Katy, Bar The Door

The idea of settling myriads of Syrian “refugees” here in the U.S. is, I’m glad to see, meeting some heavy headwinds. Dozens of governors have refused to comply, and now the House has passed a bill that seeks to make the “vetting” process more rigorous. (That latter, though, is really just a gesture; “vetting” Muslim asylum-seekers based on Mideastern record-keeping and our own anti-terrorism databases is nothing more than a comforting illusion. How do you “vet” beliefs, allegiances, sympathies, hatreds, and intentions?)

One thing I’ve been hearing a lot is that to refuse mass admission of this wave of migrants is no different from our turning away of Jewish refugees in the 1930s. This is hogwash, as an excellent piece by Ian Tuttle, writing at NRO, explains:

This is prima facie nonsense, which should be obvious from the terms being compared: Jews, an ethnic group, with Syrians, a national one. An honest, apples-to-apples comparison would line up German Jews and Syrian Muslims — the relevant ethnic group within the relevant political entity. But do this, and the failure of the analogy becomes clear. The first, and most obvious, difference: There was no international conspiracy of German Jews in the 1930s attempting to carry out daily attacks on civilians on several continents. No self-identifying Jews in the early 20th century were randomly massacring European citizens in magazine offices and concert halls, and there was no “Jewish State” establishing sovereignty over tens of thousands of square miles of territory, and publicly slaughtering anyone who opposed its advance. Among Syrian Muslims, there is. The vast majority of Syrian Muslims are not party to these strains of radicalism and violence, but it would be dangerous to suggest that they do not exist, or that our refugee-resettlement program need not take account of them.

There’s much more. Read it here. (And read the other linked items once you get there, in particular this one.)


  1. Max says

    “There was no international conspiracy of German Jews in the 1930s attempting to carry out daily attacks on civilians on several continents.”

    Has this man never heard of communism?

    And why are you reading/linking to NRO?

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    What are you – the neoreactionary Mutaween? Last I heard, I could link to whatever I like.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  3. JK says


    I can’t understand how the opponents of the US’ established vetting process can be so off the mark.

    Libertybelle was perfectly clear through some few September posts that surely should assuage any opposing Governors.


    Chill out people.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink
  4. JumpinJackFash says

    When I saw that graphic on faceberg, all I could think was it’s amazing how aware of the jewish issue americans were back then, compared to now. I am glad jews were not allowed into america, although nobody cheers for the holocaust I dont feel any pity for them either, considering what they have done, before, and since to us.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink
  5. Whitewall says

    Jumpin Jack…just what are you getting at? What is “faceberg”? If pity is the issue, who today is deserving? Syrian or Iraqi Christians maybe? Can you put some meat on these bones in your post?

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink
  6. JK says

    Hmmm JJF.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    …although nobody cheers for the holocaust I don’t feel any pity for them either, considering what they have done, before, and since to us.

    Good Lord. Look, I agree that the Jews have been a disproportionately influential force for Leftism in America, from Abraham Cahan to the Rosenbergs to Saul Alinsky to Bernie Sanders.

    But for God’s sake, man, we are talking about organized mass slaughter here. You can’t feel some pity for that? Screening immigrants on the basis of virulent ideology is one thing, whether it’s Islam or Communism — but an inability even to feel pity for murderous brutality, whether it’s ISIS, the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the Armenian genocide, Rwanda, or any other page from the blood-stained book of history — is hardly something I’d brag about.

    And I’ll tell you something else: when Islam gives us a Jonas Salk, Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Man, Leonard Bernstein, Milton Friedman, Ariel Durant, John von Neumann, Stanislaw Ulam, Edward Witten, Albert Einstein, Sidney Morgenbesser, Thomas Kuhn, Murray Rothbard, Hans Bethe, Sheldon Glashow, Alan Guth, Herman Kahn, David Bohm, Wolfgang Pauli, Arno Penzias, I.I. Rabi, Lee Smolin, Steven Weinberg, Eugene Wigner, Al Capp, Will Elder, Friz Freleng, Rube Goldberg, Lee Falk, Al Hirschfeld, Al Jaffee, Bob Kane, Stan Lee, Saul Steinberg, Aaron Copland, Bob Dylan, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, Carole King, Eugene Ormandy, Isaac Stern, Andre Previn, Emanuel Ax, Jascha Heifetz, Arthur Rubinstein, Alfred Eisenstadt, Groucho Marx, Ed Wynn, Eric von Stroheim, Mae West, Edward G. Robinson, Jack Benny, Mel Blanc, Rod Serling, Marilyn Monroe, Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, Sammy Cahn, Kirk Douglas, Rodney Dangerfield, Levi Strauss, Jack Warner, Larry Page, Hyman Rickover, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, George S. Kaufmann, S. J. Perelman, J.D. Salinger, Christopher Hitchens, or Sandy Koufax, then let’s talk.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Essential Eugenia says

    @JumpinJack: What Whitewall said, what JK said, and what Malcolm is too polite to say.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:35 pm | Permalink
  9. JK says

    Actually Essential Eugenia,

    What I’d like to see is one Muslim at Liberty to take a joke.

    Posted November 19, 2015 at 11:47 pm | Permalink
  10. Musey says

    Don’t forget Henry!

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 1:54 am | Permalink
  11. JK, the freedom to laugh would assuredly be welcome.

    Ditto, what Essential Eugenia said!

    Ditto Whitewall, what’s a faceberg?

    Malcolm, ” the neoreactionary Mutaween”, rofl.

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 2:15 am | Permalink
  12. Thanks for that list, Malcolm. But if you include Marilyn Monroe you should also include Elizabeth Taylor, both of whom were Jewish by injection. :-)

    Thanks for the shout-out, Musey, but I hardly qualify for such an illustrious list of accomplished Jews. I did, however, stay at a Holiday Inn Express a couple of times.

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 2:56 am | Permalink
  13. Whitewall says

    Henry, and that is what barely got you over the finish line:)

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 7:26 am | Permalink
  14. Robert,

    Too close for comfort! :-)

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  15. the one eyed man says

    The estimable Megan McArdle has a fair-minded and astute take on this issue.


    Posted November 20, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  16. One-eyed, I learned about the fake Syrian passport racket from my primary care doctor, who is from Syria. He brought his parents over last year. He’s showed me photos on his cell phone of his parents street and told me it was a miracle that their house avoided damage, when the houses next to it were reduced to rubble.

    He told me, “Everyone wants to be Syrian now!” He told me how it’s become a booming business to produce fake Syrian passports.

    McArdle’s article misses numerous reports of actual terrorists getting into America via the “refugee resettlement program”. It’s more than just the Tsaranev brothers. I’ll locate more, but here’s a 2013 abc report on two Iraqis:


    These stories hit the news and then disappear, while reporters stick to the “party line” that the refugee resettlement program carefully vets refugees.

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  17. JK says

    Well LB … I’d started a comment only to find I couldn’t copy and paste just the little bit I needed.

    Now y’all regulars set your drinks down, replacing keyboards and monitors given the crowds at the malls is apt to be mighty inconvenient.


    Well Holy Shit One-Eyed it appears maybe. Perhaps. And any other synonyms pop into anybody else’s heads.

    But possibly One-Eyed we’re on the cusp of an agreement. Ms McArdle states;

    It took me years of writing on the Internet to realize what is nearly an iron law of commentary: the better your argument makes you feel about yourself, the less likely it is that you are convincing anyone else.

    So One-Eyed … if the measure of my argument against the President’s (and others) plan is that “I feel better making it, then am I to conclude you won’t be inviting a bunch of *Syrians* in to that spare bedroom now that the kid’s gone off to college?

    ‘Cause even merely typing my objections makes me feel plumb terrible.

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
  18. JK says

    Oh and One-Eyed, I know how much you get from polls.


    Posted November 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  19. JK, I am a sucker for people with sob stories, to the point that decades ago my youngest sister told me. “You can’t save everyone!”, because I used to invest a great deal of time and effort at “helping” people with what I’ll term almost insurmountable personal problems (99.9% of their own making).

    I liken this Syrian refugee crisis to this homeless young black man I met a couple years ago. I still feel guilt and think about him often, because I didn’t really help him. My belief, like many people saying we must take in more Syrian refugees, was that I should bring him to my home, because I have extra bedrooms since my kids are grown and gone. A friend told me that under no circumstances should I do that. He told me that I don’t know anything about this kid and since my husband is disabled and would be unable to defend himself, that would be putting my husband at risk. This friend, probably being a state judge and dealing with all the worst in humanity, warned me, this kid might bring friends by and rob my house while I was work. He was right, I really had no way to know if his story was true. That made me reconsider. This Syrian refugee situation is similar – time to reconsider.


    Posted November 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  20. JK says

    Minor quibble LB, time now is just consider.

    The thing we do not want to find ourselves doing is the re’ing.

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
  21. These stories hit the news and then disappear, while reporters stick to the “party line” that the refugee resettlement program carefully vets refugees.


    The OEM assures us here that there is no need for a “party line.” Moreover, this non-existent “party line” advises all of its adherents to deny its existence.

    My advice is: don’t hold your breath for the OEM to concede anything on this issue. Furthermore, I have yet to witness any concession from him on any issue of any significance for anyone.

    Yup, he is the Pope of the Church of the Non-Existent Party Line.

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink
  22. JK says


    Prepare yourself … ever think you’d see One-Eyed and Lindsey Graham on the same page?


    Posted November 20, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
  23. I am a sucker for people with sob stories, …


    Years ago, way before it was established as a commonplace scam, I was accosted in a suburban parking lot by a young couple who looked like they desperately needed my help. It seems they were 100 miles from home and their car had run out of gas and the man had forgotten his wallet at home. All they needed was a couple of bucks from me.

    I opened my wallet and saw I only had a couple of 20s, so I gave them a 20 dollar bill. They were somewhat astonished and thanked me profusely. And quickly disappeared, presumably to find the nearest liquor store.

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  24. JK,

    As this world of crazy turns, the only things that continue to make sense to me are duplicate bridge and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. And sometimes I’m not even sure about duplicate bridge (especially when I’m playing online with robots).

    Posted November 20, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
  25. Alex Leibowitz says

    I worry about the consequences of forcing refugees to stay in Syria. It isn’t only that many if not all of them will be killed — I’m worried that people will radicalize in order to escape death and bolster ISIS’ ranks. Driving these people back to Syria almost seems like a favor to ISIS; as much as we risk inviting terrorists into our country if we accept them, if my reasoning is correct, then we also run a risk not accepting them. Because of that, it isn’t a clear cut decision.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 2:42 am | Permalink
  26. JK says

    Good point Alex. That is something to consider.

    I wonder though, might the possibility of that happening, radicalization in place, finally motivate those ruling classes also in the place reconsidering whether their former practice of exporting their jihadist inclined ought continue?

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink
  27. Alex,

    With some competent leadership, America could easily come up with a military strategy, using the substantive tools of state we possess and form a real coalition of Western and Arab nations and then sit down with Putin to iron out a plan to create safe zones in Syria. The military portion of establishing those safe zones could be achieved easily with the military might that could be brought to bear and then the longer term mission of securing them could be ironed out with international cooperation. Along with that we could be leading an effort to getting the factions in Syria to the table for political stabilization efforts, along with actually defeating ISIS. It is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time, just as a competent leader should be able to break a complex problem into smaller bites, rather than throwing his hands up in the air and saying it’s too complicated.

    There are other choices, beyond open our doors to this flood of refugees or force them to stay and be slaughtered. President Obama refuses to lead a fight to defeat ISIS, preferring to devote his energies to fighting straw men enemies.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink
  28. Whitewall says

    Alex, it is a conundrum. But then it seems dealing with Islam has been so for hundreds of years. What ever is done, it will be done after January 20, 2017. Even afterwards, it is risky making allies with Muslim states to deal with a successful aftermath…if it can be successful..because it seems too many in that region fall back to hating and fighting each other.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  29. JK says

    Perhaps a “look-back” is in order.




    Posted November 21, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  30. I worry about the consequences of forcing refugees to stay in Syria.

    Forcing? Who (and how) is doing the forcing? Forcing requires active measures taken for a specific goal. Aside from the powers within Syria itself, who can force Syrians to stay in Syria?

    I am not aware of any blockade surrounding Syria to prevent anyone from escaping.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  31. JK says

    As sometimes happens Henry, you’ve reminded me of something.

    Some weeks (months?) ago Italy suggested blockading Libya to curtail the numbers of refugees fetching up on Sicily.

    The rest of the EU – Brussels particularly – roundly condemned the proposition as “offensive.”

    I wonder what they’d say today?


    Just wanted (in case you-know-who is lurking about) to make certain it was Italy. But man how time flies.


    Posted November 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  32. JK,

    I am, by nature, a worry wart myself. I am resigned to the notion that there is nothing I can do to change that. The only thing I can do is to prioritize my worries.

    Here are some of the things I feel are worth worrying about these days:

    That our next President might be another America-hating Leftist.

    That our current Leftist leaders will castrate our national defense.

    That our Nation’s education systems are cranking out generations of ignorant morons.

    That crazy Pelosi will return to the Speaker’s chair.

    That one of the Mannings will again ruin Tom Brady’s perfect season.

    The price of sourdough bread.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
  33. JK says

    Probably shouldn’t insert what presented when I reached your #5 Henry but …


    Posted November 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
  34. JK,

    My list was not meant to be comprehensive — so yes, Chelsea. I believe she is now 35 years old. OMG! She is eligible (and probably electable, given the moronic state of our younger electorate)!

    Her only saving grace is that her husband is a Jewish investment banker (will wonders never cease?). Perhaps he would be able to influence her fiscal policies in the direction of lesser insanity.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  35. JK says

    Figured the reference to #5’d be enough Henry. Apparently not.

    You included, “one of the Mannings ruining [a] perfect season.”

    I mentioned one.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  36. Where did you mention one?

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
  37. Whitewall says

    JK, about a month ago you linked a site called “those who know” or “for those who know” or something like that. We even tried to paste it on Duff’s blog. Do you recall what it was? For the life of me I can’t find it.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  38. JK says


    Posted November 21, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  39. Whitewall says

    JK…that’s it! I knew you would have it. Thanks. And just in time for dinner…the cauldron is bubbling.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  40. JK says

    @ Whitewall Patriota,

    Couple weeks from now I’ll be largely offline, perhaps inaccessible might be better put anyway – you “know” I archive stuff but perhaps not the how.

    I “can not” (which is different from “will not”) let you in on a certain trade secret but I can and will, give you (and any others) a mapping tool – where there are careful, diligent bloggers blogging – merely hit their *Search function* with either JK alone or, JK comments

    (You Whitewall of course understanding “some Bloggers” paid more attention in Library Cataloging Class than others …

    Which is to give a Shout-Out .. Hat-Tip to Librarians I hope y’all don’t go extinct sooner than people like me expect to …)

    Thanksgiving wishes to all Librarians.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  41. Musey says

    JK, I wish you would be clear, just now and again, so that nobody can misinterpret. Talking in riddles is a great way to get the imagination running wild.

    I hope you are well, JK. I like you a lot, you make me laugh a lot, and you’re very clever and funny. See you soon.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
  42. JK says

    Near Manly “of course” Musey … some hundreds of miles off Point Lookout some few days of fishing.

    A coupla days nearabouts Perth but then.

    I’ll try be in touch.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  43. That’s not how you spell Libertarians, JK.

    Happy Thanksgiving, all y’all.

    Posted November 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink
  44. the one eyed man says

    “Years ago, way before it was established as a commonplace scam”

    Scams happen to the best of us. Don’t ask Malcolm about the time he bought a TV set on the streets of the Upper West Side. My guess is that he is still sore about it.

    Posted November 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  45. Malcolm says

    My guess is that he is still sore about it.

    No, not at all. This is how we learn. I am now much older, and much wiser.

    How I wish our civilization’s leaders could learn from history’s lessons — including, in particular, those that are unfolding before their eyes.

    Posted November 22, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  46. Musey says

    JK, only you could make a planned fishing expedition sound like you’re facing major surgery from which you might not recover. Have a fine time!

    Posted November 23, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

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