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A challenge for the terminally self-righteous (regarding the word “sh*thole)

As the media lets Trump manipulate it into a frenzy once again, I have a challenge for the terminally self-righteous:

Name me just 10 countries in Africa … okay, seven … no, just aim for five to make it easy … that you consider to be as educated, prosperous, technologically sophisticated, opportunity-driven, stable, and well-governed as (oh, just for instance) Norway.

And while you’re at it, NPR, maybe you can quit broadcasting long segments on how earnestly you debated — searching heart, soul, conscience, and all the laws of human decency — before using the term sh*thole on the air. Nobody actually cares.

Trump may be a vulgar, narcissistic, ill-informed, predatory buffoon. His grasp of history (particularly the history of immigration) may be slight. He probably also doesn’t understand the disruptions and outrages perpetrated by European colonizers who wanted Africa’s resources while not giving a rip about its people or their cultures.

But if you — not you my dear regular blog readers, but you who are working yourself into a heart attack over Trump’s latest — disagree with his “sh*thole” characterization, let’s hear about the civilizational glories — present, not ancient — of Africa.

27 Comments

  1. Bear
    Bear January 13, 2018 9:45 am

    If Somalia is no longer a shithole, then it’s time for those refugees to go home to their beautiful, prosperous paradise. (Note that the ones who worked their butts off to work and become Americans should stay here. Note that doesn’t include Minneapolis PD officer Noor.)

  2. Dana
    Dana January 13, 2018 10:48 am

    Traditional Eritrean spiced coffee. “He who controls the spice controls the universe.” ― Frank Herbert, Dune

    One day, the present civilizational glories of the great Pacific NorthWet shall be but ancient memory … 😉

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X January 13, 2018 10:50 am

    The statement Trump made is true but the way he is making these less than presidential statements shall we say is just another nail in the coffin of this republic by paving the way for something much worst that will follow him once he becomes a one term president.

    IMHO with anything he does good by his actions he is undoing with his use of these stupid statements.

  4. John
    John January 13, 2018 11:02 am

    NPR did get especially silly yesterday. NPR is sort of an antenna on government centric thinking with a little variety and spices stirred in. I do like the no commercials aspect. Other talk radio is 50% sponsor noise and then with the time left takes twenty minutes to address what should take maybe five.

  5. Myself
    Myself January 13, 2018 11:51 am

    Just curious what is about Norway all of a sudden that people are so enamored of?

    Casablanca is one of the best cities I’ve ever lived in, and Rabat one of the most laid back.

    As for waiting for any good coming out of Mordor, your time would be better spent waiting for Godot

  6. Claire
    Claire January 13, 2018 11:58 am

    “Just curious what is about Norway all of a sudden that people are so enamored of?”

    Nothing in particular, except it’s the place to which Trump compared his “sh*thole” countries.

    And I don’t doubt at all that there are amazingly great places on almost every continent (can’t think of too many in Antarctica, and that’s after long talks with friends who’ve lived there) and in almost every country. I’ve been to a few places that might qualify as sh*tholes and found a lot of good in them.

    But that didn’t necessarily mean the countries weren’t you-know-whatholes.

  7. Myself
    Myself January 13, 2018 12:09 pm

    I’m sure you know Norway is a socialist shithole, and we should encourage people who have some self reliance to move here, not snotty socialist Euro-trash.

  8. Claire
    Claire January 13, 2018 12:24 pm

    Hey, I’m not the one wishing Norway would produce refugees. And I do agree it’s a great idea to encourage people with self-reliance to move here.

    I’m just asking those who think Africa is filled with peaceful, prosperous, well-educated, stable, non-corrupt countries to name a few of them.

  9. Pat
    Pat January 13, 2018 12:25 pm

    OT – Speaking of Africa and Norway, I just finished watching “Casablanca” before I came online.

  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 13, 2018 12:29 pm

    Depends on what criteria one uses for “shit.” And how much of that one is willing to put up with for other things they consider an advantage or a necessity. I don’t know quite what to think of Trump yet. He’s either the dumbest box of rocks ever, or crazy like a fox. But we won’t know for a while, I’m guessing. In the meantime, I don’t want anyone for “president,” or city council… even dog catcher, or anything in between… for whatever that’s worth.

    Don’t see any point to comparing countries. All are run by megalomaniac controllers, and their willing dupes. Just don’t see that much difference in the long run. Socialists, Marxists, controllers of all sorts differ only in intensity and insanity, not in kind. A is A…. whatever they call themselves.

  11. Myself
    Myself January 13, 2018 12:37 pm

    The President’s statement was made in regards to immigration, specifically ; we should have more immigrants from Norway, and fewer from “shithole countries.”

    My question is; Why?

  12. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal January 13, 2018 12:41 pm

    Scott Adams points out that Trump had spent the day dealing with Norway, which is probably why he used that country as the counterexample.

    Places that are s**tholes can lay almost all the blame on the State which imposes itself on them (or a foreign government **cough, cough, USA** which comes in and wrecks up the place). This is the topic of my upcoming newspaper column- although, with the delayed nature of newspaper, probably everyone will have forgotten about it by next Wednesday when the column comes out.

  13. Claire
    Claire January 13, 2018 1:24 pm

    “My question is; Why?”

    I think you’ll have to ask Trump. Anybody who knows much history knows that sh*tholes are usually the ones that produce refugees and large waves of immigrants. And sh*thole may be a temporary status or in the eye of the beholder. My own paternal ancestors fled the sh*thole of post-famine Ireland. My maternal ancestors fled a Germany that wouldn’t allow them religious freedom (but might have been a non-sh*thole to those who practiced the “right” faith).

  14. Shel
    Shel January 13, 2018 2:17 pm

    I traveled around Europe alone for a few months in 1967. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Norwegians. They would joke about how the inhabitants of Bergen considered themselves sophisticated. They say they envy the Swedes because they have nice neighbors. At that time (I don’t know about now) even the people in Oslo were very straightforward and seemingly honest. My understanding is that the country can be so socialistic because they have the oil revenues.

    An American with relatives there told me even though the people themselves don’t have a lot of money they keep their homes and neighborhoods in excellent shape. Doing anything there now including even buying a bottle of water is horrifically expensive due to the exchange rate. I had thought of trying to go back there for a week in spite of that, but now the most common name for males in Oslo is Mohammed. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable looking at all the Burkhas. Several years ago, the Minister of Finance (?), recognizing the burden they placed on society, made the offer to immigrants to pay them to go home. I never saw any further information, although I doubt many took her up on it. There was some resistance to their presence, however, and when I was finding the name and the date of an incident to post I discovered the country is oddly lenient regarding the desires of inmates. http://time.com/3963203/anders-breivik-oslo-university/ With considerable sadness I consider the country sunk.

  15. Jim Brook
    Jim Brook January 13, 2018 7:33 pm

    I believe the answer to “why” is that America should be taking in immigrants with some skills to offer. People from the most deprived countries on earth generally have not developed any technological skills to help move America forward. That, I believe, is the thinking.

  16. Dana
    Dana January 13, 2018 8:58 pm

    “America should be taking in immigrants with some skills to offer.”

    Rumour has it the children of Norwegian immigrants are especially talented at international diplomacy. Or maybe we should just get some Oompa-Loompas?

  17. fred
    fred January 14, 2018 1:44 am

    We’ve brought in a lot of uneducated poor that worked hard and have done us proud by their children.
    What I dont understand is bringing in immigrants that want to kill you,ie,providing them the gateway to invasion they couldnt possibly manage militarily.
    .

  18. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp January 14, 2018 8:01 am

    As Jacques Delacroix notes (and as I riff on), Trump got it exactly backward.

    Norway has a per capita GDP greater than that of the US, not to mention a much more robust welfare state. Anyone who would move from there to here is likely the bottom of the barrel, someone who can’t make it in a better place jumping ship for a worse place. And the better ones will be the ones who are smarter than you.

    On the other hand, a Haitian or Cuban with the courage and determination to push an inner tube into the Caribbean, jump on top of it, and paddle through shark-infested waters — or a Mexican with the courage and determination to risk dying of dehydration in the desert — for the opportunity to mow my lawn is the cream of the crop.

    If immigration is going to be controlled, who do you want coming here — hard-working people who will pick crops and pluck poultry and roof houses, keeping your costs down, or people who will either burden the welfare state or compete with your kid for neurosurgery internships?

  19. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp January 14, 2018 3:58 pm

    That’s not really responsive to either Mr. Delacroix’s point or mine.

    Stipulated, Nigeria is a shithole. It’s hard to get anywhere there, and hard to get anywhere FROM there.

    Norway, on the other hand, is place where it’s easy to get by and easy to get away from.

    So, from which country would you expect the migrant to be of the top-notch, hard-working variety?

  20. Claire
    Claire January 14, 2018 4:04 pm

    Tom — I didn’t intend that as a response to anyone; it’s just a link I found.

    People seem to think I’m arguing against immigration. I’m not. The only sense in which I’m anti-immigrant is a “why are we letting in people who want to kill us?” sense. Maybe some of the “why let in savages?” sense — which I know you disagree with and which I’m not going to argue about. I’ve acknowledged that shithole countries produce waves of immigrants and that my own ancestors on both sides came from countries that were, to them, shitholes. And I have neither advocated FOR Norwegians nor AGAINST ambitious, hardworking immigrants from the world’s shitholes.

    My only point in writing this post was to challenge the hysterical indignation of media types who were having the standard “OMG, did you hear what Trump said” hissy fit. I’m at a loss as to how several commentors are seeing my post or any comment I’ve made as anti-immigrant or even anti-shithole-immigrant.

  21. Kurt
    Kurt January 14, 2018 4:13 pm

    He has committed a gaffe: The unintentional uttering, in front of witnesses, of the truth.

    Kurt

  22. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp January 14, 2018 4:15 pm

    Claire,

    Sorry — your comment came in email seemingly listed as a reply to me, so I took it that way.

    As for the hissy, I didn’t have one myself. He probably shouldn’t have said it that way for the simple reason that there are shithole countries who have stuff he wants diplomatically and militarily, but I didn’t wig out over it on any kind of moralistic grounds.

    As for whether or not “we” should “let” people travel over property “we” don’t own without “our” permission, I don’t even see how it’s a question.

  23. Claire
    Claire January 14, 2018 4:29 pm

    ” your comment came in email seemingly listed as a reply to me, so I took it that way.”

    Ah. Sorry for that. My fault. I’m viewing all comments in the WordPress dashboard. When I have a comment to add, I often just scroll down until I find the most recent comment on a particular post and hit reply. I never even thought about people getting emails saying I’m answering them. I’ll try to keep that in mind from now on.

  24. Myself
    Myself January 14, 2018 6:12 pm

    I’m at a loss as to how several commentors are seeing my post or any comment I’ve made as anti-immigrant or even anti-shithole-immigrant.

    Perhaps some people have seen your comments that way because The Presidents statement was in regards to immigration, specifically; “why are we allowing people from “shihole” countries when we should be encouraging people from Norway.

  25. Claire
    Claire January 15, 2018 5:36 am

    “Perhaps some people have seen your comments that way because The Presidents statement was in regards to immigration, specifically;”

    True. But the huge media flap hasn’t been over immigration; it’s been over Trump calling various places “sh*thole countries,” rather than using some acceptable euphemism.

    I agree with the commentors here who’ve said the vulgarity slides us farther down the slippery slope of uncivil discourse and worse-than-ever government. But I also think the self-righteous media types should examine their premises.

  26. fred
    fred January 16, 2018 5:34 am

    I agree with the commentors here who’ve said the vulgarity slides us farther down the slippery slope of uncivil discourse and worse-than-ever government. But I also think the self-righteous media types should examine their premises.
    =============================

    Only difference trump says publicly what the politicians say behind our backs.His words in no way are lowering America further,we are already there,but the vulgarity only shows how ignorant he actually is,in contrast to his self proclaimed brilliance..

    We have incredible evil,increasing,since Carter,yet ‘we’ worry about words like shithole,are you kidding me?????

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