip to Occupy ICE

Tom had been in the National Guard when he was in college and then served for five years in Afghanistan. He was involved in intelligence (not Snowden-type but target identification). I don’t think he harbors any illusions about the US military.

Tom’s wife Helen went to Africa to treat Ebola. I wish I had been alert enough to figure out how to ask her about it, but the things you’d really want to know are ugly: “How many of your colleagues died? How did you handle it? Weren’t you afraid every time you treated someone who you though was infected? How did you deal with patients who were dying?”

Tom had wanted to join MSF so he and Helen could work together, but MSF (unlike the US military) won’t make postings that keep married couples together.

Tom took me to Occupy ICE on the way to his home. His wife Helen had volunteered to help in the medic’s tent and Tom knew some of the regulars.2

The encampment is at the site of the Southwest Portland U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement holding facility. One bone of contention is that ICE leases the facility from the City of Portland, and protestors have called for the city to revoke the lease. The mayor’s office has said it can’t do anything even though the protestors claim that ICE is violating the terms of the lease by holding some immigrants overnight.

My visit was in the late evening, so few people were out. However, there is a police car stationed at the intersection in front of the ICE operation, blocking an access road to a main street. The policeman on duty seemed awfully aggressive. As Tom and I walked back to his parked car, the cop yelled at an approaching car which didn’t seem about to do anything untoward, “If you turn that way [onto the access road his car was partly blocking], I’ll shoot you in the head.”

Occupy ICE took up residence about a month ago. It sought to keep lawyers and employees prosecuting deportations from getting into the building and apparently did succeed in preventing ICE workers from going home (see this Guardian story for more detail). Tom said they seemed unable to recognize the irony of their complaints that they were being kept from their families. I’m not sure I have the exact chronology, but I believe this led to the breaking up of the occupation on June 28, which included eight arrests.

After that, the two sides settled into an unfriendly co-habitation. ICE put some men toting guns on its roof to try to intimidate the protestors. I now forget the gun names, but apparently the ICE employees were displaying weapons suitable only for mass shootings, not for sniping, when ICE doing an imitation of the Vegas shooting would not be a PR winner. Occupy ICE sent drones to spy on the gunmen, and determined the weapons were not fit for the only justifiable purpose and leaning against walls. After the drone visits, ICE took its men off the roof.

There were plastic pup tents lined up near the walls of the ICE building, with more rows closer to the entrance. There were four Porta-Potties, one of which was paid for by a sympathetic group, the rest by Occupy ICE. There are 50-60 people there at night, most of them homeless. The encampment was tidy. The medics’ tent had three people staffing it, and it looked well supplied. There is also a library with about 50 books.

I noticed that the tents had extremely bright lights turned on them. Tom said that was recent and agreed with my take, that they were intended to harass the protestors.

Since my short visit, Occupy ICE attracted a counter-protest which appears to have been uneventful.

I’m dubious of both the strategy and the aims. Arab Spring revolts succeeded in the narrow sense by occupying central squares and being able to bring a great deal of official and commercial activity to a standstill. Occupy Wall Street, even though it did not have enough participants to immobilize lower Manhattan, drove the officialdom nuts by having the good fortune to have settled upon a space where the city’s rights to oust the squatters was vastly weaker than if they’d tried staying overnight in a city park. The Occupy Wall Street encampment also fronted two major traffic arteries and was hard by major subway stops. In other words, a high percentage of Wall Street workers would encounter the protests on their rounds.

By contrast, the Portland ICE occupation, and I assume most if not all of its brethren in other cities are not in central locations, and hence don’t do much in the way of reminding locals of the questionable methods of the department. And the occupation would not be difficult to clear out.

As for the objectives, here are the demands of Occupy ICE PDX:

That the ICE facility and Ice operations be removed from the city of Portland

That children separated from their families be returned and receive adequate healthcare

That the US cease incarcerating asylum seekers

That ICE be totally abolished

The last one, of abolishing ICE, is unsound. Like Brexit, it means different things to different people. Some “abolish ICE” proponents want open borders, while others want more local control over deportations and more immigrant-frienldy policies. The people who want to get rid of ICE need to say what they want in its stead. Otherwise, the Trump Administration is entirely capable of replacing it with an even more immigrant-hostile agency.

* * *

Tom and Helen went to more trouble than they needed to for me and I am very grateful for their generosity. Helen ran out and got coffee and yogurt; Tom drove me to the airport. Tom is thinking about career options. He could get a law degree but wants to advance social justice and is interested in other options. I wish I could give him guidance.

1 On the one hand, I could be hallucinating, particularly since I didn’t have a cancellation number and I usually make a point of getting them. On the other, while I was with the receptionist, another person seated behind the reception desk at a computer asked the receptionist for help with canceling out a day of an existing reservation, meaning it was clear the system made that hard to do.

2 I will probably leave readers of all sorts unhappy by saying I don’t have a clear point of view on immigration, since I don’t regard merely pointing out problems with the current system as an adequate position. You need to have remedies too, otherwise you merely create opportunities for at best cosmetic changes being touted as reforms, or worse “reforms” that make things worse for lots of people and/or create more opportunities for private sector grifting. And there’s been a death of policy proposals, let alone sound-sounding ones. Having said that, I’m not a fan of open borders. Among other things, it would increase the opportunities to abuse non-citizen migrants; by contrast, the old bracero program imposed labor standards on employers of migrant farm workers). At the same time, the handling of immigrants has become to a significant degree a profit opportunity for the prison industrial complex, which had led to unduly rough treatment of immigrants, including prolonged detentions on a questionable basis. That cans and should be made to stop.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Bugs Bunny

    To your new friend Tom: imho unless you can finance a law degree on your own or pay off the loans through another source than your work as an attorney, I don’t think it help you to advance social justice (and might do the opposite). There’s just a huge glut of lawyers in the US and not enough work for them.

    1. CenterOfGravity

      I hear that. Post 9/11 GI Bill could ostensibly cover most or all of the cost, but I am genuinely skeptical if advancing human and economic justice is something that will able to happen through legal battles given the broad reshaping of federal courts plus shifting of SCOTUS into hard conservative territory.

      At best, law degree seems like a qualifier for investigative type work that I would be good at. But once again, I’m afraid that a lot of justice work will be defending individuals rather than advancing systemic changes. Thus far, being a military officer who did intelligence work hasn’t impressed any local or state employers. Not much solidarity for vets preference among the professional class.

      1. WendyS

        I agree with the comments above, a law degree is expensive. I actually have one. I worked part-time as a prosecutor and found out it wasn’t paying the bills.

        So I ended up back on the mainframe computer, hopefully it won’t go away until I can retire.

        A law degree is okay if you have family or good friends that can help you to break into a good position and help you survive until you can support yourself.

        1. CenterOfGravity

          Sound advice. I’d never go prosecutor but public defender is an interesting if hopeless effort. After fighting in 21st century wars, might be all I’m good for: fighting unwinnable fights.

        2. CenterOfGravity

          Sound advice. I’d never go prosecutor but public defender is an interesting if hopeless effort. After fighting in 21st century wars, fighting unwinnable fights might be all I’m good for.

  2. Laughingsong

    Thanks for the write-up, and I am so sorry for your hotel issues, I am one who tends to freak out a bit when stuff like that happens. And I’m sorry to have missed it, being in Eugene. Your comment about the traffic in Portland is one of the biggest reasons I hardly go there anymore. However if Charlotte has a meetup in Salem, that’s much more doable. Hope it happens! I would still have to overcome some shyness, since I feel kinda dumb around here with all these scintillating commenters. Not sure I would add much if I am honest

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      I THINK (despite something lately routinely swallowing my comments and later regugitating them unedited) that even those such as myself with no knowledge of finance and experience only in circumscribed areas are welcome to comment as long as they follow the rules.

      It is great to have so much expertise and ability to provide context in the commentariat, and a primary goal if I understand our hosts correctly is for folks like you and me to develop our understanding and critical thinking skills.

      With such a great conversation going on, after a couple of years’ lurking, I just had to pipe up! Even though yeah, I feel kinda dumb, I have learned a lot from answers to specific questions I have posed and from links posted within comments, and it’s nice sometimes to engage with those.

      We can’t all be geniuses or have the time to do the research ourselves! I think you are selling short your worth as one of the proles around here.

      1. Ruby Furigana

        @ChiGal please tell me more about the problem you’ve seen with comments going missing. I have heard of this but never experienced it myself. Can you make it happen on demand? Any patterns you’ve noticed?

        Thanks for your thoughts regarding lurkers.

      2. laughingsong

        Thanks for that ChiGal. The high quality and intelligence (both academic and emotional) of the commentary here, along with the great posts and well-curated links means this is almost my one-stop shop. If the high quality makes me a bit nervous about commenting it’s only me, not the way folks have reacted here at all.

        Academically (and attention-span-wise) I have never been the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I have never been made to feel bad here, it’s all my own judgements — you know, “just ha[ving] to pipe up” then looking at my post and thinking “ah, I wish I hadn’t”. I do this in real life too, re-run encounters and cringe at supposed gaffs, real or imagined.

        If there is a Salem meetup I will definitely try to gird my loins and show up!. Maybe even convince Himself to come with!

  3. o4amuse

    Sorry to hear about your difficulties with the Mark Spencer, a hotel I have recommended. I found the downtown traffic lighter than I had expected for Portland, but it can be very chunky. I was pleased to have been to the meet up, but left earlyish because my mechanical ears just weren’t much use in the din. I’m afraid at the point of introductions my introvert switch tripped on and I neglected to say that when my wife, Barbara, and I got married 30 some odd years ago I fretted that I was probably too old for her but she awarded me bonus points for being an Old Berkeley Radical. No, No, I said, not an OLD radical! We were the NEW Left!

    I don’t know if there was an actual head count at Kells, but my experience with audiences led me to guesstimate around 60.

    I’m not surprised at the description of the cop “maintaining order” at the Occupy site. One of my fellow Shakespeare in the Park actors is a retired Multnomath County Sheriffs Lieutenant who once remarked that while he believed that his charge had been to protect and serve, the charge of the Portland PD was to crack skulls. I think even the Justice Department concurs.

  4. Jack

    Yves, thanks for the update and the insight to Occupy ICE. So often one does not hear the granular aspects of a current event. The Media today does not do that much in depth reporting. As far as immigration is concerned it has always been an up and down,emotionally charged subject in the US. Currently, Trump is playing to the emotions of his supporters by leading them to think that by severely limiting immigration America will be “great” once again, I assume “great” meaning a return to the 50’s, 60’s way of life. That isn’t going to happen. There is no one solution that is going to make anyone happy, but what I would suggest is this; One, for anyone and everyone here now in the US they can register and become legal. They have one year to apply (I say apply because I don’t think the system as it stands could process everyone in a year). Two, from this point forward if you enter the US illegally you are going t be deported. No asylum, no second chances. Three, suspend all legal immigration of ALL kinds for a period of years as a cool down period. This compromise addresses the wants of the hard liners by building a “wall” so to speak and the needs of the current people here (Dreamers, etc.) by letting them stay.

    1. Marshall Auerback

      You need to sort out the border issues first before you do the amnesty. What you proposed was tried in 1986. We got the amnesty, but nothing was ever done on controlling immigration flows going forward. Abolish ICE is a slogan, not a serious policy proposal. I understand the impetus behind it lies behind much of the DHS infrastructure imposed after 9/11), and profoundly sympathise with the abolition of the DHS as a whole. But the whole basis of a nation state is the ability to control its own borders, and neither party has been willing to address this at all. And you can’t have progressive programs like Medicare For All or a Job Guarantee unless you deal with the border, because otherwise it will effectively create massive incentives for further emigration to the US and the real resource constraints (as opposed to the bogus financial constraints) will become too severe to support the programs for Americans. Very much in sympathy with Yves’s comments in the footnotes here.

      1. ChrisPacific

        I agree. ‘Abolish ICE’ on its own doesn’t cut it. Do you mean abolish it and don’t replace it with anything? That amounts to not doing any physical border control, and I have difficulty imagining any country in the world that would sign up for that, let alone the USA. Or do you mean abolish it in its current dysfunctional form and replace it with something else? If so, wouldn’t that be better described as ‘reforming’ ICE? What would you replace it with, and what makes you think it will be any better than the original?

        I’m beginning to realize that the dirty secret in all this is the extent to which the USA relies on cheap foreign labour in order to subsidize its economy and living standards – remotely via imports from China and other countries, and domestically via the illegal labor market. Both parties are happy for this to continue, and differ only in their choice of scapegoat when it comes to side effects. Trump Republicans blame the immigrants themselves and want the appearance of a security crackdown, while liberals blame a carefully chosen subset of the enforcement structure and make emotional demands that will never be implemented and would likely only make things worse if they were. Neither is prepared to look in the mirror and consider their own role as enablers.

        My preferred solution would be to eliminate the grey area and combine less restrictive immigration policy with stronger enforcement. You’re either in (legally) or you’re out. Immigration policy could then be adjusted as needed to find the correct balance. This would eliminate the current divide and conquer strategy whereby illegal labor is used as a weapon to weaken the power of workers in general. However I suspect it would require a fundamental rethink of some aspects of the US economy, and that kind of thing rarely goes smoothly.

    1. Louis Fyne

      unfortunately, nuanced positions that can’t fit onto a bumper sticker aren’t popular to many people on the left or right.

      And makes boring soundbites.

  5. sparagmite

    relying on Tri-Met, so didn’t make it. there was an accident on the steel bridge that shut it down. that could partly explain the lighter-than-usual traffic mentioned above.

  6. dcblogger

    Until the Clinton administration we did not have immigrant detention centers, that is a product of the for-profit prison industry, so we could certainly abolish them. We could go back to the INS, only properly staff it so that immigration could be handled in an orderly fashion. And we could quit interfering in gov’ts south of the border, because our interference always makes everything worse.

    1. Glen

      I think you are on the right track. I do not believe that ICE or DHS make anybody safer. These organizations seem to be targeted towards keeping people scared, implementing a police state, and profiteering by the MIC.

      We would be much more effective at eliminating illegal immigration by jailing the CEOs of companies found using illegal aliens. This would force a real discussion on the “I cannot find people to do this work” problem to which my default answer would be “You are obviously not offering enough pay”. This gives rise to the “I will have to charge more” to which I say “Everybody is underpaid and needs a real raise”. Then it’s “Where would we get the money?” to which I suggest “The same place that all the overpaid CEOs are getting the money”. And so on.

      I know I’m oversimplifying any solution, but we need to change the underlying beliefs of the dialog since these are not working.

  7. Jessica

    Under current political systems, immigration is a conundrum. There is no fair and humane way to keep people out, but open borders would lead to such a flood of people that any first world country that tried it would collapse.
    Even when we achieve genuinely democratic and humane governments in the first world, i.e. governments quite different from the current ones, resolving the gap between the first world and the third world will be a difficult problem.
    To say the same thing a different way, if it were up to me and I were judging cases one by one, I would let in most folks who want to come. I have been on both sides of immigration matters in various countries and almost always felt great sympathy for the folks trying to immigrate/emigrate. On the other hand, if I were setting overall immigration numbers, I would never let in as many folks as I would approve one-by-one. Nowhere near as many.

    1. Spring Texan

      We cannot have completely open borders, but we can abandon draconian enforcement. There are not too many Mexicans to handle in the country now, by and large they benefit us. To bring them out of the shadows and able to make labor complaints would really help, and be humane to boot.

      We could definitely give amnesty to those who can prove they’ve been in the country say four years already and that would help a lot.

      We don’t need totally closed borders or everyone who gets in to be “legal.” We just need enough enforcement to have it not so open that we get floods of immigrants in unhandleable numbers. But that could be a lot more open than it is now. We could and should also accommodate many more refugees, including tens of thousands of Syrians.

      1. Spring Texan

        Reagan’s amnesty actually worked very well. It legalized a lot of people and did not lead to totally unmaneageable numbers of new immigrants. Much decried nowadays, but it was a good solution.

        No solution is the “final answer” and the demand to solve ALL problems in an immigration reform is ludicrous. Just have something that is humane and better than current.

  8. Sammy Glavney

    Also one IKEA Portland forklift driver present and lurking! Very friendly-interesting crowd, plus quite cool to meet Yves, Gaius, CraaaazyChris, OregonCharles. MAX broke down on the steel bridge, roadwork going on along I-5 and 84 juncture, so almost kind of an infrastructure shield keeping people from actually getting to Kells, but even so a lot of people showed up. Was fun to talk MMT without the usual concerned looks coming from the rest of the conversationalists.

  9. pohzzer

    I’d give a shee it one way or the other if I thought this country, or the world, had even a near term (30 years) future capable of supporting life much less a future worth living in,

    It’s going to be interesting watching it all go down though, while I’m alive and able to watch.

    Maybe I’ll come back in a million years to check it out.

  10. Janie

    Charlotte here. August 10 through 15 are unavailable, as are September 13 through 26. Any other date is fine, weekdays or weekend. Maybe 11 ish until whenever, or mid afternoon until the wee hours. There’s croquet and bocce and frisbee…and more! Also, chairs and a fire pit. Please give me a sense of what suits the most attendees.

    Yves, please give me the best way to coordinate this. You have my email, and the phone is cellular, so texts…

    I so enjoyed the meet up and would loved to stay longer. My daughter said she had a way better time than she expected, a left-handed compliment if ever there was one.

    1. Oregoncharles

      I’m pretty open, aside from a trip back East in late August and the 2nd & 4th Fridays, a regularly scheduled meeting. Mid afternoon suits me better; I’m slow in the morning, and Salem is an hour away. You have my email.

      1. Charlotte

        Looking forward to meeting you. Oh, there’s also a guitar! And a dulcimer, and a bodrhan!

  11. Brooklin Bridge

    So sorry to hear about that hotel kerfuffle – It must have been hell and then going to the meeting without any idea of where to stay. Ugg… I would have been utterly frazzled.

    Many many cheers to Tom and his wife for coming to the rescue! And applause to all for turning it around to a positive experience!

  12. Oregoncharles

    Thanks for coming to Portland, Yves, and double thanks to Tom and Helen for making her stay pleasant and productive. I’m also grateful for the update on Occupy ICE – I live in Corvallis, so I haven’t had a closeup. I would agree that the occupation became symbolic when they were no longer blocking the door. Symbolism matters, but so does visibility.

    I’ve rarely attended such a loudly cheerful gathering. I’m used to meetings that begin with introductions, so I think that part is helpful. Before that, a guy sitting next to me asked where Oregoncharles was. The fun is finding out what our mysterious fellow readers actually look and sound like – and finding out how amazingly many there are, just in the Portland area. We skew retired, for obvious reasons. That makes youngsters like Andrew Watt even more encouraging.

    As far as Abolishing ICE, I can see an argument for a drastic revamp of the institution. In one of his real offenses, Trump seems to have unleashed sadistic impulses in the entire operation. And there’s little excuse for interning everyone who comes to the border. The long-standing evidence that they can’t tell who’s a citizen only makes it worse.

    I agree with Yves that there are real economic issues with open borders, essentially the same problems that come with outsourcing to other countries. So there are major administrative capacity problems. But immigration wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for disasters in other countries driving people out as refugees. A lot of those disasters are a result of US policy, so we do have a moral obligation to those people, which we certainly aren’t meeting.

    So the progressive or left approach to immigration is to change those policies, and hopefully switch to helping build sustainable economies in the source countries. Stop ripping them off, in other words. They’re following their own resources.

    That said, there will still be disasters in the world and consequent refugees. That’s why there’s international law on the subject. Global cooking is going to make it much worse, as some areas become uninhabitable. We really do need a humane, sustainable policy on this issue.

    1. Spring Texan

      Yes, I think we need to abolish ICE and go back to the INS philosophy where it was not just all about enforcement but about naturalization also. ICE is a rogue agency and does seem sadistic. I rejoice in the calls for its abolition. Because the “installed base” of agents — while I am actually sure some are fairly good guys who are probably horrified at what’s happening — remember reading about one — well their leadership AND their union are both on the horrific, unreformable side. It was founded to be militaristic and that’s now what is needed.

      Thanks for what you say, Oregoncharies. Yes, I have long thought that one of the best tests of whether to go to war or of any foreign policy is whether the foreign policy tends to create refugees or diminish their number. That’s why the Bosnian war was the only one I’ve supported in my lifetime – that war, alone of our wars, REDUCED people being forced out of their country.

  13. djrichard

    Repeating this post from yesterday since it has relevance here. Basically third-way centrists are distancing themselves from “Abolish ICE”.

    NBC News: Sanders’ wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here’s how they plan to stop it.

    While the energy and momentum is with progressives these days — the victory of rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, buzz about Democratic Socialism and the spread of the “Abolish ICE!” movement are a few recent examples — moderates are warning that ignoring them will lead the party to disaster in the midterm elections and the 2020 presidential contest.

    Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., the chair of the New Democrat Coalition, said his side is not “naturally arbiters of emotion and anger.”

    “How we tell our story and put forward our polices in a way that makes people want to mount the barricades is one of the biggest challenges we have,” said Himes, a former Goldman Sachs banker who represents Fairfield, Connecticut.

    He pointed to calls to “Abolish ICE,” for instance, which he characterized as emotionally understandable but politically illogical.

    “It hurts us in areas where we need to win,” Himes warned of “Abolish ICE” in the midterms. “You have now made life harder for the 60 or 70 Democrats fighting in districts where we need to win if we ever want to be in the majority.”

    So what would their message be to the resistance? “Keep the faith! We’re behind you. In the case of Abolish ICE, we’re going to be so far behind you that you won’t even see us.”

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      All of this hyperventilating is just a way of pre-blaming progressives, the Bernie-bros, for the upcoming Democrat disaster to which no one but no one is to blame but they, themselves and eux-mêmes, starting with HIllary, her Salem spawn, and the DNC.

  14. CenterOfGravity

    YES. Already foaming the runway for the 2018 midterms:

    Dems Win Big = Repudiation of Trumpism and 100% validation of Russian interference mythos

    Dems Fizzle = Upstart progressives & socialist Berners alienating Comey’s great middle America

    Doesn’t matter who wins when we’re all losing.

  15. CenterOfGravity

    For eyewitness reporting from latest neoliberal democrat cult convocation, try latest Chapo Trap House episode detailing Ozy Fest 2018.

    No, not Ozzy Fest à la Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath, Ozy—the centrist media outlet you’ve never heard of named after that poem about Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. To be honest, this is another thing we would all be better off not knowing existing. But for some of us studying the enemy is not optional. Protect your psyche and proceed with caution…

    Ozy Fest 2018 HIghlight from Special Guest: Steven Pinker
    Overall technology is making things better. We shouldn’t really be concerned about things like inequality because, if you look through history, the things that have really made civilizations more equal with one another are plagues, wars, and violent revolutions. And since we don’t want those, we have to put up with inequality.

    1. David May

      The wonderful Professor Morris Berman, America’s leading cultural historian, has a few choice words regarding idiot boy Pinker:

      Isaiah Berlin taught at Harvard in the late 40s, and he was amazed at the naivete of American students, who believed that all ‘problems’ cd be solved. What wd he think now, were he alive, and teaching at Harvard, and having Pinker as a colleague, believing the same nonsense? Bottom line: Americans of whatever IQ are basically simpletons. They haven’t the slightest notion of the tragic dimension of life. Across the board, they swallow the American Dream whole, and then either can’t understand why their lives are a shit pile, or else write bks saying that things are actually quite good. What an absolute cretin Pinker is.

    2. Spring Texan

      Thanks, I sometimes enjoy Chapo Trap House — lots of energy and they are not dumb — although other times not. Will totally check this out.

      1. CenterOfGravity

        Dark comedy is one of the only protective measures for those who don’t have limitless wealth. I dig Chapo for being an authentic vocalization of the utter absurdity attacking our existence every day. Younger millennials don’t really have much living memory of a world that was at least partially sane and humane to lean on. Vulgar takes are a coping mechanism with fewer negative effects than opiates.

        Keeping it 100, Chapo also reminds now and then that doing mediadoing politics.

  16. Matt

    Regarding the increasing rates of diabetes in countries like China and Mexico. The US sugar and hyrdrogenated vegetable oil industries took a page from the tobacco industry and paid Harvard researchers to report fat is bad for health.
    I have been on a HFLCMP, high fat, low carb, less than 200 calories a day from carbs, moderate protein diet. My two A1C tests were below 6. LDL is 73. Lot of bad science out there so be careful.

Comments are closed.