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If You Think Haiti Is a Shithole, Then Blame America for Helping to Make It That Way

Centuries of mistreatment by the U.S. is a primary cause of Haiti's plight.

President Donald Trump reportedly described Haiti and a slew of other nations as "shithole countries" while meeting with lawmakers about immigration policy yesterday. If you expected more from from him, then you probably expect too much.

But eight years to the day after an earthquake brought Haiti to its knees, most Americans view the country closer to the way Trump describes the place than they'd like to admit. The typical American's understanding of Haiti doesn't go much further than the global press's tagline: the "poorest country in the Western Hemisphere." And there is undeniably poverty in Haiti. The average economic output for a Haitian is $820 per year, compared with their neighbors in the Dominican Republic, who average $6,000.

I spent nearly four years working in Haiti, first as an economics journalist and then as the manager of a coffee-farming venture. As I wrote in Haitian Coffee Grows on Trees, my book about my time there: "Over half of all Haitians are undernourished, compared to just 15 percent of Dominicans. Just one in four Haitians has access to a toilet. More than half of all adults cannot read. Money sent home by friends and family who live abroad powers almost a quarter of the economy. That's not too surprising once you know a figure that development economist Michael Clemens often cites: 80 percent of Haitians who have escaped poverty have done so not by staying in their own country but by leaving for the United States." Only about one in five Haitians have a job that pays a steady wage. The rest work informally, or not at all.

Today, if you look at a list of coffee-growing countries, you might not even find Haiti on it. Which is shocking, given that just over 200 years ago, the colony that predated Haiti was the world's biggest coffee producer. The story of how the tiny place that once sold half the world's coffee fell off those lists takes many pages to tell. But the country's current predicament has far more to do with the U.S. government than everyday Haitians.

To be clear, the Haitian state and its leaders have perpetually hamstrung their own people, when not outright decimating them. But Haiti's history also includes a United States that initially refused to acknowledge or trade with the second free republic in the New World—the first free black republic, borne of a successful slave revolution. It includes two decades of occupation by U.S. Marines, a time when free Haitians were conscripted into chain gangs and shot dead for attempting to escape. It includes hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to a father-son dictatorship whose three-decade reign ruined the country's economy and murdered thousands of citizens. And it includes a foreign aid faucet that continues to flow today, despite the ill incentives it creates. Tweaks to immigration policy would do orders of magnitude more to help ordinary Haitians than that aid—as if helping Haitians were a concern of the present administration.

For everyday Haitians, life working as in the United States as a manual laborer, hotel housekeeper, or fruit picker is often much better and more lucrative than doing much of anything in Haiti. Roughly 80 percent of the half-a-million-plus Haitians who live in the U.S. are working age. Eight in 10 of them who are over 25 have high school degrees, which means they're slightly more educated than the average immigrant and only slightly less than native-born Americans.

Clemens has called immigration Haiti's "most successful poverty reduction program." He and fellow economist Lant Pritchett have estimated that a low-skilled worker from Haiti can increase his or her earnings by sixfold by immigrating to the United States. A coherent immigration system would allow employers to hire willing foreigners from Haiti and any other country on the president's shit list to fill niches in the service sector, on construction sites, and wherever else they're needed. It would also make it much easier for highly skilled or entrepreneurial foreign nationals to invest in the U.S. regardless of where they come from.

Frantz Duval, editor in chief of Haiti's largest daily, responded to yesterday's reports with a column that called his home "a country that deserves better from us." After 200-plus years of policy forged with a mixture of racism and condescension, Haiti surely deserves better from Washington too.

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  • SIV||

    Yes, it is a textbook shithole.

  • esteve7||

    that people are even asking the question shows how deranged the world is. Yes there are shithole countries.

  • MarioLanza||

    Joan Walsh, when asked which country she would want to visit on vacation Norway or Haiti...bravely she wouldn't answer. Fake news playing up fake outrage.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All you can do is corner these dipshits and ask them that exact question.

    At least she could get out of answering the question to save herself more embarrassment.

  • Paloma||

    Really? The obvious answer would be Haiti. Beaches, sun, nice hotels. It's not like you're living there. Norway sounds pretty sucky to visit. But most people would probably rather live there.

  • poptart||

    Thay have summer in Norway.

    Haiti is a shithole Year round.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hey now! At least it appeals to fecalphilliacs.

  • ||

    You know full well once in Haiti, you'd make like the Haitians and bolt to the Dominican.

  • Ecoli||

    If you were planning to emigrate, would you choose Norway or Haiti?

    Personally, I would choose Ireland.

  • MarioLanza||

    Obama called Libya a "$hi+ show". No outrage.

  • Flinch||

    Hmm... wonder why that didn't take center stage in congress, who seemed less than quizzical that our state department gleefully tipped over that country in pursuit of Obama's unspoken 'Ring of Fire' doctrine that set policy on a course to impinge an alleged ally [Israel] in every way possible short of declaring war? Part of that answer starts with recognizing Boehner as a Pelosi approved meat puppet.

  • Raphael D.||

    And when at the Mendalla memorial, it was Obama who was carrying on like a schoolboy having talked to his first girl -- with the Queen of Norway.

  • Irwin Mann||

    And (at least one) Haitians agrees.
    One called a radio show Friday morning where I heard him say,
    "I left Haiti because it is a shithole. Hell on earth. No American
    wants to live their. Why would I?"

  • Flinch||

    Sure is... which is to say it is the government that is a shith*le. We just see it reflected in the suffering of the people, and the land which are its victims. Looking at the devastation is breathtaking: an island where half is flourishing (with commensurate struggle) on the DR side, but the Haitian side has missed the industrial revolution on balance and has attained a level of dysfunction unmatched anywhere else in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico [government] has tried, lord knows, and thankfully failed.

  • Cloudbuster||

    And the character of the government has nothing to do with the character of the people....

  • Elias Fakaname||

    And once they arrive in the US they will instantly strive for the libertarian dream.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    But as Shitka and the rest of our resident Obamatards will keep telling you every day for the rest of your life, it is because of evil white men like you and me.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Did the Volokh Conspiracy bring a bunch of backward, bigoted, faux libertarian wingnuts to reason.com, or did the authoritarian, intolerant, superstitious, backwaters-inhabiting movement conservatives and Republicans who already frequented reason.com attract that all-white, all-male, right-wing blog to this site?

    In either circumstance , , , carry on, clingers.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    What actually happened is that you mofos infiltrated, hijacked, and took over a once great institution in a way that would have made Saul Alinsky proud, and turned it into yet another tired media clone of the New York Times.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Quit whimpering, wingnut snowflake.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Oh go suck Block Yomomma's cock, you turd burglar.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Arty should drink Drano, just like Tony.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This is the range of right-wing expression -- from muttering bitterly and inconsequentially at society's sideline, pining for good old days that were illusory, to the occasional, frustrated spout-off.

    Carry on, clingers.

    So far as your lousy educations, bigoted souls, superstition-laced gullibility, and shambling backwaters can carry you, anyway.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You're funny. As it happens, I am better than you. Better, faster, smarter, stronger, and better educated. You are merely a regrettable particle of filth, something to be scraped off ome's shoe. Ugh like the fecal matter that comprises much of Haiti.

    Perhaps that is why you are so such a defensive, impertinent shitbag.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Even if smart, fast, strong, and well-educated, the backward, right-wing bigot is nonetheless the lesser.

  • Headache||

    Rev. you pretender. A good reverend would unite people to solve a problem. You decided to divide people. What a fraud!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Congregation of Exalted Reason. We do not appease superstition, backwardness, or intolerance.

  • E. Kline||

    A substantive argument if ever I read one.

  • Glen 69||

    So what that means their main export is people.

  • p3orion||

    I've been to some of the countries to which Trump allegedly referred as "shitholes." Although the media and liberals jumped on the allegation as proof of racism, even his accusers say only that he was calling the nations shitholes, without specific reference to their citizens.

    With that in mind, I think there's room for some common ground here. For the sake of argument, let's all just agree to the following: If a significant portion of your population actually DOES, on a regular basis, shit into a hole in the ground, then you ARE a shithole country.

  • zonevazo||

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  • JoeBlow123||

    "Clemens has called immigration Haiti's "most successful poverty reduction program.""

    Sounds like a good slogan for an American politician! Err... wait?

  • Flinch||

    Sure is. As numbers flee the island, official poverty stats can go "down" using raw number reports, while the true picture [percentages] is going up.
    As a side note, the greatest road trip of all time that got hopelessly lost to the point where they thought they were in the West Indies, we might ask a question: outside of shipbuilding, did Columbus know much of anything at all? He sure was lucky, though. The people of Haiti were not: the sale to the French was a bigger disaster than recent hurricanes.

  • p3orion||

    Of course. It works just like obama's U3 unemployment numbers. As millions of long-term unemployed were dropped from the official rolls, the "unemployment rate" went down.

  • Juice||

    the first free black republic

    So it's an ethnostate?

  • SIV||

    Founded on literal "white genocide". If I'm responsible for Papa Doc and the US Marine occupation then every Haitian has the blood of innocent white women and children on his hands.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If I'm responsible for Papa Doc and the US Marine occupation then every Haitian has the blood of innocent white women and children on his hands.

    Don't worry, you're not. Great to see you willing to take attribute atrocious sins to yourself as long as it lets you apply those to another.

  • SIV||

    Great to see you willing to take attribute atrocious sins to yourself as long as it lets you apply those to another.

    You're welcome.

  • dave b.||

    It was founded on literal white slavery of blacks and forced reparations to the colonizer

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Weren't the pyramids built by slave labor?

    I wonder if those slaves ever got reparations?

  • VinniUSMC||

    Current archaeological thought would suggest that the answer to your first question is no, the pyramids were not built by slaves.

    Feel free to Google and decide for yourself whether you think the evidence is sufficient to point that way or not. I have no skin in the game, so I don't really care which is true.

  • RoyMo||

    Yes because piling rocks on top of each other for the purpose of glorifying an absolute ruler is exactly the kind of activity that free people engage in.

    Monumental architecture that glorifies the ruler is pretty much a rock solid indicator of slavery of some sort or other.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It might be if they're getting paid.

  • Ron||

    American slave were often paid so i guess they weren't slaves after all

  • Flinch||

    They got better if you recall: being an integral part of that society at that time, they "borrowed" as much gold and jewelry as they could, and then skipped town with Moses. I suppose it didn't occur to the 'locals' that their notions of 'control' and 'knowing where they could find them' were assumptions without merit. They had so much gold, they gifted enough [without a fight or rebellion] to melt down for making a freaking statue the size of a cow while Moses was up on the mountain getting a tan. That's rich.

  • Juice||

    free Haitians were conscripted into chain gangs and shot dead for attempting to escape

    Sounds free to me!

  • Radioactive||

    nah, got a bill for the bullet, like in the PRC...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tate, you must be new here. Blaming Americaaaaaaaaaa for Haiti being a shithole is not going to fly for a reason like "because United States that initially refused to acknowledge or trade with the second free republic in the New World".

    Its like with Puerto Rico not wanting to become independent but refuses to upgrade the island to anything but below the poorest US state.

    Nobody wants to vacation in Haiti like Dominican Republic because Haiti is shitty. Why would people want to travel to an island outside US jurisdiction to be robbed and possibly killed?

  • MoreFreedom||

    I agree. Frankly, I'm pissed off Trump is sending PR something like $60 billion, when people in PR don't pay federal income taxes. They should take care of their own disasters, after they get rid of their corrupt government and culture. The fact that practically every home has burglar bars over all the windows, doors, and carports tells you just how corrupt it is. I lived there for 7 years and left.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    We should really just cut them loose. They have their own problems, and the myriad of oddities and restrictions we place upon them don't do them any favors either. Just cut them loose.

  • BYODB||

    Agree on the cutting them loose part, mostly because it would be for their own good not to be subject to idiotic shit like the American minimum wage.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    How long before the PRC puts a naval base there.

  • poptart||

    I don't care, but then I'm not a chickenshit

  • Paloma||

    Haiti's murder rate is about 10 per 100,000. Low compared to Washington DC, yet people keep visiting DC.

  • Radioactive||

    just some BonB murder, doesn't count unless the turistas get caught up in it...

  • poptart||

    REPORTED Murder rate.

    But, I'm sure they thank you for your propagandalicious service.

  • ThomasD||

    Tate is back, and with the Blame America for Haiti rhetoric, because it's conveniently part of the open borders full court press.

    If Tate truly is familiar with the island then maybe he should mention just how badly the Dominicans have exploited and continue to exploit Haitians. Surely that goes a long way towards explaining the problems of Haiti.

    How about the D.R opens (really opens) it's borders first?

  • MichaelL||

    loveConstitution. I have been to Pignion as a medical missionary doing surgery. We were trapped there by a terrible early rainy season. Had a beautiful ride through the mountains on treacherous roads! People in the village swept their dirt floors into the dirt streets. We had plumbing at the hospital. When we got to the coast, we spent a couple of wonderful days, and nights, at a very nice (not fancy) hotel. I was, also, invited to the cruise port in Cap Haitia. That was a great place where the white man had improved the lives of all of the surrounding population. I would love to go back!

  • poptart||

    please do, and take your proselytizing about that shithole with you

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If freeing Puerto Rico would promote the prospect of imposing unincorporated territory status on several states that constitute moral, economic, educational, cultural, and political drags on the United States -- Alabama, West Virginia, and Mississippi come readily to mind -- I would be willing to consider the point.

    Imagine an America with no senator from Mississippi, no electoral vote from South Carolina, no House member from Alabama.

    Had decent, patriotic Americans operating in the wake of the Civil War recognized the stain and drain those states would continue to be into the current century, they would not have enabled the losers to resume statehood.

    I can't fault those folks too greatly, however -- they beat the bigots when it counted.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You really have swallowed a massive amount of progtarded bullshit, haven't you?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I blame my preferences for education over ignorance, reason over superstition, science over dogma, tolerance over intolerance, inclusivity over insularity, and progress over backwardness.

    You should fondle a Confederate flag as you ponder your next retort, clinger.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    Yeah it's so terrible that half the northeastern US has moved down here in the last thirty years. But you enjoy your shitty weather, high taxes, unions, and dubious regulations. People like you are probably too stupid to live without your benevolent government anyway.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Most of them retired. They already made their money, their children were too old to be subjected to southern schooling or shaped by a backward environment, and they preferred sun to snow.

    The north is shackled by lousy weather, high taxes, unions, and dubious regulations. The south is shackled by lousy schools, bigotry, backwardness, superstition, and economic inadequacy.

    Where is the hope for America?

    (Spoiler: It is not in Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, the Florida panhandle, Kentucky, Tennessee, or West Virginia).

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    What Arthur here is saying is that he doesn't want us to have states with a bunch of poor black people that were already living here.

    PS--Despite WV's poverty, it's one of the 15 safest states in the US.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    West Virginia is not diminished merely by poverty. The backwardness, ignorance, superstition, and intolerance are important elements of West Virginia's deficiency, which has been intensified by generations of bright flight.

  • Headache||

    Reverend "I blame my preferences for education over ignorance, reason over superstition, science over dogma" And you call yourself a Reverend?

    A reverend's calling - superstition over all else.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Congregation Of Exalted Reason -- we disdain superstition, bigotry, and backwardness.

  • ||

    Southern Democrats ruined Southern States, you're right!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    When the bigots of our southern states were Democrats, they were just as deplorable as they are today, when the constitute an indispensable pillar of the Republican-conservative electoral coalition.

    We never should have permitted the losers to resume statehood after the Civil War. We should have imposed a string of unincorporated territories along the southern border. Imagine an America improved by the lack of senators from Mississippi, House members from Alabama, electoral votes from South Carolina.

    We shouldn't fault those who readmitted the backward losers too much, however -- they beat our southern bigots when it counted. And bigly.

  • p3orion||

    "..they would not have enabled the losers to resume statehood."

    Umm, wasn't that exactly what the Confederacy was fighting for?

  • MoreFreedom||

    Watkins hasn't made the case that "Centuries of mistreatment by the U.S. is a primary cause of Haiti's plight." He admits that "the Haitian state and its leaders have perpetually hamstrung their own people, when not outright decimating them." The Marines left over 80 years ago. And most Americans didn't support foreign aid for Haiti as it's been mostly those in government who support such help in propping up dictators, and making deals like the Clinton Foundation did for the Clintons' benefit. Don't blame that on the US.

    I agree with Trump. Until we end the welfare state, I'm against immigrants who come here and take advantage of government welfare. If you want to help the oppressed in other countries, then end US welfare and foreign aid. Then I'd be happy to have a lot more immigrants. Because they'd come here to help themselves by helping others.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Are you for ending the welfare state? I certainly not certain Trump is.

  • ThomasD||

    If the current crop of politicians are not interested in ending the welfare state then ALL THE MORE reason the nation cannot sustain open borders.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why would Pres, Trump turn on the can't-keep-up rural and southern backwaters -- Alabama, West Virginia, Mississippi -- that supported him? Without the half-educated, gullible, economically inadequate, superstitious, backward, intolerant residents of communities that rely on disability checks, food stamps, general subsidization, and other government transfers, how could the Republican-conservative electoral coalition be viable?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hey dipshit, you already said that. Find a new tune.

  • hello.||

    Without the half-educated, gullible, economically inadequate, superstitious, backward, intolerant residents of communities that rely on disability checks, food stamps, general subsidization, and other government transfers, how could the Republican-conservative electoral coalition be viable?

    The people you describe sound pretty much like the Mexicans and Fight for $15 fast food workers that make up the Democratic coalition and constitute the largest welfare suck in the nation, which would be California. I'm sure your illiterate-in-Spanish-as-well-as-English Mexican gardener and the PhD candidates misspelling the name on your Starbucks cup are happy to share in your metropolitan sophistication though.

  • p3orion||

    Wow, "Reverend," you really are a judgmental intolerant asshole, aren't you? What misbegotten corner of the northern wastelands do you call home?

  • Dan S.||

    Until we end the welfare state, I'm against immigrants who come here and take advantage of government welfare.

    Well, yes. But aren't there already rules about who can and cannot take advantage of various government programs? How about, instead of using police and guns to throw people out of the country, we just tell them, politely but firmly, that they are not eligible for any government welfare programs?

  • Marshall Gill||

    LOL

  • poptart||

    Um, we have to pay for them because of EMTALA and laws against refusing their children in public schools.

    Are you...paying attention the what's happening AT ALL?

  • miketol||

    The voters of California tried to do that in 1994 when they passed proposition 187 with nearly 60% of the vote. The 9th circus court off appeals overruled the voters by declaring the proposition unconstitutional.

  • chemjeff||

    Yeah I was reading up a little bit last night on the history of Haiti, particularly how the US treated Haiti in the 1920's and 1930's. It was rather shameful. From the Wikipedia page:

    The Marines and Gendarmerie initiated an extensive road-building program to enhance their military effectiveness and open the country to US investment. Lacking any source of adequate funds, they revived an 1864 Haitian law, discovered by Butler, requiring peasants to perform labor on local roads in lieu of paying a road tax. This system, known as the corvée, originated in the unpaid labor that French peasants provided to their feudal lords. In 1915, Haiti had 3 miles (4.8 km) of road usable by automobile outside the towns. By 1918, more than 470 miles (760 km) of road had been built or repaired through the corvée system, including a road linking Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haïtien.[27] However, Haitians forced to work in the corvée labor-gangs, frequently dragged from their homes and harassed by armed guards, received few immediate benefits and saw this system of forced labor as a return to slavery at the hands of white men.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Which clearly means we should take in every single one of their population, and the rest of the third world's besides.

  • DRM||

    Corvée for road construction/maintenance was standard practice in the US for a long time. You either paid your road taxes in money, or you paid in labor. As the monetary economy developed, payment in labor became less common, until the last corvée in the US was abolished in 1913.

    Granted, it was never popular with those subjected to it, but neither is paying the IRS. Unless you've recently developed the conviction that taxation is theft, you shouldn't think it was particularly shameful. Did you become philosophically opposed to taxes while I wasn't looking, chemjeff?

  • JFree||

    Sure. And having the Americans come in and create a 'tax' for a laborer - on roads - which are used for cars - which didn't exist in Haiti - except for the American occupiers who are trying to evict you and take your land - is not at all shameful.

  • DRM||

    Well, let's see.

    1) chemjeff's own comment points out that Americans didn't come in and create the tax, it was already on the books in Haiti since 1864.

    2) If roads are only used for cars, it's really weird that Haiti had a road tax in 1864, isn't it? Or that "[c]orvée for road construction/maintenance was standard practice in the US for a long time . . . abolished in 1913". One might even vaguely remember further back than a mere few paragraphs up a thread, and recall something about how the ancient Romans built roads, but didn't have cars. Which would all suggest that roads are, in fact, useful to people without cars.

    But, of course, that all requires being an intelligent adult with maybe a smattering of education, rather than being a spoiled child far more interested in denouncing America than dealing with reality.

  • JFree||

    all suggest that roads are, in fact, useful to people without cars.

    They had three miles of what we called and classified as 'roads' in the country. We found a 50 year old law that justified slavery - and yes obviously we knew how to look for that sort of law. But that means that before we arrived that law had at MOST been used by them to build 3/50 road miles/year.

    And we built those roads in order to move our troops to evict them from their land. So please tell me how USEFUL that road is to them.

  • vek||

    So the white men went in and immediately started doing thing to improve the shithole country... Which the locals didn't like because they can't appreciate basic infrastructure that's needed to have a civilized society? That's mostly what I get out of that... LOL

  • hello.||

    I was reading up a little bit last night on the history of Haiti

    Made it all the way through the Wikipedia summary. Please edify us now, wise one.

  • IceTrey||

    I hear China could use some ethnic diversity and maids. They even have entire empty cities. Let them emigrate to there.

  • Flinch||

    Not only that, but they began exporting those empty cities, to places like Angola - they got their toehold in advance of world cup soccer if you recall: a very special event where the refs did not appear to know the rules they were supposed to administer.

  • vek||

    I hate the fact that there are over a billion Chinese, which means they are basically impossible to flood with immigrants to the point where they will be minorities in their own land, which is what is happening in the USA and Europe right now. Lucky bastards.

  • GILMORE™||

    Blame America for Helping

    I agree. we should never have helped.

  • ||

    Yes, it's a shithole, but that doesn't mean that it's people are shit.
    As the article points out there's a lot of history that made that shithole what it is which wasn't produced by the Haitian people.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I agree with the underlying idea too that the best thing we can probably do is let it alone.

    A coherent immigration system would allow employers to hire willing foreigners from Haiti and any other country on the president's shit list to fill niches in the service sector, on construction sites, and wherever else they're needed.

    As long as that doesn't mean any particular preferential treatment towards Haiti than that's fine by me as well.

  • Cloudbuster||

    The people of Haiti are shit. If you replaced the population of Haiti with the population of Israel, Iceland or Singapore, they'd have it transformed into the jewel of the Caribbean within a decade.

  • ||

    If you teleported all the people of Haiti to Israel, Iceland or Singapore as babies and gave them an education in those countries schools as wells as their nutritional intake, then teleported them back to Haiti as adults, they would do the same thing. You can't expect people raised in dire poverty and immersed in corrupt institutions since birth to perform as well as people who were raised and educated in a functioning developed democracy.
    Take those people out of their environment, and they perform differently. And the ones who are struggling to leave are likely the ones best suited to perform since they're the ones who have the brains determination to try to escape the shithole they were born in.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    Wanna bet? Can you show me an example of any country that's worked with yet?

  • poptart||

    Nope, but that fucking idiot is all about broad generalizations based on LITERALLY nothing.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If you teleported all the people of Haiti to Israel, Iceland or Singapore as babies and gave them an education in those countries schools as wells as their nutritional intake, then teleported them back to Haiti as adults, they would do the same thing.

    Considering Israel's in the process of deporting a bunch of east Africans back to their homeland, your theory's about to be put to the test.

  • vek||

    No it wouldn't Hazel. There is not a single country in Africa that has ever had its shit together, nor anywhere else in the world for that matter. And SOMEHOW people of African descent manage to have sky high unemployment rates, low education levels, high crime levels in EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY THEY LIVE IN IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

    I suspect the 15 point average IQ difference of Africans in the USA, which is the highest for any group of Africans in the world, might be at play... Everywhere else it's even worse than in the states. Evolution is a bitch, and it didn't distribute skills evenly across the entire world like modern progressives like to pretend. Sucks, but facts are facts.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No Hazel, they wouldn't. They are so poor because they have poor ways and are not willing to evolve. Look at what happened to the territory Israel ceded to the Palestinians some years back. They ended up destroying what they were given. Because that is their way. Which is why no Arab state wants them.

  • hello.||

    You can't expect people raised in dire poverty and immersed in corrupt institutions since birth to perform as well as people who were raised and educated in a functioning developed democracy.

    Since the entire world was once immersed in dire poverty and corrupt institutions how on earth did prosperity ever come about to begin with?

    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as "bad luck."

  • GILMORE™||

    To be clear

    No, no, no! TO BE SURE.

  • ||

    Let me be clear...

  • Ken Shultz||

    If you can't make the case for why immigration is good for the American people--then you're part of the problem.

    Donald Trump is right to ask whether immigration from the world's shit-holes is good for America--even if his answer is wrong.

    Saying that the United States is to blame for Hati's problems doesn't justify an immigration policy that's bad for America.

    Telling us how pitiful the situation in Hati is doesn't justify an immigration policy that's bad for America either.

    What justifies an immigration policy from places like Hati is if such immigration is good for America, the American economy, etc.

    The purpose of American immigration policy is not to force average Americans to atone for past foreign policy sins.

    The purpose of American immigration policy is not to serve the interests of Haitians.

    The purpose of American immigration policy is to benefit the interests of the United States.

    And if you can't make a libertarian argument for why the free flow of cheap labor across our borders is in the best interests of the American people, then you're not much of a free market capitalist.

    Save the pity party, guilt, and forced sacrifice narrative for progressive hipsters.

    Average Americans are starving for a free market libertarian answer to the question of why immigration from third world shit-holes is in the American people's interest. Let's hope someone writing for Reason.com can find the obvious libertarian answers to that question . . . someday.

  • Juice||

    If you can't make the case for why immigration is good for the American people--then you're part of the problem.

    So people shouldn't be allowed to flee shithole countries to make better lives for themselves unless you benefit from it?

  • Brightly||

    "So people shouldn't be allowed to flee shithole countries to make better lives for themselves unless you benefit from it?"

    Even your straw-manning of his point is a more reasonable proposition than allowing third-Worlders to self-select themselves for unilateral citizenship.

  • Flinch||

    You touch on the critical mark: "self selection" is nothing less than an affront to the rule of law, and sovereignty. Why have a government at all if foreign nationals can just waltz in and declare their "rights"? MS13 will take over the streets, and the thugs in DC can be shoved off someplace to be forgotten. Puerto Rico would be a good choice.

  • JFree||

    Why have a government at all if foreign nationals can just waltz in and declare their "rights"?

    You mean like Haiti which had a constitution forbidding foreign ownership of land - until we invaded and occupied - then rewrote their constitution to permit direct foreign ownership and then evicted native 'squatters' at the point of machine guns - taking 200,000 acres of the best land in the first few years?

    Oh BTW - guess who paid to train MS-13? YOU did. And Los Zetas and others. Most of the elite 'violent talent' in those cartels originated from military/paramilitary in Mexico/Salvador/Guatemala/etc who defected to the drug cartels for the money. And many (at least 20 known) of those soldiers who defected learned their violence at School of the Americas in Fort Benning. They went back, did the civil war/death squad/genocide stuff we trained them for (which BTW also created a ton of refugees who came here) - and when those wars wound down, they found they had acquired a taste for it. So they trained the next generation of neighborhood nobodies who are the bulk muscle of any street gang.

    That too is called blowback.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Is that what I said?

    No!

    The American people are only so interested in being guilt tripped into sacrificing their own interests for someone else. You can only ride that train for so long.

    In the end, people will start asking about what's in it for them. And if you cannot answer that question, then you're part of the problem.

    The problem is that pro-immigration people are failing to make the case to the American people that immigration from shit-holes is in their interests. Part of that is because progressives are completely oblivious to arguments about the value of human capital and free markets.

    Libertarians have no such excuse.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Unless you are advocating that America stop subsidizing Israel (in a variety of costly ways) immediately and entirely, your argument is not persuasive.

    If you believe America should continue to sacrifice to promote Israel's right-wing belligerence, the reason underlying your argument's failure seems obvious.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    And now you show your antisemitism. I knew that was coming. Bet you think Palestinians are the good guys too.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Fondness for right-wing belligerence and backwardness -- in the United States, Israel, or anywhere else -- is a sign of social failure and deficient character, Elias.

  • hello.||

    It takes true forward thinking and amiability to attack innocent people on the streets with machetes or strap bombs to your children and send them to blow up busses full of students as well as themselves like an amoral savage.

    People like you love third world savagery because you haven't got the balls to actually live out your psychopathic fantasies yourself so you do it vicariously through others. Then you project your mental illness onto everyone else.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    As justifications of right-wing belligerence go, that is lame and standard.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No, ramblings such as yours are a sign of a weak stunted mind. Now go cower in the corner with Tony.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Cower?

    I call a bigot a bigot, a superstitious goober a superstitious goober, a right-wing authoritarian a loser, and a half-educated, belligerently educated, disaffected, diffusely intolerant yahoo an ardent Trump supporter.

    I expect my preferences -- progress, education, reason, tolerance, science, inclusivity -- to be shoved down right-wing throats by America's great liberal-libertarian alliance, preferably sideways.

    Carry on, clingers. Even Trumpier, please. Some young people are still learning about movement conservatives' predatory economics and medieval social policies, and they'll be voting for a half-century as the cranky old right-wingers take their stale thinking to the grave.

  • Presskh||

    Bingo, Juice. Unless I (we) benefit from someone immigrating, they should not be allowed to. BTW, that's also how most other countries view immigration.

  • Flinch||

    Once upon a time [before the Family Reunification Act of 1964], people who came to the US had a sponsor: somebody who affirmatively declared they had work for them to do, and they were fit for their position. Imagine... the unifying factor was a job! That's how to build a nation up, instead of tear it down to suit identity politics hacks.

  • JFree||

    haha. Sure everyone coming through Ellis Island had job offers in hand - because that's just what employers did back then. Steam to Europe - go to some shithole - and conduct job interviews with the peasants.

    What could possibly be confusing about this

  • ||

    Exhibit A: Switzerland.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Not on my dime. Should homeless people be allowed to flee into my living room?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Should we turn Alabama and Mississippi into unincorporated territories, much like Puerto Rico, and acknowledge the grievous mistake that occurred when those losers were permitted to resume statehood?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No, but we should send progtarded shitbags, such as yourself, on a one way trip to Antarctica . So as to cleanse America of communism.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The reason goobers like Elias call people like me the "elite" is that even they recognize, at some level, that they are the lessers and we are the betters.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • hello.||

    He didn't call you elite. As enamored as you claim to be of education you sure are bad at reading.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I wrote "people like Elias," not "Elias."

    Is backwater religious schooling to blame for your level of comprehension?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Is backwater religious schooling to blame for your level of comprehension?

    Someone with your supposed level of education ought to know, then, what happens when their "lessers" finally decide to knock the elites down a peg or two.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    What happens?

    Is Pres. Trump going to rescind graduate degrees? Compel us to send our children to backwater religious schools?

    Do you expect him to revise economic fundamentals to enable half-educated, unskilled white goobers from the backwaters to prosper at the expense of accomplished residents of modern, successful communities?

    Is he going to bring back the coal industry? Put evolution and prayer back in reason-based classrooms? Impose poll taxes, literacy tests, and Ohio-style, race-targeting voter suppression at the federal level?

    Do you figure he will turn back the clock on admissions of women to graduate schools? Make black males lower their gaze in the company of white women again?

    Or will the goobers just mutter about good old days that never existed, attend a militia meeting or two, try to push the Republican Party farther to the right (and toward electoral irrelevance in an America that becomes less rural, less religious, less white, less bigoted, and less backward each day), and generally continue along the shambling path in their depleted communities?

    Carry on, clingers. And bring it on.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'm certain no one considers YOU to be 'elite'. If anything, you're subnormal. Truly a mere mortal. Amongst gods.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I would object to the US preventing Haitians from moving to Canada.

  • The_Hoser||

    As a Canadian, we should be turning them back at rifle point.

  • Juice||

    The purpose of American immigration policy is to benefit the interests of the United States.

    Who is the United States and what are his or her interests?

  • Brightly||

    "Who is the United States"

    Are you one of those who when asked where Washington is on a Globe, they point to somewhere in Germany?

    "... and what are his or her interests?"

    As if our immigration policy has reflected national interests instead of industrial and partisan ones....

  • Ken Shultz||

    Barack Obama wasn't concerned about the interests of American security anywhere near as much as he was interested in the interests of refugees who hadn't even come to our shores.

    Honest people can disagree about where our best interests lie, but Barack Obama thought that being preoccupied with our own best interests was both selfish and racist.

    And that isn't just about immigration policy.

    It was reflected in ObamaCare, the Paris accords, etc., etc.

    Even now, the progressives are up in arms over Haiti, not because they're afraid that American interests will be undercut by Trump's immigration policies.

    . . . but because they're concerned about Haiti and Haitians.

    Maybe they should go run for office in Haiti.

  • Flinch||

    I have a take that is just slightly different. What got Obama off was... vandalism. Yes, he learned [and appeared to love] a few marxist precepts todays progressives admire, using it to his advantage in getting to the white house; but he appeared to have an anarchist streak too. It might explain his dalliances with Weather Underground types etc, alongside his first big act: running to Cairo to give a signal speech to the muslim brotherhood that his administration would not touch them. And, it might explain why shattering the national identity by bringing in the most radical elements possible to pollute city after city was sport for him. I visited Dallas a couple years back, and my jaw dropped upon seeing something unthinkable 20 years ago: a woman dressed in full hijab, head to toe black at a bus stop. He helped make that happen, and likely as a psychological weapon against the people. Injecting Islam into the fabric of our history with false provenance was something he did with eyes wide open: if sharia law was capable of producing a free society, it would have formed long ago - probably before the US. But, the sharia crowd doesn't assimilate anywhere, do they? Not in Persia, or Lebanon even.
    So... where do the percentages fall? Obama may not have been a progressive on balance, but an anarchist burning down the culture at whim. It could split as fine as 51/49 for all I know, but not one MSM hack has yet to see the tip of the iceberg.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    We,rica would be so much better off if that turd was exposed for the traitor he is many years ago. It will take decades to fix what he did.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Is this really confusing to you?

    The point is that this is what the argument SHOULD be about.

    It's the same argument we should be having about taxes, spending, regulation, wars, treaties, and everything that's enumerated to congress in the Constitution.

    Is this treaty in our best interests?

    Is this war in our best interests?

    Is this regulation in our best interests?

    Is this spending in our best interests?

    Is this tax in our best interests?

    Answering that question on those issues is the proper purview of democracy.

    Oh, I left one out! The question isn't whether our immigration policy is the best interests of Haiti.

    Can you guess whose interests the president and congress are supposed to serve when they formulate immigration and every other policy?

    P.S. Are you afraid that immigration from Haiti can't possibly be in our best interests? If so, kindly tell people you're a progressive and not a libertarian. Give the rest of us libertarians a fighting chance with the general public.

  • Presskh||

    Very good summary, Ken Shultz.

  • Wanderer||

    Absolutely perfect

    Reason, former libertarian magazine

  • Juice||

    And if you can't make a libertarian argument for why the free flow of cheap labor across our borders is in the best interests of the American people...

    Can you make a libertarian argument for why your continued presence on this landmass is in my best interest, or in the best interest of "the American people"?

  • Brightly||

    You first.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually, I'm an American, and I expect the government to pursue the interests of Americans.

    Insisting on a government that's about something other than forcing me to make sacrifices for other people really isn't in any untoward.

    I'm not a socialist.

    I'm not a communist.

    I'm not a progressive.

    I am not here for your benefit. I'm not here for the benefit of Haitians.

    I'm living life for me. And the government is there to benefit the American people.

    American politicians who care more about Haitians than they do about the interests of Americans are not righteous saints.

    They're traitors.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I'm glad your comments are way out from behind the BS smoke and mirror show that many lefties are trying to pull. It's great that You are challenging open border people to convince us Americans why massive immigration is in America's best interests.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They used to make that case all the time!

    Trump was elected, and suddenly they forgot everything they used to know.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I see your comments that state that you want more immigration and why.

    As you say, I think people like me who want to slow immigration to a trickle for 10 years of so would not be so stuck on limiting immigration if the lefties were not using the issue to (1) label all Americans as racist, (2) buy votes, and (3) get immigrants into the USA who are okay with the Nanny-State because back home that's how it was.

    I often ask why the USA has to take in so many immigrants when we have ~330M people in the USA and how many people is too many- 500M? 1 Billion people in America?

    If the USA went to a more limited immigration policy and deported all illegals, normal American birth and death rates would set a population range that keeps our high standard of living and our Constitutional government with freedoms intact.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Not all Americans are racist. Not nearly.

    Plenty of them are. Mostly they're the right-wing goobers, backward and belligerently ignorant, blaming others for their largely self-inflicted predictament as shambling inhabitants of our can't-keep-up backwaters. Most educated, accomplished, reason-based, decent residents of our modern, successful, communities are unfamiliar with the level of dysfunction, deficiency, superstition, and despair in our depleted rural and southern communities.

    Not every person who voted for Donald Trump is a bigot, but every person who voted for Donald Trump is, at least, a low-character appeaser of bigotry and backwardness for paltry, perceived, partisan political gain. The ardent supporters of Pres. Trump tend to be the genuine, repulsive bigots.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You should really consider suicide.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    One of the great achievements of America's liberal-libertarian alliance in my lifetime is that bigots no longer wish to be called or known as bigots. To the contrary, it triggers them.

    A half-century ago, the intolerance was far more casual, and common, and open.

    Putting bigots on the defensive has been a first-rate accomplishment of the better elements of American society.

  • hello.||

    Yes, calling everyone and everything racist until the term carried absolutely no meaning and everyone collectively woke up and stopped taking you seriously and elected Donald Trump just to rub your noses in the shit pile you created was a great success. Not for you though. Congratulations.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The term "racist" has plenty of meaning. As do the terms "xenophobe," "gay-basher," and "misogynist."

    Some people wish those terms were not used. They tend to be the right-wingers who embrace or appease diffuse bigotry and backwardness.

  • Atlasgolf||

    Exactly. Glad you saved me the trouble of writing. Both Reason and Cato have this blind spot equating soft compassion and restorative justice with sound immigration policy. Haiti's historical government and culture have far more to do with it's dismal reality. By this misguided standard we should also extend such privilege to any country with a sad story.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: Ken Shultz,

    Donald Trump is right to ask whether immigration from the world's shit-holes is good for America--even if his answer is wrong.


    You seem not to be aware than rather than judging an INDIVIDUAL HUMAN OF WILL by the content of his or her character, you place anybody from country A or B or "shitholes", as the president so colorfully described, in a single box.

    That's what racists do, Ken. Doesn't matter if they're on the left, or in the Trumpista/White Supremacist/America First camp.

    Immigration is GOOD because people willing to migrate are looking to improve THEIR LOT. That means they're willing to be productive and prosper. Perhaps there's one or another scumbag wanting to try new places to rob, but that in itself is NO excuse to pain everyone else with that wide of a bigoted brush.

  • Brightly||

    Only mindless trolls who lack the cognitive skills to think for themselves reduce one's arguments about the benefits of immigration to "racism".

    One thing your forgetting about the immigration question: it is not only a matter of economics, there is the question of politics.

    Please convince me why I would be so elated about importing a population who, as hard working a they might be, tend to vote against the principles of limited government at the polls.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: Brightly,

    Only mindless trolls who lack the cognitive skills to think for themselves reduce one's arguments about the benefits of immigration to "racism".


    That's a nice factoid. And irrelevant.

  • Brightly||

    If I got your meaning wrong, i apologize.

  • hello.||

    You didn't, he just doesn't have a retort because he's mindless and screaming RACISM is his only actual argument.

    See we need another 30 million retarded Mexicans like that to make this country a great place.

  • Eric Bana||

    First, Republicans do a pretty shit job at that limited government thing. Second, perhaps politicians in the Republican party wouldn't scare off the children and grandchildren of foreigners if those politicians didn't consistently demonize and scapegoat them.

    I think it would be much better for Republicans to stop vilifying immigrants/potential immigrants rather than applying big government policies to barring people who want to come to the U.S. to improve their lives.

  • Brightly||

    A limit on immigration needn't be a "big government" policy, rather it is the opposite. Immigration as we do it currently leads to big government

    I don't think Republicans vilify immigrants on the whole by a long shot, and opposition to immigration policy isn't vilification. The GOP is far to cozy with immigration, in fact.

    and there are about four billion people out there who's prospects would improve if they came to the United States. What criteria should we use then to determine which ones are allowed? Why should their economic self interest outweigh my interests in preserving our Constitutional order? Why should it outweigh the economic interests of our own disparaged citizen populations?

    How many could we take before the political sensibilities of the nations we drew immigrants from destroyed our political consensus?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Open-borders "libertarians" would sell their own grandmother into slavery if it meant the GDP would go up another percentage point and they'd have two more ethnic restaurants to eat at on the weekends.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "You seem not to be aware than rather than judging an INDIVIDUAL HUMAN OF WILL by the content of his or her character, you place anybody from country A or B or "shitholes", as the president so colorfully described, in a single box."

    You don't seem to understand that I disagree with the president on whether we want people to come here for "shit-holes".

    I don't know why. I've pointed out that he got the answer wrong numerous times--you actually quoted me saying he was wrong!!!

    Why would you quote me saying that Donald Trump was wrong and then call me a racist for agreeing with him?

    Have you been drinking?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Donald Trump is right to ask whether immigration from the world's shit-holes is good for America--even if his answer is wrong.

    Yeah, I'm such a racist for agreeing with Donald Trump, huh?!

    I'm the guy saying we want immigration from the world's shit-holes, that such immigration is in our interests!!!

    You must be drunk.

  • Mark22||

    You seem not to be aware than rather than judging an INDIVIDUAL HUMAN OF WILL by the content of his or her character, you place anybody from country A or B or "shitholes", as the president so colorfully described, in a single box.

    Judging human beings as individuals is what people are asking for in our immigration policy: we want an immigration system that determines on an individual basis whether people have skills and a culture that is compatible with US culture, independent of race or country of origin.

    It's you who keeps arguing for indiscriminate immigration and it is you who keeps making racist and bigoted arguments.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Donald Trump's racism is part of the attraction for his right-wing fans and appeasers, including the faux libertarians.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You're certainly not a libertarian.

  • hello.||

    Immigration is GOOD because people willing to migrate are looking to improve THEIR LOT. That means they're willing to be productive and prosper.

    Non-sequitur. Your second sentence does not follow from the first. It is possible for most migrants to improve their lot simply by moving to a different jurisdiction without doing anything to be productive. Your fellow Mexicans, who use welfare at somewhere around 3 to 5 times the rate of the native population, are a good example. But an even better one would be Muslim migrants in Europe who are literally shopping around for the best welfare benefits and have not worked a day since they arrived.

  • Ron||

    best comment of all Ken and to the point hope you don't mind but I'm going to keep it to give to others

  • GILMORE™||

    This article is nothing but a string of pathetic-appeals and non sequiturs

    it doesn't do anything to substantiate the headline claim. it does nothing but confirm, "yes Haiti's a shithole".

    as far as providing 'blame', or even attempting to provide any summary analysis of *why* its a shithole, it fails.

    When your best evidence is "The US spent gazillions of $ in Aid (which was misdirected or misappropriated by haitian leaders), and repeatedly sent in the marines to try and help (which didn't)".... you should probably not have bothered making the simulacra of an argument at all.

  • JFree||

    and repeatedly sent in the marines to try and help (which didn't)

    We didn't send in the marines to help the Haitians. We sent them in:

    Because our imperial apparatchiks in DC sold a bunch of nonsense that if we didn't take over Haiti the Germans would - when in fact they had long had colonial ambitions re Haiti and had taken minor actions in 1857, 1863, 1891, and 1904 to prove that.

    Because Citibank had two years before stolen all of Haiti's gold and took over the customs house (close to 90% of Haiti's govt revenue) - because of a financial crisis they had created re Haiti's reparations payments to the French - so they now needed an army loyal to them

    The recently founded HASCO and an American railroad needed more muscle in order to re-create an American-owned plantation economy - because the farmers they were evicting were resisting and organizing as the Kakos and that was in turn destabilizing the Haitian govt (5 presidents in 4 years before the invasion - the last of whom was killed by the Kakos).

    The Marine units stationed there built infrastructure for the Americans there - not for the Haitians

  • JFree||

    If you're there to 'help the Haitians' - you don't tend to take pictures posing with their corpses - http://bit.ly/2EFFjlP

  • GILMORE™||

    meh. we went to somalia to feed them. we ended up shooting a few thousand of the less-pleasant ones. i don't see those things as mutually exclusive.

  • GILMORE™||

    "stole all their gold"

    Do you have a link to the Howard Zinn piece you're summarizing?

  • JFree||

    Specifically here re the gold - http://www.bookmanlit.com/usoccupation.html

    Or you can google Roger (Leslie) Farnham who lobbied for our invasion/occupation. And yeah - pretty much all the sources are not friendly because he was an asshole. eg - in the Congressional Record for 1922 - in a subsection titled Land Grabbing - The testimony of Roger L Farnham of National City Bank of New York indicates the interests he represents have in view the seizing of lands that native Haitians held for over a century under squatter rights without, therefore, the rights of legal title deeds but immune, under the old constitution, to foreign ownership. These interests urged a modern survey of the island by the occupation in order to establish definite title deeds and it appears that far over 200,000 acres of valuable lands have now been grabbed.

  • JFree||

    Or hell - here's Smedley Butler - the Marine commanding of the Haiti invasion - from his War is a Racket pamphlet later.

    I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

    Of course Zinns/etc love quoting that stuff. Doesn't make it false.

  • hello.||

    Of course Zinns/etc love quoting that stuff. Doesn't make it false.

    The subjective opinion of one source does not a definitive historical account make either, but when you're desperately grasping for anything to fit your preconceived narrative of American villainy you have to take the scant scraps you can get.

  • JFree||

    As opposed to the voluminous amount of information you bring to the discussion?

    Let me see - I have actual facts, congressional testimony, and the memoirs of the commanding general (a dual Medal of Honor winner - for separate actions).

    You got - nuttin'

    Get back into the corporatist hole and munch on their dingleberries

  • Ken Shultz||

    There may be something racist about supposedly free market libertarians who can't think of any good reasons why cheap labor might benefit the United States--since it comes from Haiti.

    Are we saying that the people of Haiti may have no market value, but we should suffer their presence in America anyway because of our past foreign policy mistakes and because they're so pathetic?

    I hope that isn't really what's being argued in this piece because that's revolting.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Perhaps. Though that's the exact opposite thing being said by the penultimate paragraph.

  • Atlasgolf||

    Haitians have market value of course. Strange that some think they can only express this value by immigrating to the US. One could also call that a racist attitude. If they are so educated, Haitians should be able to fix Haiti.

  • vek||

    They have market value... It's just very low! Probably right around, or perhaps below, minimum wage in the US.

    That's the problem with immigrants who have no skills. We already have millions of unemployed people with no skills in the USA... So how is adding millions MORE unskilled people going to do anything good or useful? Is it going to bring the average US income up? Is it going to increase the tax base? Anything else good? Basically the answer is no.

    Every US born minimum wage employee is in fact a net negative to the country already. They receive more in benefits than they pay into the system, even if they're NOT on welfare. Just the cost of roads, schools, and basic stuff is not supported by them. So more of that will literally just make things worse for everybody who is above the poverty line, and indeed harder for native born people that are below the poverty line as well. No good will come of it, except for the immigrant who has a less shitty life than in their home land... But I don't see where it is our responsibility to ruin our country and our standard of living so that every illiterate from the third world can come up a few notches.

  • hello.||

    Reason loves the idea of a permanent underclass of slave labor because it suits their lifestyle and they are bad at accounting. Nick Gillespie's black market maid who will come in and change his kid's shitty diapers for half the minimum wage so that his spouse can be absolved of any of the responsibilities of parenting is an unvarnished good in his opinion because he doesn't count the 50% or so of his total tax bill that goes toward feeding, clothing, and educating her 8 children, who are also receiving direct welfare benefits for the household, as a cost of her employment.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    " But the country's current predicament has far more to do with the U.S. government than everyday Haitians."

    Why would you compare the policies of the US government to every day Haitians when describing the country's current predicament? Wouldn't it be more useful to compare US policy to, I dunno, a murderous tyrant who declared himself president for life and ruled with an iron fist, killing tens of thousands of Haitians in the process from 1957 to 1971, then transitioning power to his son?

  • dave b.||

    All puppets backed by western governments.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    there was only tepid support from the US government for baby Doc duvalier, and only after he released political prisoners and softened up a little bit.

  • dave b.||

    Yes, "tepid support", just like the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, OBL, and a billion other tinpot dictators educated in Western universities and backed by the US govt until they were no longer useful.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I suppose you must be privy to some cia memos supporting the black nationalist government of papa doc duvalier. I'll give you a moment to check as they may be under the secret Kenyan papers.

  • dave b.||

    Oh, you went to public school. Never mind.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If you don't find them there, you might look under "Jewish banking conspiracy".

  • dave b.||

    What the fuck is a 'black nationalist'? Is that like a black supremacist or whatever made up term that suits white people's delusions when convenient?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I see you're a student of history!

  • dave b.||

    I see you're a white supremacist!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Maybe you filed it under 'C', for "conspiracy, jewish banking"

    I can wait.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • dave b.||

    Not sure what your obsession is with people of Jewish descent, but leave me out of it, Hitler.

    Thanks for the white explanation from the white media of what an alleged black nationalist is.
    Hint: Duvalier was not Marcus Garvey

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Thank YOU for Godwinning, dickbreath.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thanks Diane, I had yet to see anything so far that Haiti elected a tyrant and then blames the USA for its troubles.

  • dave b.||

    Holy fuck you're fucking stupid

    The colonists had to fight BOTH the British AND the French in order to liberate themselves.
    Then when peace finally came, the British & French imposed harsh terms, forcing the new nation to pay them back for all of the assets that they "stole" from their former colonial masters, under threat of blockade of their ports. And that the debt was so punitive it took 150 years to finally pay it all off. Oh and to earn the money to pay off this enormous debt, the new nation didn't have an entire continent's worth of resources to exploit, only half an island's worth.
    Then, whenever the country seemed to be finally getting on its feet, the military would get uppity and seize power, in an endless series of military coups.
    Finally, their big brother nation from the north was always meddling in their affairs, even going so far at one point as to invade the country and run it for them for a long period of time.
    And then this big brother country has the gall to lecture them "Well why are you such a shithole country? Huh? Why aren't you as prosperous as we are? It's because you're terrible people!"

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They (Haitians) elected a black nationalist tyrant in 1957.

    It's not that Haitians are terrible people per se but that they don't fight to have the constitutional protections, freedoms, and property rights that we have here in America. That tells me a lot about Haitians that don't want to fight.

    They want to come to the good 'ol USA and get some of the money though.

    Freedom isn't free or easy. Once you have it, everyone wants it to take from you or have it the easy way.

  • dave b.||

    So your point is to continue to ignore the hundreds of years of slavery and mandatory reparations, since it was the election of that one black guy which caused all of the trouble? Not sure if trolling or just stupid. Or we can just look at the fact that the Duvaliers were puppet dictators sponsored by the US.

    " François studied in a medical school set up by the United States, which had closed down the existing Haitian medical school because its professors opposed the occupation, and he spent a year at the University of Michigan. "

    "Starting in the mid-nineteen-sixties, one U.S. President after another funnelled aid to Duvalier, even as waves of Haitian immigrants fleeing poverty and political oppression arrived in the U.S."

    "Bolstered by the U.S., the regime operated with impunity. Government funds were embezzled and siphoned out of the country"

    Maybe the US should stop invading countries around the world and overthrowing democratically elected leaders for puppets favorable to the US. Or we can continue to repeat the same mistakes in Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Iran, Iraq, Honduras and then are somehow bewildered when they turn into shitholes and everyone wants to come here.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You linked to the "white media".

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Maybe the US should stop invading countries around the world and overthrowing democratically elected leaders for puppets favorable to the US

    That would be awesome, but if you want to live in the most powerful country in the world, you're going to have to live with an imperialist foreign policy. We don't have troops stationed all over the world and spend billions in foreign aid that inevitably gets flushed down third-world toilets out of a sense of altruism. It also doesn't mean we're obligated to take in their entire population just because life there sucks.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Yeah, blame America first.......

  • JFree||

    Duvalier was elected in Sept 1957 only because:

    Joseph Pierre-Louis (head of their Supreme Court) assumed the presidency in Dec 1956 and called for elections in April 1957 and released some political prisoners. He was couped at US demand five weeks later.
    Franck Silvain became Prez - couped 56 days later at US demand
    Gen Leon Cantave - incompetent and couldn't handle what was now a general strike after he cancelled the election
    Daniel Fignole - who would have won the April election. Couped and exiled after 19 days at US demand and declared ineligible
    Gen Antonio Kebreau - general strike now became full-fledged rebellion (1000+ dead) - called for Sep elections - army (correctly) decided Duvalier was the only candidate who would be able to end the rebellion and made sure he won

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You prefer backwater religious schools that teach nonsense, suppress history and science to flatter superstition and dogma, and engage in strenuous censorship?

    Why?

  • Brightly||

    Why do you magnify everything you disagree with Conservatism and Libertarianism to the level of vindictive ad-hom absurdity and believe it is any substitute for an intelligent argument?

    Everything I have ever seen you post is designed to harm someone else or bring down discourse.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Perhaps I am just trying to fit in among the retrograde right-wing yahoos who appear to dominate the discussions at an ostensibly libertarian site?

    Or perhaps you are just too sensitive at a point or two along the continuum?

  • Dunehunter||

    ...and still another argumentum ad hominem.

  • hello.||

    Or more likely: you have no actual arguments so you mindlessly repeat the same talking points over and over again to deflect the conversation away from your own insecurities.

    It's okay to be stupid. It's just annoying when you are uppity about it.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I was looking for some libertarian discussion.

    I found a disaffected bunch of authoritarian, right-wing goobers whining about progress, tolerance, education, modernity, immigration, and a dozen other subjects.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Dave, so we shouldn't educate immigrants? Wait, aren't you advocating America taking anyone in for any reason?

    Glad you set that straight.

  • Paloma||

    Ho Chi Minh maybe?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    But to be fair, you said Western governments so maybe you meant Hitler.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    I think we're losing sight of the important thing and that is that Russia doesn't control Haiti. The shithole-ness of the place never mattered to Americans before.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Your lack of familiarity with history appears to be severe.

  • Brightly||

    You know, I get a little suspect of any claim blaming America for an occupation that ended eighty years ago. Haiti is a well known hotbed of corruption, and that is based on choices of Haitians to victimize other Haitians.

    No nation has ever risen and become successful through blaming other people and expecting ongoing international support, no matter how justified.

  • creech||

    I wonder if Shel Richman would agree with this statement?

  • Brightly||

    If he's at all intelligent, maybe that name dropping is not the same as an argument?

  • GILMORE™||

    ""I get a little suspect of any claim blaming America for an occupation that ended eighty years ago.""

    1 - it was 100 years ago
    2 - i think any read of history will show the marine occupation of haiti to have been, at worst, 'a mixed bag', with some significant good accomplished, some horrible things done; but most of its influence utterly wiped out in the decades afterward. certainly not the thing that doomed the fortunes of the country for the next 100 years.

  • JFree||

    We created much of the land ownership problem in the urban areas. Distributed the best of it to an elite puppet class that supports our interests - made sure we didn't fix the problems that already existed - and connected all those bits with roads. Haiti is more mountainous than Switzerland so there isn't much arable land. Everyone else was forced to be a squatter or a subsistence goatherder or got to work on the plantation on puppet/US terms.

    The 2010 earthquake 'recovery' is a direct consequence. All the actual rebuild aid went to the elites - where/how they wanted it. Rubble elsewhere still hasn't been cleared. Everyone else now gets to squat in rubble or be a subsistence goatherder or work on the plantation on puppet/US terms. No surprise the goatherder areas are now deforested too - so just need to wait for a hurricane to fuck with Haiti some more via mudslides.

    We left Haiti because we were successful in screwing it up. If there is any chance that what we did gets reversed, we head back in and make sure its not - via coups or selective embargos (our puppets and corps are 'spared'). PapaDoc was an erratic psychopath but he was our psychopath. We trained the TonTon Macoute - and their replacement (FRAPH) in the early 90's.

  • GILMORE™||

    ""We created much of the land ownership problem""

    again - 100 years ago. as tho 'nothing could change since', because no one on the island has any agency.

    all this "We did" shit seems to absolve every hatian of having any responsibility for their own destiny. rather than spew your litany of conspiratorial weak-causations, perhaps you should wonder why Haiti is such a unique victim of American policy, and why once they got 'screwed up', they were never able to take care of themselves.

    your narrative relies entirely on motives which don't make sense; we were "exploiting" Haiti, apparently - but for what? what have we gained from all this mechanization?

    I find the whole argument as stupid and facially implausible as the claim we invaded iraq "to steal their oil".

    e.g. you don't spend 1-2 trillion dollars trying to 'steal' a few hundred billion in assets that can be had far cheaper and far more reliably exploited elsewhere.

    similarly implausible is this idea that the US manipulated haiti into permanent dysfunction

    - we've spent many many millions trying to prop up the country over the past century, yet what value, exactly, were we attempting to acquire for all that funding?

    You suggested way above it was "to keep the german/european imperial powers out of our hemisphere". that's a cute explanation for the 100-years ago part, but you need to update your thesis to explain the rest

  • JFree||

    no one on the island has any agency.

    WE trained the TonTon Macoute death squads - and the 1990's replacement. WE couped the country repeatedly every fucking time anyone there steps out of line. Yeah - people there have agency. And WE make sure they are killed/eliminated when they exercise it.

    You suggested way above it was "to keep the german/european imperial powers out of our hemisphere".

    I didn't suggest that AT ALL. That was the bullshit excuse used at the time. I asserted that we intervened to expand/protect our own corporate interests. And NOTHING about that has changed in the last 100 years except the means by which we do that. We now do more surreptitiously - more covertly - more through proxies. We've learned to keep a bit more blood off our own hands so we can keep spreading/believing the myth that we are always on the right side because we are Americans.

    Only a dingleberry munching moron like you can dismiss all reality. In Haiti's case - because that dismissal fits your bigoted world-view and hey jerking that knee is fun for a wing of R's who like to claim they are 'small-l libertarian'.

  • GILMORE™||

    we intervened to expand/protect our own corporate interests.

  • GILMORE™||

    (sorry, that was supposed to be a quote)

    What corporate interests, exactly? Haiti isn't either a resource to be mined for profit, nor a bustling economy we need to control. It is nothing but a sinkhole of wealth destruction. Its natural resources aren't at all particulary more compelling than that of its neighbors, who sell them cheaply and fairly. And it has little/nothing else.

    "Corporashuns!!!" is all so much handwaving. "We trained deth squads! We covertly manipulates them!"

    But *why*? was exactly my question. which you haven't answed. Cui bono?

    If no one profits from all this evildoing, why exactly do we do it? you seem convinced, yet you haven't even bothered explaining how this "interests" stuff motivates the "corporations" to be involved in this particular shithole. If we "stole their gold" so long ago, and they haven't produced any since, what other "gold" is there to steal? all haiti has been in the last 50 + years is an economic drain on everything in the region.

    You call me a "dingleberry munching moron". But all i'm asking for is a clear explanation of what we're trying to milk out of Haiti? You seem so convinced but you still haven't explained any coherent motive.

  • JFree||

    What corporate interests, exactly?

    For fucks sake this is silly. Read the damn comment I made or the link I provided. I named names in the comment and the link has detailed explanations. You've obviously seen the comment but I'm not gonna argue here what I've posted just above.

  • hello.||

    "I can't actually defend my own argument! Just read the same wacked out left wing propaganda that I do and it will al make sense!"

  • JFree||

    we were "exploiting" Haiti, apparently - but for what? what have we gained from all this mechanization?

    Because we CAN. Because we have the biggest dick in the world and there's no point in having a big dick if you don't use it to fuck people. Because every time you fuck around with one place, that message spreads to other places. Submit - or this will happen to you too. Coercion has a lot of leverage. And every one of our multinationals with lobbyists in DC knows this too. They want us to use our big dick to benefit them. And that is exactly what we do - still. The only thing that changes is the industries that advocate/benefit.

    I grew up overseas - my dad was a petroleum engineer (for a smaller co - but they benefit too). In Venezuela - in Iran - in Libya. All places that are totally hostile for Americans now. It took my dad until he was in his late-70's before we were able to talk about stuff that he personally knew about that our govt did for our companies - that is STILL not public. Not even by the Zinn/Chomsky crowd. But that crowd is far better at identifying that sort of cronyism and naming names than the Reason crowd of dingleberry munching corporatist apologists.

  • GILMORE™||

    "Because we CAN. Because we have the biggest dick in the world and there's no point in having a big dick if you don't use it to fuck people. "

    and here we get the inevitable howard-zinn-ism

    countries are motivated by 'dominance' for its own sake, rather than any rational estimation of cost and benefit.

    sorry, too retarded for my tastes. people do things for reasons. we don't blow hundreds of millions in aid money simply because it feels like we have bragging rights to "control" or "coerce" counties like Haiti, which are utterly useless and nothing but a source of aid-sucking.

  • JFree||

    simply because it feels like we have bragging rights to "control" or "coerce" counties like Haiti, which are utterly useless and nothing but a source of aid-sucking.

    This isn't done just for bragging rights or ego. There is plenty of profit in desperate oppressed labor. Luckner Cambronne (head of the TonTon) made money selling Haitian blood and cadavers to US hospitals/schools who asked no questions. No probs sourcing fresh supply. When he got a bit too powerful even for Haiti - well retirement in Miami is a nice exit strategy.

    Haiti is an extraordinary lab if you want to experiment with how to terrorize a population into submission. The US Public Health Service had its Tuskogee experiments until the 1970's but that has all sorts of negative publicity problems. School of the Americas trained Col Franck Romain who became mayor of Port au Prince - and almost certainly orchestrated the St Jean Bosco massacre in 1988 - with no bad publicity in the US at all. These things are of huge value to our deep state and intelligence community - to our military - to many of our multinationals - to the big dick crowd. The 'aid' isn't going to the unwashed masses. We're just paying our friends and our own corporations for services rendered that we would prefer in a different accounting category.

    Your mistake is that you actually buy into good noble intentions of America overseas (even though you supposedly object to that) and have no interest in turning over the rocks.

  • JFree||

    BTW - I'm not saying that we actually do 'control' this stuff to some long-term design completely either. We are going to learn the lessons of every other empire in history.

    I'm saying - we don't spend $800 billion overseas every year on singing Kumbaya. We are assholes. And hell - that's exactly why you voted for Trump. Because you want to make sure we swing our big dick around and stop 'playing nice' and 'getting taken advantage of'. Well - we haven't BEEN playing nice. Never.

  • hello.||

    Lol. Your dad was a conspiracy theorist nutter and passed it on. We're supposed to believe you're privy to a top secret conspiracy of corporations to bully Haiti so that we'll have leverage to... what, invade Panama again?

  • JFree||

    Your dad was a conspiracy theorist nutter

    hahaha. He was a Chamber of Commerce type establishment Republican who's favorite Prez was Eisenhower. Difference is - unlike you and most of the commenters here - he wasn't a bigot or stupid or a useful idiot

    And yeah I minored in history which taught me how to do actual research and go to original sources. That's why I'm providing actual info and you're - munching dingleberries

  • JFree||

    the claim we invaded iraq "to steal their oil"

    No. Oil is fungible. 'Their' oil doesn't matter one bit. The global price does - and the control of it at the margin.

    We invaded Iraq so we could get our troops out of Saudi Arabia - where their presence was creating enough discontent for OBL to issue a fatwa in 1996 (Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places - ie Saudi Arabia) and 1998 - and riling up enough Saudis so that 15 of them were willing to hijack planes and commit suicide on 9/11. And 9/11 was chosen as the date because THAT is the date that Bush made his New World Order speech to Congress explaining his 'big picture' view of why US troops were heading into Saudi Arabia. THAT is blowback.

    And we couldn't just get out of Saudi without risking Saddam going back into Kuwait (and prob Saudi too this time) - and thus controlling the world oil price/supply. So Saddam had to go first and we had to put in puppets in Iraq.

    THAT is why we invaded Iraq. THAT is the ACTUAL connection to 9/11. Everything else is just bullshit for the American idiot.

  • JFree||

    Oh - and our troops DID leave Saudi Arabia - announced at a joint press conference on Apr 29 2003 in Saudi Arabia between Rumsfeld and the Saudis - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2984547.stm - and deliberately ignored in the West because that particular story doesn't fit the storyline that was sold in the West.

    But Bush himself knew the real storyline which is why 2 days later he gave his Victory speech on the aircraft carrier. Which backfired but only because - the Western audience didn't realize that getting out of Saudi and installing a puppet in Iraq was the only point of the war. We really didn't care one whit about some peaceful post-Saddam Iraq so its ok to be incompetent for that.

  • hello.||

    Wow. You really are a nutcase. Get help, seriously.

  • JFree||

    Walter Russell Mead wrote something very similar (more professorially) in 2003 in support of the Iraq War. I came to a similar conclusion because after 9/11 I read the OBL fatwas to figure out why he did what he did.

    You OTOH just believe whatever permawar agitprop is needed to convince dingleberry-munching sheep. So you actually think they hate us because of who we are. I know that (mostly) they hate us because of what we do. THAT my dingleberry munching friend is why I can recognize blowback and you can't.

  • JFree||

    Here's the archive of that Mead article - http://bit.ly/2DjlCDj - originally appearing as an op-ed in the Washington Post on Mar12 2003 (8 days before the Iraq War started) and now archived on the State Dept website.

    Some nutcase - eh?

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    If You Think Haiti Is a Shithole, Then Blame America for Helping to Make It That Way


    Reason should be fair to the president and not misrepresent what he said.

    The president never said that Haiti is a shithole. No, sir.

    No, he said that Haitians are full of AIDS. He also asked why do "we" want to bring more. Something akin to his "Mexican are rapists" assertion back when he was announcing his candidacy.

    Let's be fair. He called AFRICAN countries "shitholes". African countries. You know, like all of them in the fucking continent, including that member of the Commonwealth of Nations, South Africa...

    Also, let's be fair to him. All he wants for America is white, Nordic immigrants. That's fine. He is no longer making the case that limiting immigration is about economics. No longer, because it was all bullshit.

    No, is about #MAWA or Making America White Again.

    The masks are off. They're finally and irremediably off.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So, we rule out the honkie shock at the Obama reign pushback hypothesis?

  • GILMORE™||

    he said that Haitians are full of AIDS.

  • GILMORE™||

    lol, keep forgetting that Greasonable is broken

    Did he really say, "Haitians are full of AIDS", or is this just more "alleged, based on the dishing of some democratic aide no one has named"?

    ""including that member of the Commonwealth of Nations, South Africa..."

    Did he specify that as well? Neither here nor there, but crime in South Africa at times makes *other* African nations look comparatively tame

    "In the 2016/17 year, the rate of murders increased to 52 a day, with 19,016 murders recorded between April 2016 to March 2017. [11]
    ...
    The country has one of the highest rates of rape in the world, ...The incidence of rape has led to the country being referred to as the "rape capital of the world".[16] One in three of the 4,000 women questioned by the Community of Information, Empowerment and Transparency said they had been raped in the past year.[17]

    If your point was that South Africans, and not Haitians, should be the ones taking umbrage at this vulgar characterization, i think you're too quick in assuming they'd dispute the point.

    i had one close ZA pal. He lives in Germany now. Both his parents were murdered in their home about 10 years ago.

    Honestly, "Shitholegate" is easily the stupidest thing since the Pee Dossier. The media literally stokes meaningless outrages ex nihilo for no other purpose than to keep the #Resistance!!-idiots motivated.

  • ||

    Seriously, man? What the fuck is wrong with you? Like if the media didn't report on it Trump would stop issuing ridiculous tweets. They couldn't stop the outrage if they tried - because Trump can't stop shooting his mouth off and saying stupid shit. He can't. He's been in office in year, and he's still shooting his mouth off on Twitter every other day like an idiot.

    And you? What the fuck? You used to be an intelligent commenter, and now you've just thrown your lot in with the Stormfront trash. Why do you feel the need to defend these people?

  • GILMORE™||

    I don't think arguing like a teenage-girl is very becoming,

    Hazel: "Really?! OMG LIKE WTF. Thats like the racistist racist stuff ever and like all your friends are Nazis"

    I don't see how pointing out that South Africa is in fact, "pretty shitholey" is 'throwing in with stormfront trash"

    I think the high-dudgeon over trump's alleged comments is stupid, boring, and undeserved.

    Neither of those points have anything to do with the gibberish you just spewed. If you have no interest in responding to things i say, and just plan to go, "UGH OMG", I'll just put you on mute. I'd prefer you didn't.

  • ||

    I've read enough of your commentary to know that elsewhere on these message boards, you've generally been taking the side of the anti-immigrationist camp. That is what I am responding to.
    And here we come down to the point where Trump basically exposes the anti-immigrationist position has fundamentally racist motivations (more Norwegians! Fewer Africans!), and you pretend it isn't happening. Nothing to see here! Move along! Pay no attention to the stupid-and-painfully-revealing shit Trump is saying! Why are you looking at me with my pants down! Close the door!

  • GILMORE™||

    ""I've read enough of your commentary to know that elsewhere on these message boards, you've generally been taking the side of the anti-immigrationist camp. That is what I am responding to.""

    No. This is your retarded interpretation of me frequently criticizing the stupid arguments made by shikha, cytotoxic. et al, who routinely make false claims using scant headline data claiming that there are (effectively) zero costs associated with open-borders policy.

    Im very pro immigration and have said so a million times. You will be unable to find me ever saying i think we should even have *less* immigration; we need more, albeit more "better", and less "illegal".

    I think our system is in desperate need for reform, and have said so a million times over decades and for you to think otherwise is some mammoth combination of willful ignorance and projection.

    Your trump derangement has made you an idiot.

  • hello.||

    Your trump derangement has made you an idiot.

    It's the other way around, actually. Being an idiot is what causes the hysterical ravings.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Hazel found a Nazi under her bed....AGAIN.

  • GILMORE™||

    Like if the media didn't report on it Trump would stop issuing ridiculous tweets.

  • GILMORE™||

    lol

    (greasonable posts every time i try to format text)

    My response was, "if you think 'trumps' incoherent tweets' are more newsworthy than, -say, congress' recent re-authorizing mass surveillance of Americans', I think you, like most of the media, are serving to make the public stupider.

    trump's tweets are stupid. perpetually being outraged about them is stupider

  • ||

    Pay no attention to the man in front of the curtain.

    Dude, if your man embarasses you, please don't expect the rest of us not to laugh.

  • GILMORE™||

    ""your man""

    again, you seem to think this means something. I'd find the obsession over trivialities just as dumb were it anyone else.

    you can join buttplug, amsoc, and the rest in the ban-pool now. You're not worth even having as background noise.

  • ||

    If you can't handle people pointing out the racism in Trump's statements, the only people left in your unblocked circle are going to end up being the stormfront crowd. Because they will be the only people left who *aren't* pissed off at the shit Trump says.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Hazel, let us know when you start housing these immigrants in your own home, you dumb bitch.

  • hello.||

    "Every one I know voted for McGovern!"

    Hint: you and the half dozen nutbag conspiracy theorists who find racism anywhere and everywhere are the ones living in a fantasy echo chamber. If you had a job or anything meaningful to do with your life and actually left the house you'd not only realize that nobody else shares you delusions, but you might actually realize that the roving gangs of racist bogeymen you've created for yourself aren't actually out there either.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    Like if the media didn't report on it Trump would stop issuing ridiculous tweets.

    Like if Trump didn't call Haiti a shithole it wouldn't be a shithole.

  • Trollificus||

    Ah. I see. It all fits together! You have clearly made that case to your own satisfaction. Which mostly means your critical faculties are so weak and/or gently applied that they do not overwhelm your modest gift for argumentation. I'll make note of the model for future reference:

    a) Know what you think ahead of time.
    b) Use unexamined assumptions, unbacked assertions, exaggeration and selective/inaccurate quoting to give the appearance of "making an argument" that confirms your viewpoint.
    c) Apply critical analysis very lightly, since if any opponents do so it can be easily countered by name-calling.
    d) March off in victory, hands raised, mentally counting all the internet points you've won.

    Far from original, but effective.

  • Trollificus||

    This was directed at Ol' Mexican's mini-opus above.

  • JoeBlow123||

    This argument will end well, calling everyone who opposes you a racist! Good stuff champ.

  • hello.||

    No, he said that Haitians are full of AIDS.

    He's not even alleged to have said that.

    Something akin to his "Mexican are rapists" assertion back when he was announcing his candidacy.

    He didn't say that either. You're Mexican, so it's entirely possible you're actually this stupid. But if you're not, stop lying. It makes you look even worse.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You seem to be striving to defend or support a vainglorious, reckless, vulgar, authoritarian, boorish bigot.

    Why?

  • Longtobefree||

    One of the basic sanitation rules is to be sure to keep your shithole away from your house. That is why they are called 'out'houses.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is a story out that when Toussaint L'Ouverture chopped up Whitey and freed the island, France demanded reparations, unpaid, natch, which by the French Price system have been (they think) "earning" interest since that long revolt. This is cited by cognoscenti as the reason Haiti has no credit, etc, etc... I have no idea if it's true.

  • Trollificus||

    What does that have to do with filthy Christian fundies, Hank?

  • Trollificus||

    What does that have to do with filthy Christian fundies, Hank?

  • San Diego||

    So why is no one investing in Haiti and taking advantage of all that wonderful labor? I am confused!

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    "If You Think Haiti Is a Shithole, Then Blame America for Helping to Make It That Way"

    I blame the French.

    For EVERYTHING.

  • Paloma||

    Why do you suppose they were so anxious to sell us half the country in the Louisiana Purchase.

  • Mark22||

    After 200-plus years of policy forged with a mixture of racism and condescension, Haiti surely deserves better from Washington too.

    What Haiti deserves is to be left alone, nothing more and nothing less.

    And if you care about Haiti's future success, then we should sharply limit immigration from Haiti because hoovering up their best and brightest is the wrong thing to do.

  • Liberty Lover||

    Is America obligated to save every poor country on planet earth? No America did not make Haiti a shithole, Haiti's leaders did. Anyone remember Papa Doc and Baby Doc? If any Americans made Haiti worse, look to the Clinton clan, who raised millions and built a few shoddy houses.

  • Mark22||

    Of course, America is obligated to save every poor country on planet earth! How else are we going to keep our gigantic bureaucracy busy? How else are our politicians to find excuses for jetsetting around the globe? How are they going to distract voters with "we can't fix your schools, but think of the children in shithole X"? How else are gigantic government financed nonprofits and NGOs going to create enough sinecures to keep Harvard and Yale graduates busy?

  • Radioactive||

    I notice that no one is saying that these places aren't in fact actual shitholes!

  • ||

    Ah yes. Let's blame the Americans.

    Let's blame the Jews too while we're at it.

    I appreciate this article for its contextual angle but....

    Please allow me this 'on the hand':

    Italy too was conquered, raped, pillaged and occupied with many 'trophy' wars fought on its grounds for many years at different intervals throughout its 3000 year history. From the Greeks to the Romans to barbarian Goths to Normans to the French to the Spanish to the Austrian-Hungarians (on and on. Some would add the 'bandito' Genoese) at each interrupting the flow of its civilization.

    And yet....it still managed despite all the chaos to become a G7 power (despite only consolidating power into a nation-state in 1871 - that's four years after Canada) and have more UNESCO world heritage sites than any country.

    As for the British and French, yeh, they played hard ball (Britain in China and the Open Door Policy is one example) but let's not exaggerate ether. To go back to the Italy example, observers and commentators would say 'Italy put itself in that position' as Macchiavelli claimed. So like Gilmore said up top, mixed bag and I argue the British Empire left much good than bad.

    So spare me the excuses. Yes, actions as described by the author can retard things but it's not the death knell of a country or civilization.

    Haiti has to pull itself up by the boot straps or else it earns its moniker.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Do you say the same about Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and the other shambling backwaters that constitute an economic, political, educational, moral, and cultural stain and drain on our nation?

  • ||

    Rethink and rework you question as it pertains to my overall point.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Do you believe our depleted backwaters, and the shambling, Trump-supporting yahoos who inhabit them, should pull themselves up by the boot straps?

  • vek||

    Those Yahoos in fact have a higher standard of living than nearly anybody in the entire world! Those areas have also been successful parts of the country off and on throughout our history. Global trends haven't been kind to the industries in some of those areas, so they're kinda janky now. It happens.

    But yes, they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. It might be easier for them to do so without oppressive levels of federal taxation, anti business regulations, etc. But even if they stay just as shitty as they are now, they're doing better than almost anybody in the world, so not too bad.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    They are doing better largely because they are able to coast in a society that subsidizes them.

    I think the problem is less taxation or regulation and more individual choices and preferences -- ignorance over education, bigotry over tolerance, backwardness over modernity, dogma over science, superstition over reason, and the like.

  • hello.||

    What those places need is some Haitian voodoo practitioners who still sacrifice animals and can't read to come and teach them an appreciation for education, tolerance, modernity and science.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    We already have at least as many superstitious goobers as we need.

    They are an essential element of the conservative-Republican electoral coalition.

    Carry on, clingers. Even Jesusier, please.

  • ||

    Trump a racist? Like Woodrow Wilson? And he's considered an all-timer among progressives!

    Anyway.

    Quebec has a large Haitian population. I've been around the community for years. From work to play.

    Here's the skinny: They know Haiti is indeed a shithole and while they know of the history as described in the article, they, fairly hard working and educate bunch, hardly consider it a primary reason for its dysfunction.

    In any case, I find it a bit odd to write about Haiti and it being a shithole (word of the year for the pearl clutching pant shitters) and not mention BABY DOC DUVALIER and the corruption of the Duvalier family.

    Or how the Clintons took advantage of it too....thanks to Haitian complicity.

  • ||

    So you're saying Trump's views on race are so retrograde, they date back to the 1910s?

  • ||

    I don't know what I'm saying anymore.

    Just a puerile observation that the left never disavowed Wilson's racism. He's still ranked, if I'm not wrong, among the most popular Presidents. League of Nations and good intentions and all that.

  • ||

    Honestly, I don't know any progressives who actually cite Wilson as a great president. FDR, sure (in spite of the internment camps!). Wilson is the sort of person you only read about in a high school textbook. So is the League of Nations. My high school textbook was sort of pro-Woodrow-Wilson, but that was the last time I've noticed hearing any significant praise of him. Plus he was a "liberal interventionist" and that breed died in the Iraq war.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    I think he was talking about historians' rankings, not rank and file progressives. I'd be surprised if most of the latter could identify any Dem presidents beyond Obama, Clinton, and Kennedy.

    Plus he was a "liberal interventionist" and that breed died in the Iraq war.

    The fuck it did. What do you call Obama's foreign policy?

  • Tony||

    Rufus has conflated a lazy rightwing gotcha talking point with the actual thoughts of liberals.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    actual thoughts of liberals

    Hint: Wilson beats Obama in the latest poll of "presidential historians" whatever that means.

  • ||

    Either way, they're ranked way too high. Obama at #12 is so ridiculous and baffling I don't know what to make of it. He was a terrible President.

    And a jerk:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....23976.html

  • ||

    Leave it to you to misread the point.

    And Deflator Mouse was correct. My intent was the Presidential rankings by liberal scholars - which by extension I suppose would include progressives in general but I think Hazel Meade is right. More love for FDR for sure but Wilson doesn't get enough crap as far as I'm concerned.

    My bad.

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  • Finchster||

    Haiti—mean IQ: 67. Pretty much all you have to know about it's prospects in the 21st century.

  • vek||

    Yup. And if they had a better environment it might climb to a whopping 85 like black people in the USA! That's a world record for Africans!!!

    Seriously though... Even if you want to pretend IQ is 100% environmental (which much evidence and logic shows it is probably half or more genetic), it STILL explains why some countries are such shitholes in the here and now. MAYBE their IQs could be raised in the future, but for now they're horribly low, and IQ correlates with success in a number of important areas. AS IN it's obvious why some countries are shitholes, they literally don't have enough smart people around to run a modern civilization. It also answers why black areas in America are so fucked.

    Facts are facts, even if you don't like them.

  • Mark22||

    Even if you want to pretend IQ is 100% environmental (which much evidence and logic shows it is probably half or more genetic)

    IQ is more strongly determined by genetics than height.

  • Rascal88||

    Yes their AIDS epidemic, poor education, beaches that resemble garbage dumps, and extreme poverty is the US governments fault. Not their own corrupt government.

  • PL@pierrelemieux.com||

    Great piece if you replace "America" and "a United States" by "the U.S. government."

  • Augustine||

    I would normally have to go to Huffington Post to read about evil Yankee Imperialism and how we destroyed everything South of the border.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You could find another version at FreeRepublic, or RedState, or Instapundit, or National Review, or Stormfront.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    One question that I never see asked anywhere for some odd reason: how the heck will these shithole countries like Haiti ever start fixing their problems and getting any better than they are if their intelligent and hard-working people all leave at the very first opportunity?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Best they all stay there and turn that country into the paradise dumb white Americans can never create.

  • vek||

    The Brain Drain theory. Which makes perfect sense. Not ALL the smart people will leave, so progress is possible, but it will certainly be slowed considerably. Imagine if all the smart Indians had stayed in India and were doing creative things there. It would be less good probably for the individual Indian who passes on coming to the USA, but in the long term their society overall would be better off. It's a collectivist way of thinking about it, but it is true.

  • Ron||

    not mentioned in the article is that Hillary as Secretary of State put the Clinton foundation in charge of deciding who gets to rebuild Haiti after the earthquake and if the company bribed the foundation with enough money they get the U.S. contract to rebuild and there is no follow up on wether the contract is ever fulfiled

  • ||

    Haiti has itself to blame. After freeing itself from the French, it committed genocide against it's white population, killing virtually every while man on the island and most of it's white women and children. Britain and France were outraged, and acted accordingly.

  • Flight-ER-Doc||

    Come on, Reason...why is it the US' responsibility (or blame) to make Haiti anything?

  • Raphael D.||

    Let me see, Democrats prevented the US from recognizing Haiti over fears their independence would spread to the southern states. Democrats called for taking over the country. .... a few decades later a Democrat (Clinton) enacted an embargo. ..... then even later his wife embezzled millions of dollars that was suppose to go to earthquake relief. That was supported by a wishy-washy president who did little. If you are upset by Trumps alleged comments, and you aren't upset about the Clintons and Obamas treatment of the country then you are part of the problem.
    Toss in all the progressive non-profits who continue to get rich off US aid to Haiti and other countries. And it was a progressive USAID that thought it a great idea to kill the native pig in favor of a hybrid not suited for Haiti.

  • Mark22||

    Ah, but it's the Republican's fault! Southern Strategy!!! /sarc

  • ||

    Port-a-Prince, the largest city in Haiti, does not have a functioning sewer system. Literally, they shit in holes. If that's not the definition of a shithole, please, for all that's holy, tell me what is.

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