Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Some words in support of Bruce Rauner

 
 

     Now, now, let's be fair to Bruce Rauner.
     Given the consistent, utter indifference that the governor has shown to Illinois children, the disabled, the elderly, and anybody in the state who depends upon the government for any kind of assistance whatsoever, except of course for rich businessmen like himself, how much would we really expect him to show sympathy toward a bunch of refugees fleeing the slaughterhouse of Syria? 
     Not a lot, right?
     So we can't be too shocked to see him demanding that Syrian refugees be turned away from Illinois. 
     Yes, he does not actually have that power—none of the Republican governors across the country trying to use the Paris attacks as a pretext to slam their doors to the refugees does, on the flimsy pretext that a Syrian passport used by a refugee was found near the attack site; nobody even knows if a terrorist used it to sneak in, or seized it later. Besides, French-born citizens were also involved, yet we don't seem to be barring the French.
     A trifle, I'm sure, in Bruce Rauner's, I'm-the-boss-so-you-have-to-do-what I say world.
     "Our nation and our state have a shared history of providing safe haven for those displaced by conflict, but the news surrounding the Paris terror attacks reminds us of the all-too-real security threats facing America," someone in Rauner's office speaking for the governor said, in a statement.

     Yeah, a lousy history. American's have always heaped contempt upon immigrants in general and refugees in particular, and in this regard Rauner is only aping the public will. We hate refugees. Always have. 
     We should remember that no refugee group was enthusiastically welcomed in this country. From the Irish in the 1850s onward, they were all diseased sub-humans bringing crime and ways that could never fit into the American spirit. Ditto for the Chinese. And the Italians. And the Eastern Europeans. In the late 1930s, 83 percent of Americans -- almost as close to everybody as you could imagine -- were against changing America's draconian immigration laws to admit the Jews frantic to get out of Germany that was very public about its preparations to kill them. A bill that would have waved in 20,000 German children died in Congress.
     Why? Well, c'mon, they were Jews. Nobody wanted Jews around, and for reasons just as specious as the reasons the governor wants to slam the door on Syrians. The Jews were also seen as dangerous, not to mention oily and crafty and unattractive, with big noses and long beards and a tendency to take jobs that belonged to Americans, scarce with the Depression still winding down. In 1939, the Illinois chapter of the American Medical Association, aided by the patriots at the American Legion, pushed a bill in Springfield that would have banned immigrant doctors from practicing here until they became naturalized citizens, a process that took seven years at the time.
    We are a fearful, selfish, ungenerous people, flattering ourselves on a bigheartedness that was never true and is certainly not true now—ask the 11 million Hispanic immigrants living in permanent rightless limbo.  Or the 100 or so Syrian refugees who have been settled in Chicago the past year, a laughably small number, as is the 10,000 refugees that the United States of Flippin' America is trying to take if they can find states whose governors aren't wetting themselves in fear, which is not a certain proposition.
     And we elected Bruce Rauner, a plutocrat with nine homes and a heart the size of a gumball. Let's not get all weepy now that he acts completely true to form. Besides, one of those Syrians might end up living next to you. And you wouldn't like that. Would you?
     

81 comments:

  1. Bravo, Neil, bravo!
    Barbara Palmer

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  2. Rauner campaigned as an outsider but I think he really craves to be an insider, dreams of waking up to find himself an adopted son of the Madigans or the Strogers. And so when I heard of his statement about turning away the refugees, I thought of that simply as his ham-fisted attempt to apply a long-standing Chicago political maxim: we don't want nobody nobody sent.

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    1. Wrongo. None of those groups you mentioned blew up bldgs. or people en masse.

      For our own safety tapping of phones is needed. We have nothing to hide. See in France now they are going in and just raiding. None of that wait for a warrant bull. They take advantage of our soft spots. Some groups can't be trusted with those rights.

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    2. "For our own safety, tapping of phones is needed. We have nothing to hide." What a sad bleat of fear that is. Why, to some, is the solution of every peril to chuck our American freedoms out the window? Why worry about conquest when we're so keen to surrender?

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  3. Rauner deserves the bashing but the lesson of the Holocaust should be "never again," not "next time we'll accept more refugees." If this were the 30's most of Rauner's critics would be saying "shame on you for not taking in those 20,000 Jewish kids, but don't you dare put "boots on the ground" in Europe."

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    1. Well said, anon at 6:44.

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  4. Bruce Rauner: coward, petulant crybaby, bully.

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  5. Yeah, I guess that was fair enough.

    John

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    1. Would you like it if the Syrians lived next to you, Steinberg? Or if your family had been hurt or worse if they were visiting Paris????

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    2. Neil, this is a column that should also be in print in the newspaper. Do you happen to know of anyone who might make that happen? Just askin'.

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  7. Your assessment of the current situation and our sordid and shameful history is DEAD ON CORRECT. The way Americans have perceived themselves is in no way in line with the way things have always been in this country. Kind of a "funny mirror" effect...we are by and large the opposite of the way we see ourselves.

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    1. Ah yes, nothing like self hatred. America: so bad.

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    2. Clearly perceiving something and remarking on what's in front of you is not hatred; hatred is what individuals carry in their hearts and, because of that, tend to project everywhere they look.

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  8. Republican politicians, and those who should know better, had similar fits last year with the admittance into our country of people exposed to the ebola virus. Bozos like Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Paul LePage were demanding needless extra quarantines of aid workers returning from West Africa. President Obama came up with an ingenious plan to defuse the situation, and reassure the American people, simply hug the nurses, and shake hands with the doctors. It would be nice if the President could do something similar for the Syrian refugees. Tammy Duckworth is all for decupling the President and admit 100,000 Syrian refugees, double plus good. Senator Kirk is demanding the President provide a 100% guarantee any Syrian admitted will not turn into a terrorist. Kirk illustrates the absurdity of the precautionary principle, there is no 100% certainty in life.

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  9. Ah, if only the world knew the good things that Bruce does in his alternate identity as Ratman, after he dons his whiskery mask and cape and tail, scouring the state for unlicensed Streetwise vendors, ferreting out welfare mothers who do a little work on the side, sniffing for the scent of illegal voters. Yes, Bruce, we hardly know you.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Tell you what... I will welcome any Syrian family to live next door to me if they will have us over for dinner. Ever taste Syrian cuisine? Aw, HELLZ yeah! And my wife can return the favour and have them over for milanesa. It's a win-win!

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    1. Milanesa will be better.

      Syrian, other mid east food similar to some Greek food.

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    2. be sure they washed their hands then first

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  12. It is true that the "nation of immigrants" label we often proudly claim can be laughable. During the time of he Celtic Peril, in the 1880's a prominent historian claimed that "the nation's problems could be solved if the last Irishman shot the last negro and were hanged for it." And then, of course, the Irish turned against newer immigrants. And Blacks. My own dear mother, before she morphed into a more tolerant old age expressed concern when I briefly dated an Italian girl, the spawn of gangsters and Catholics.

    As for Jews, I don't think most Americans in the 1930's thought them particularly dangerous but a milder form of anti-Semitism was pervasive. In my own tribe, our local Jews were "lovely people," but to the family elders, who took their politics from Col. McCormack's Tribune, "international Jewry" was some kind of a threat.

    None of this is new, of course. De Tocqueville wrote "the effect of the tyranny of the majority in America is to trace a formidable circle around thought." And Madison observed " The fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defense against real, pretend or imaginary dangers from abroad."

    Tom Evans

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    1. Know of several some generations back and some not so far back who were disowned for marrying Mediterraneans.

      Why? they didn't blow up buildings or people and shout death to America? Not the same thing, is it?

      So if someone doesn't approve of certain refugees it means they are gun toters? NOT-again generalizations

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    2. Anyone here saying they approve of refugees or anyone else who blow up buildings and shout death to America? Anyone?

      TE

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    3. No, but they are being compared to the aforementioned bunch as if very similar.

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    4. No comparison, Jews are much better.

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  13. I'd happily trade some of my obnoxious, bigoted, gun toting neighbors for a few refugee families. We've worked through our church to resettle some of them over the years and they have been wonderful people.

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    1. I had that same thought -- actually, our neighbors are great, but in response to the guy who said, "Would YOU want them as neighbors?" I should have said, "Sure, I lot more than I'd want YOU...."

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    2. That's the ticket! Bringing to mind a classic "Seinfeld" episode, "The Comeback." Hey, we can't all match the erudite references provided by Mr. Evans. Pathetically, my version of a "mish-mash book" is YouTube. ; )

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwfioD-ING8

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    3. To Anon at 9:45. HOpe you converted them.

      Wonder if they'd be so helpful to you as a Christian or Jewish person if tables were turned.

      do love Seinfeld.

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    4. NS, move to the suburbs that have more Arabic population in it then.

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    5. A relative went to a top notch school-had an Arab for a roommate-very inconsiderate and no reasoning with them, just one example.

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    6. I went to a top notch blog -- had an Italian-American for a frequent commenter -- very xenophobic and no reasoning with them, just one example. ; )

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    7. Jakash - Nice! I wish I could up vote here.

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    8. The post never indicated xenophobia but was referencing a specific group.

      JP

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  14. The nice neighbor is not the one down the street who gets Tribune delivery.

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  15. I have a feeling that any Syrians who make it to this country will be keeping a very low profile.

    My favorite falafel place is run by a family of Syrian Christians (at least, that's what I assume the little crosses around their necks signify). Once I tried to ask them if it was true that Assad was defending the Christians in their country. They acted like they didn't know what I was talking about--Assad? Who's that? I think Syrians who come here will be very anxious to leave politics behind. And they should be given the chance.

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    1. Why were less people worried when Jews got attacked by Muslims in France some time back? Guess there's more concern for the Islamists then Jews.

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    2. Gotta love that extreme left-gives moderates a bad name unfortunately.

      The bleeding hearts that think they are so intellectual and anyone who disagrees is some yokel or gun lover.

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    3. It's interesting to me that accepting refugees is considered here to be a function of extreme leftiness. Which is normally correlated with nasty atheism by the right-wing commentariat. I assume that Neil, as well as a couple other supporters of the refugees here, are, indeed, agnostic. Which is not to say that there are not many religious folks that are on the same side, such as TE.

      But, it seems to be a particular segment of the religious majority in this supposedly Christian country who want to pull up the drawbridge. Ironic, it seems to me, given that the answer to WWJD? in this instance is pretty freaking clear.

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    4. Well, as you mentioned the other day, Jakash, the teachings of Jesus were on the radical side.

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    5. The teachings of Jesus only apply when they fit my point of view.

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    6. I prefer to think of WWJD as What Would Jerry Do ;)

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    7. Anon 1:57 - Jerry Garcia

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    8. oh yes, Grateful Dead, drugs and all

      Who does one vote for if they are socially conservative but politically, fiscally liberal?

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    9. So some wouldn't mind having questionable types as neighbors as long as they can eat falafel? Go to the restaurant and get it and that stuff isn't so great anyhow.


      Arancini is similar and better.

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    10. Anonymous 2:27 -- You think arancini is similar to falafel? How so? I like both, but they sure don't seem similar to me. Unless there's a rice ball I haven't tried yet. Maybe I'm missing something...

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    11. Here Sandy- and Caputo's has them too by the deli.

      http://us.wow.com/search?s_pt=aolsem&s_it=aolsem&s_chn=10&q=arangini%20italian%20rice%20balls

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    12. Thanks, Anon 7:12 pm, but I'm very familiar with arancini, I like them a lot. I just didn't see the similarity to falafel.

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    13. Some Greeks (or at least a Greek store by me) make the chick peas style patty like a rice ball at times and call it that or there are varied flavors. At least the falafel I tried wasn't that great. So there are different substitutes.

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  16. You don't get out much. Many others besides Syrians use falafel. Perhaps we can start serving halal only meals so we don't upset anyone.

    Anyway, all the big talkers on here should find a way to donate large sums to help the refugee movements or offer to sponsor a family. Contact the consulate to find out how.

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    1. Aforementioned text is for BS

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    2. Those people specifically told me they were from Syria; I get out plenty; if any Muslims are upset because other people eat non-Halal meals, it has not come to my attention; and I just contributed to Doctors Without Borders. Anything else?

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    3. They didn't want wine served at a French state dinner before the bombing etc , so others weren't suppose to drink it either. Very imposing.

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  17. Ah, yes, those are Nestorian or Coptic Mid east Christians. Like our Iraqi Christian mechanic.

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    1. same with assyrians, and not related to syrians

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    2. How about that Abboud or whatever the name of that Belgian was. Belgian born too so where are his loyalties???

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  18. Wouldn't it be prudent be extra careful with screening processes, especially with young people? The refugees themselves could help if they had any suspicions of a terrorist among them. They should know more than anyone who they are fleeing from...Here in Bolingbrook we've already experienced the power of ISIL on young people...

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    1. Well said, Sherry. I live very close to Bolingbrook and yes, recall remember the local news about the not so nice Muslim neighbor.

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  19. Hey, Neil: If you ever put a book of "Keepers" together, be sure to include this one. Beauty.

    Doug D.

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    1. more fun here when people don't agree

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  20. I think it’s premature to be judging Rauner on this issue. The full statement (according to the Trib) is: “Our nation and our state have a shared history of providing safe haven for those displaced by conflict, but the news surrounding the Paris terror attacks reminds us of the all-too-real security threats facing America. We must find a way to balance our tradition as a state welcoming of refugees while ensuring the safety and security of our citizens.”
    The security question is a valid one in my view and I’d like to see how it gets addressed and still allow these refugees into the country. On the other point of the previous history of anti immigrant sentiment in the US, I wouldn’t argue that but it also needs to be recognized that, in the long run, the US does act on its better nature. The xenophobic attitudes are at the local level and dissipate as the immigrants assimilate into the neighborhood .

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    1. "In the long run, the US does act on its better nature." What's THAT based on?

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    2. Except for Native Americans, we are a nation of immigrants, aren't we? There are currently about 40 million immigrants in the US. That to me is the bigger picture.

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    3. ISIS is making money from the tankers in their area. Bomb them more.

      Or is it that the wests meddling there for generations for oil purpose has caused this?

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  21. There's the problem right there, Stan reads the Trib.

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  22. Perhaps this article will provide some reassurance: http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21674694-america-should-reclaim-its-role-beacon-those-fleeing-persecution-and-war-yearning?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/yearningtobreathefree

    "Of the 745,000 refugees resettled since September 11th, only two Iraqis in Kentucky have been arrested on terrorist charges, for aiding al-Qaeda in Iraq."

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  23. Interesting piece in today's Washington Post amplifying on American (and other nation) indiference to the plight of German, Austrian and Czec Jews in the 1930s. Goes into a little more detail re the point made by Neil.

    Tom Evans

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  24. One should not be anti-Semitic.

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  25. In reply to your question: no I wouldn't like it- a tempermental , unreasonable bunch they are.

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  26. Hey Neil Israel has shut down any more African migrants coming into Israel. They also haven't taken in any Syrian refugees. Can you tell me why?

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    1. why is Neil responsible for Israeli policy? Do you think he agrees with whatever whoever's in power there does? Do you know that there is a tremendous range of opinion within Israel, ranging from bleeding heart liberal to maniacal eschatologists? These are rhetorical questions. Answer key: He's not. He doesn't. Probably not.
      As to why Israel doesn't take in Syrian refugees, duh, probably because the average Syrian is taught from earliest childhood to cherish the hope of killing Israelis. The countries are at war. And they do take in African refugees, as many as a tiny country can. Besides, they take in lots of Ethiopians and Indians. Everyone that has visited Israel will tell you how beautiful and brave the Ethiopians often are. But when was the last time anyone changed their minds from a discussion on the internet? Also a rhetorical question. Answer: never.

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    2. Well said, Rabbi. Wish we could see your wise words here more often.

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    3. And today a game cancelled at a German stadium? guess the terrorists will be controlling lives

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  27. Because Israel only cares about itself.

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  28. "anybody in the state who depends upon the government for any kind of assistance whatsoever"...This must mean you and your family since your wife went to go work for Mike Madigan's daughter, Lisa the Attorney General. Oh wait, you didn't know anything about that, or so you said in your "move along, nothing to see here" response to a request that you provide your readers with the details of how that employment arrangment came to be after you initially said Lisa Madigan was not qualified for the position of AG.
    Here is another question: Will the calculation of your wife's pension benefit from the state include "credit" from her time working for the City of Chicago? Did she pull one of those cute tricks?
    Bruce Rauner has given millions and millions of dollars to schools in Chicago and has fought hard for educatonal equality for all Chicago kids and families trapped in CPS. He has fought and offered an alternative to a corrupt system of city, countystate government. You and your family are up to your necks in that corrupt system.
    Sincerely,
    Fred Silver

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  29. "a heart the size of a gumball" - brilliant, absolutely brilliant

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