Illegal Hiring Discussion Continued

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Our newly emancipated friend Laura stopped in with an interesting comment in this thread, which began as follows:

I know for a fact that the last two times I hired American stonemasons neither one lasted more than a week. The first showed up at 10 am for two days, then he asked me for an advance to help him buy a car because his was broken down. Fired!


The second was an awesome stonemason but he worked a week and then ended up in jail for domestic assault. Fired!

No other Americans have applied for the job.

To which I made the following reply:

Laura, you are a hard one to decipher. Substitute any another nationality for "American" above and you have the precise formulation to get yourself publicly excoriated if not thrown in jail. In fact, I have a studiedly politically incorrect friend who just the other day made a similar observation regarding the quality of plumbing work performed by persons who might have been patrons of your former organization. But I am old school that way, and I have absolutely no problem with either my friend's generalization or yours. Because sometimes stating the truth is politically incorrect, I lean towards the truth anyway.

I am sure you would gladly allow similar blanket observations with regard to Mexicans, for instance.

And if I read you correctly, you are making the exact same type of argument guys in contracting and other trades make regarding their competitors who hire illegally.

So you seem to be a kindred spirit with some people on the "other side" of the debate from you, - except your proposed solution to illegal immigration is to simply apply a semantic trick: change the world "illegal" to "legal" for all those who have cut in line? ("comprehensive immigration reform")

You must have gotten to know SOME people who are following the legal pathway to U.S. citizenship or employment status, right? Do you honestly think it's fair to allow people who break the rules to be simply given the privileges that others have to work for? Because comprehensive immigration reform, in every form it's been proposed so far, makes those who follow the rules look like chumps.

And here is a good question that Jack used to trip Zimzo up with back in the day: Do you believe the U.S. has the right to set any limits whatsoever on how many people come into the country? If so, take the limit, the line of demarcation you consider fair - how many people are allowed in - and tell me: What do YOU say to the next million people trying to get in? What do YOU say if they just sneak in?

I would love to hear your thoughts on that question.

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46 Comments

Laura V said:

Well Joe, politically correct I am not. I recently got in a wee bit of trouble with NCLR (La Raza) over my word choices.

American to me has nothing to do with national origin, ethnicity, etc. It is a word to describe a US Citizen. In this case the two Americans happened to be white guys, but that seems to be irrelevant given that we are discussing American workers, not white American workers.

I don't care if you refer to Mexicans as Mexicans as long as they actually are Mexicans. Often, and much to their dismay, Salvadorans are reffered to as Mexicans, etc. Unfortunately there is a significant amount of Americans who, thanks to our educational system are not able to identify all of the nations that make up Central and South America and tend to refer to all Hispanics as Mexicans.

I don't think I have a solution to the problem but I do think step 1 is to better control the border because most Americans will not be able to stomach any reform until there is some assurance that we can better control who and how many enter the country. Interesting article I just recieved: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119327622488470788.html

Laura V said:

Perhaps part of your probelm in deciphering me is that you see a problem that has two sides and I see a problem that has more sides than a diamond.

Jack said:

Get over it, Laura. Do you really expect the schools to start teaching kids how to tell the difference between a Mexican and a Salvadoran? Shall we teach the distinguish characteristics between a Chinaman and a Thai, and between a Russian and a Ukrainian, too?

Laura V said:

Of course not Jack. Just some old school geography would be helpful.

The burden is then on the individual to choose how he/she describes someone.

Whether you refer to someone who is Salvadoran or Peruvian as being Mexican is not somthing I am losing sleep about anyway.

Jack said:

When the vast majority of unlawful aliens are from Mexico, as are the vast majority of legal immigrants who are hispanic, the rest of the hispanics can expect to be called Mexicans.

Laura V said:

Well, that may be true in some parts of the country but 'taint true in Northern Virginia and Loudoun. The largest amount of Hispanic Immigrants in No. VA are from El Salvador, after that Peru, and after that Mexico. Data seems to indicate that many other Latin American countries are catching up.

Jack said:

Well, I guess people in Northern Virginia just have a more national view of things, then.

When we start calling it "El Salvifornia" or "Peruvifornia," not "Mexifornia," then they can expect not to be called Mexicans.

Laura V said:

Jack, you really did bump your crown didn't you? Perhaps you should have hired a day laborer to fetch that pail of water.

Jack said:

Ah, sarcasm, the last refuge of a defeated wit.

Laura V said:

You call that defeat?

Dan said:

An odd thread, because I have blue eyes, does that mean I am a Swede ?

It is not really a matter of geography, but of common ancestry. Many Native Americans indigenous to the American southwest share many physical characteristics with those south of the border also due to this common ancestry.

We have illegals from parts of the world other than Central America. I saw a report some time back that many of the U.S. illegals are from India, and are visa overstays. Where an illegal is from does not change the degree of illegality. There is a reason our interpretation of Themis wears a blindfold.

But I dare say, that if we had 12 million Haitians as opposed to 12 million Hispanics, that many such as Laura would likely be Help Save Loudoun members...

Laura V said:

Dan - That is the one the weirdest posts I have ever read and it so compeletly off the subject and is such a twisted intrepretation of what I wrote that it is where I leave this conversation. You and Jack can talk amoungst yourselves.

Sanity said:

Yes, Jack, it would be wonderful if every American knew the difference between "a Chinaman and a Thai, and between a Russian and a Ukrainian." Most Americans can't tell the difference between someone from China or Japan for crying out loud. And we expect to be taken seriously?

In Singapore, they can tell whether you're from the U.S., Australia, or Great Britain just from the way you walk!

In this country, we don't know "jack" (pun very intended) about anyone else. If we ever opened our eyes and actually realized that there's a world out there good for something other than our exploitation, we might not be so angry and hateful.

Isn't there anything you guys care about other than God, Guns, Gays, and Gosh darn illegal immigrants? Jeez.

Dan said:

Laura,

It was not meant as a commentary limited to your post. My point was that the country of origin of an illegal is inconsequential and "from El Salvador, after that Peru, and after that Mexico", are meaningless in that context..

This is a blog which welcomes other perspectives and viewpoints isn't it ?

Jack said:

You can drop the "gay" part, inSanity. Our belief in God puts us at odd with the gay agenda, so that is redundant.

Jack said:

You can drop the "gay" part, inSanity. Our belief in God puts us at odd with the gay agenda, so that is redundant.

Dan said:

"Isn't there anything you guys care about other than God, Guns, Gays, and Gosh darn illegal immigrants? Jeez."

Actually yes, I care about our children's future, that they may have the same opportunities as I.

I care about our schools which oftentimes appear to be slipping into a chasm of liberal dogma.

I care about Global Warming, and I hope that we will get off the hysteria bandwagon and accept it as a natural event that we have no control over as I feel this hysteria only hurts the environmental cause.

I care about the environment as the outdoors is one of the great loves of my life.

I care about charity to those less fortunate then myself.

I care about the DJIA and the NASDAQ composite.

I care deeply about the freedoms and responsibilities that go along with being an American.

I even care about Laura, as she has given of herself for a valuable service to LoCo. Do we disagree on some things, certainly. Do I slam her as she has slammed me as her alter-ego prince ? Also true..

And I care about Jason Campbell's inability to complete a pass > 20 yards..


Laura V said:

Dan, this is the part you wrote that bothered me, "But I dare say, that if we had 12 million Haitians as opposed to 12 million Hispanics, that many such as Laura would likely be Help Save Loudoun members..."

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

The rest of your post just seemed off subject as no one, as far as I could tell was talking about correct identification of "illegal immigrants"

Otherwise, my heart is all a'flutter knowing that you care!

stay puft said:

Jack,

I love you, man, but what's the deal? why do you have to defend every dumb idea that pops into your head to the bitter end?

you're seriously arguing with people that it's sensible to assume that every hispanic person is Mexican because the majority of them are, or that every Asian person is Chinese because the majority are?

it's like you're fishing for someone to say you're being foolish so you can respond with, "typical liberal; always resorting to name-calling." Why don't you try fly-fishing instead? You might find it to be a more rewarding hobby.

Dan said:

Laura,

Glad to see you came back, in the past it was Laura exits stage left, prince enters stage right with sword swinging. Joe and Jack brought up the topic of illegals in their posts, that was what I was keying on, and thought that was part of this conversation. I was saying that justice should be blind to the country of origin..

What I was trying to say was that if the overwhelming majority of illegal aliens were as in my example Haitian, would the Hispanic community have the same outlook on illegal immigration?

"Otherwise, my heart is all a'flutter knowing that you care! :

Enjoy the feeling, it's the same feeling I had when you as prince (at least I hope it was you and not Ken) posted imagining me blogging in the nude. Not a pretty sight by the way, maybe 30 years ago, but not today..

Jack said:

No, puffy, I'm arguing that no-one gives a damn whether the unlawful aliens are Mexicans, Peruvians, Bolivians, or Martians. (OK, they might care if they are Martians.) If they wanted to be AMERICANS, they would have come in legally.

stay puft said:

well, that's either wrong, or overly simplistic, or both.

This has developed into such a lovely conversation since I wrote the post early this morning. What a joy to come home to! Thanks, all.

Not that I agree with over-simplification, the idea of calling what I see every day as Hispanics or Latinos (I believe either of those would fit the bill more properly) as Mexican could be somewhat due to personal experience (inductive reasoning looks at broad data, makes generalization from it, and then jumps to conclusions). In a very real sense, it is how the human mind works. At school, I attempt to make sure students know when they are doing inductive reasoning rather than deductive reasoning.
Oh, by the way, nearly all of science is based on inductive reasoning -- they observe, from that they form a hypothesis (a conjecture in math) and then repeat the experiment many time to see if it holds. Of course a single counter example proves a conjecture false, but hey, the only alternative is deductive reasoning which starts with axioms/postulates -- things taken as true without proof -- and then builds from there.
The problem is that people tend to dismiss the counter example that proves the conjecture wrong. I know that many of the students I teach at Park View are not Mexican. I don't know (definitively, other than a very few) which are illegal immigrants and which are legal, but I can tell you that I do not believe a majority of the Hispanics are Mexican (I do not believe they are a majority of any country.)
That said, I also reject the idea that people "ought" to know the nationality of others by sight or any other method. I *practice* being color blind to the nationality of the student I am speaking to at the moment (other than recognizing that some have Limited English Proficiency.) I do that as a professional exercise so that I will teach students without regard to who, what or where.

zimzo said:

Puffy on Jack:
"it's like you're fishing for someone to say you're being foolish so you can respond with, "typical liberal; always resorting to name-calling."

Brilliant. Thanks, Puffy.

By the way, Jack, "Chinaman" is considered to be an offensive term. Not that you care.

I thought "Chinaman" was like "Englishman" - pronounced "ENGLISH-munn".

Irishman. Woodsman. Infantryman. I don't hear about any of them being offended.

zimzo said:

Who knew that you would be racially insensitive, Joe?

Perhaps this will enlighten you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinaman

Jack said:

Liberals are always looking for some way to be offended.

I missed the Seinfeld controversy I guess. But you do know me by now, Zimzo, and yes I do think sensitivity can be taken too far.

zimzo said:

When it's other people being sensitive.

Kevin said:

"Oh, by the way, nearly all of science is based on inductive reasoning -- they observe, from that they form a hypothesis (a conjecture in math) and then repeat the experiment many time to see if it holds."

Actually, Brian, science is based on assuming that the "single conjecture" is true, more or less, and attempts are made to prove it false, not to see if it holds, necessarily. In fact, it's kinda a bummer to prove the null hypothesis in science and especially when it comes to judging people.

Imagine this scenario:

I decide that all conservatives are idiots. Then I decide to look for examples that will confirm to me that all conservatives are idiots (after all, I AM trying to prove my hypothesis which was based largely on my observations). Because I am human or just singleminded (remember, I'm just trying to prove conservatives are idiots) I only look for what will confirm my hypothesis.


You can't really call that science, it's more. . .bias.

(And of course I don't think all conservatives are idiots.)

Kevin said:

And don't get me wrong, I'm not one to bash qualitative analysis at all. It is in fact the inductive part of science. My buddy mocks me mercilessly for lending any credence to it (you should hear him diatribe on the lack of merit to discourse analysis).

And with that, axioms such as ["nearly all" science] are always suspect. (psst, so are axioms like "always").

MARJORIE said:

THE PHRASE "POLITICALLY CORRECT" HAS JUST INVADED EVERTHING WE DO AND SAY.

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO FREE SPREECH AND BEING DIRECT WITH WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY. NOT IN A MEAN WAY, JUST DIRECT IN SUCH A MANNER THAT THE OTHER PARTY DOES NOT HAVE DECIPER WHAT YOU MEANT.

AS FOR LAURA, I THINK SHE IS OFF BASE HERE.

I BELEIVE THAT VERY FEW TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR TRADE, AND THOSE THAT DO NOT LEAVE A BAD IMPRESSION FOR THOSE THAT DO.

I BELEIVE THE BEST WAY TO MAKE A PERSONS TRADE PROSPER IS BY WORD OF MOUTH, AND IN THIS AREA "POLITICALLY CORRECT" IS NEVER STATED.

Had Enough said:

Why is Laura hiring stonemasons to begin with?

Kevin,

Making a conjecture and looking at data to attempt to prove it false is the same as looking at the data to attempt to prove it true. It is still looking at data (inductive reasoning). Just because the motive is an attempt to find a counter examples (rather than find more data that fits the conjecture) doesn't change the activity. It is looking at data. From a pure logic perspective, it is still inductive reasoning.
For example, suppose I make a conjecture after starting with 3 and start looking at larger and larger number to find prime numbers. I note the primes appear to be odd (3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19 and so forth) so I make a conjecture that all primes are odd. Granted, this is rather simplistic, but if people look at larger and larger numbers, they will never find an even prime. Of course the conjecture is false (starting at 3 misses the only even prime, the number 2) but inductive reasoning could miss that fact -- note, I say could miss that fact, not will miss that fact.
Most of the time science gets things right. Sometimes they miss things, but inductive reasoning does have limitations.
Inductive reasoning may be the source of a lot of prejudice in the world. If the first five Frenchmen a person meets are just wonderful people, the person will for a prejudice toward the French that they are all just wonderful people (which may or may not be true). If he passes that information to others, the prejudice he has will propagate. The same is true for any other judgments we make based on what we have seen. We tend to jump to the conclusion based on incomplete data (and generally, we never have complete data ... it would be nearly impossible to know every Frenchman well enough to say they are all wonderful, even if were true).

jacob said:

Brian,
Your inductive reasoning comparison misses the the mark. In both cases we are dealing with measurement error, but it is here where I think Brian is throwing oranges into the apple cart.

In your comparison one were measuring something where the result is relatively bias free, which is usually the case for integer numbers. Kevin's example involves the measurement of human behavior writ large and that is fraught with both bias and error.

It is not simply the result of refuting a bad hypotheses, the measurement process in the case of humans is so murky that any hypothesis can supported or rejected based on the sample, where is no homogeniaty(sp?). Which is what I beleive was kevins original point.

MARJORIE said:

A FYI FOR ALL AMERICANS:PLEASE READ AN WONDER WHERE WE WENT WRONG.

Found this to be most interesting Thought you would too. HARSH, YOU SAY ??? BUT, IT'S THE LAW !!

1. There will be NO special bilingual programs in
the schools, NO special ballots for elections, and all government business will be conducted in our language.

2. Foreigners will NOT have the right to vote, no
matter how long they are here.

3. Foreigners will NEVER be able to hold political
office.

4. Foreigners will NOT be a burden to the taxpayers.
No welfare, NO food stamps, NO health care, nor any other government assistance programs.

5. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it
must be an amount equal to 40,000 times the
daily minimum wage.


6. If foreigners do come and want to buy land that
will be okay, BUT options will be restricted. You
are NOT allowed to own waterfront property. That property is reserved for citizens naturally born into
this country.

7. Foreigners may NOT protest; NO demonstrations,
NO waving a foreign flag, NO political organizing,
NO 'bad-mouthing' our president or his policies.
If you do you will be sent home.

8. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be hunted down and sent straight to jail.

Harsh, you say? ?

The above laws happen to be the immigration laws of MEXICO!!

PASS THIS ON!!!

Kevin said:

"Making a conjecture and looking at data to attempt to prove it false is the same as looking at the data to attempt to prove it true."-Brian

With all due respect I simply disagree.

And thanks, Jacob. I think. I think the typos are making it murky to me but I think you're saying what I think you're saying.

And also,

"Not that I agree with over-simplification, the idea of calling what I see every day as Hispanics or Latinos (I believe either of those would fit the bill more properly) as Mexican could be somewhat due to personal experience (inductive reasoning looks at broad data, makes generalization from it, and then jumps to conclusions)" --Brian

is entirely human behavior without the benefit of imposition of, or inclusion in, an experimental design. You cannot call that science. Well, I mean, I guess you can cause Brian did, but then we're back to my point about discourse analysis. . .

Kevin said:

And Jack, help a brother out and point out my glaring error!

Kevin, Jacob,

You missed my point from the look of it.

The bit about "that is how science works" was an aside to the post -- it had nothing to do with what I was saying was an over simplification which I disagree with, but understand how it could happen.

The part about science, in particular the use of inductive reasoning, I tend to think is well accepted. The alternative is that science would use deductive reasoning (reasoning from an unproven accepted "truth" {an axiom} to particular applications of that truth).

Jack said:

Talk about off-topic....

Well, Mathematicians use deductive reasoning for proofs, while Scientists use inductive reasoning to make hypotheses, and try to design experiments that will invalidate the hypothesis.

It is an erroneous notion that looking at data to prove a hypothesis is the same as looking at data to disprove a hypothesis. To disprove a hypothesis, only a single contrary example is necessary. Brian's prime number example is a poor one, because the definition of a prime number precludes any above two from being even.

A better example is "amicable pairs," in which s(M) = M + N = s(N), where s is the "divisor sum function." The vast majority of amicable pairs have sums that are divisible by nine, and if one makes observations of such pairs, one might come to the incorrect conclusion that all are. One would have to discover ALL such pairs to prove by inductive reasoning that there were no pairs whose sums were not divisible by nine, but only one counterexample was required to prove disprove that hypothesis. http://www.jstor.org/view/00255718/di970531/97p03673/0

On the other hand, we have Fermat's Last Theorem, which said that i^n + j^n = k^n, where i, j, k, and n are all integers, is only possible if n=1 or n=2. It was proven, by different people, to hold for n=3, n=4, n=5, and n=7, but not for the general case. (To prove for the general case, you have to prove it for n=N, and then for n=N+1.) That was finally accomplished in 1994. All of these proofs were from DEDUCTIVE reasoning. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermat's_last_theorem

Inductive reasoning makes observations and forms a hypothesis, and tries to prove the hypothesis wrong by further observations. Deductive reasoning can form hypotheses in the same way, but can prove the hypotheses true.

Neither works in the "social sciences" (which are not sciences at all). Inductive reasoning fails because one cannot make controlled experiments, and deductive reasoning fails because there are no axioms from which to start.

Jack, you need to make that a new post

Jack,

Exactly! That is what I said.

The only caveat I would add is that "verification" in science is by design of experiment, and then looking at the data from the experiment. It still is in inductive reasoning in that it is looking at specific cases in order to make a conjecture, and they really cannot ever prove the conjecture true, even if they never do find a counter example.

The other caveat is that if you presume that some statement is true for some arbitrary integer k, then prove that it is then true for k + 1, and find a single case for which it is true, then you are not using inductive reasoning, but mathematical induction (proof by math induction is not inductive reasoning, but deductive reasoning as it presupposes all the rules of number theory.)

So I take it you are formally trained in mathematics?

Jack said:

Brian, one cannot PRESUME that a statement is true for an arbitrary integer k -- it must be proven. And one does not "presuppose" the rules of number theory. They are not so much rules as definitions.

Anyway, my degree was in Engineering, but I minored in Math.

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