Today, “All Saints Day”, for men whose bodies survive Halloween parties and drag makeup, I have a potpourri of items, and some of it is serious.
The Cato institute sent me an email reminding us of the statistical improbability that immigrants become terrorists like Sayfullo Saipov in NYC yesterday. But the email names three Uzbek nationals as of March 2017 who had been convicted of terror offenses (Kodirov, Kurbanov, and Juraboev). At least one was radicalized on the Internet (like Saipov), one had been a refugee, and one had won a green card lottery (similar to Saipov).
Two are awaiting charges, including one who had overstayed a visa and applied for asylum.
Off hand, President Trump’s reinforcing the idea of “merit-based” immigration sounds more reasonable, even if the numbers are low. But again, to take care of our own, we seem to follow into the grade school tactic of giving detention to everyone for the sins of a few.
Uzbekistan is not one of the countries Trump has singled out; but it’s interesting that some parts of Russia (Chechnya) and former Soviet republics are capable of vehemence against the US, reinforcing the idea of a red scare that carried on underground in the 1980s even if not talked about a lot. Back then, newspapers (at least in Dallas) carried stories of “academies” in rural areas to train “civilian defense reservists” against what at the time was thought to be a threat of individualized red subversion, still. . In pre-web days, not talked about a lot.
Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Karoun Dimarjin have a detailed story on the far reach of Russia’s social media disinformation “fake news” campaign, that reached over 100 million Americans. NBC News offers a piece by Sarah Kindzior showing how Russia’s “divide by tribe” propaganda had been going on, hiding camouflaged in plain sight at least since 2014.
I certainly saw some of these (crooked Hillary, etc)i in my Facebook feed and generally ignored them. There’s something about the tone of my own writing, that may seem elitist and “preaching to the choir”, as of the average-Joe masses didn’t matter to me personally. The Russians probably know that people like me won’t pay attention to how easily led people vulnerable to “mass movements” become because “we” tend to think less of them personally. I notice a sudden drop of about 15 Facebook friends and wonder if these were fake Russian accounts now closed.
I think we’re also in a bizarre funk where we’re deciding who has a right to form a movement or belong to one. The neo-Nazi and KKK issues are settled and viewed as direct threats to vulnerable group. But the far Left (even Antifa) is not. Communism is somehow more acceptable than fascism because of history. It’s as if some people think you can pick Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot (or Kim Jong Un) over Hitler.
I’ll also cite an article in Vox by Ella Nilsen on John Kelly’s remarks on the cause of the Civil War, here.
I want to add an Oct. 30 article by David Bier at the Cato Institute on how green card waits really work (they are very unpredictable) and the role of sponsors (employment, family or personal). This article may explain some interaction I had this spring with a Facebook “friend” who seemed to be trying to get me to sponsor him.
(Posted: November 1, 2017 at 3 PM EDT)