The Globe’s Jacoby and The Inane Immigration Idea

(1) migrationI’m no fan of Jeff Jacoby. I rarely read him. I always thought his opinions shallow, predictable and his thought process somewhat light. I figured he maintained his position at the Boston Globe as a columnist because he posed as a conservative voice among the many liberals. Although even in that disguise he follows the Globe’s line and often offers a mea culpa to his colleagues by throwing off his conservative cloak as he did in his inane column today.

Jacoby is the guy who wrote the column telling everyone they should shun Billy Bulger. Imagine calling for the shunning of a person whose offense was he wouldn’t publicly condemn his brother? As for shunning people like John Martorano who murdered at least twenty people or his co-author Howie Carr who profited from Martorano’s vile life he is silent.

Well a day or two ago he penned an article calling for America to open its doors to all who want to come here. Seriously. No quotas or restrictions. Open the doors to everyone.

He was writing to complain about the folks in Massachusetts who gathered to express their opposition to bringing immigrant children who have slipped over our nation’s borders to Massachusetts.  After highlighting some of the speeches which he called “over the top” he told how the rally ended with the song “God Bless America” which was written by Irving Berlin. He noted Berlin came to America in 1893 during the time America’s gates were still wide open, as they would be until the 1920s.”  

His column comes close to being a copy of another column written days earlier by his colleague Joanna Weiss. Jacoby who at a minimum stole he idea from Weiss suggests Berlin would be upset by those with the anti-immigrant feelings who sang his song. He quotes some of the language used by those in the late 19th Century nativists who opposed foreign immigration noting had they had their way there would have been no Berlin.

He pooh-poohs the reasons the people offered to oppose the immigrants – they are illegal, add to the welfare rolls and cost of public service, don’t assimilate, or are undesirables. He then says:  they argue, meaninglessly, that America already has enough people, and can’t be a refuge for everyone.” Meaninglessly? Is Jacoby suggesting that America can be a refuge for everyone?

He tells us that what the protestors are really saying is: “we got here first, and we don’t need any more of your kind.” That sounds good and will please his colleagues; but does he really suggest there should be no ban on immigration. Does he want our gates thrown open to all who want to come? 

Now I’m sure Jacoby feels good having slammed the protestors and suggesting that they are little more than 19th Century nativists. But I’m not sure what Jacoby has thought through his own stand. It seems to me that he is arguing a nonsensical position that we should not have any immigration restrictions at all. Even his liberal Weiss didn’t go anywhere near that position.

Jacoby apparently doesn’t understand that the world has changed since Berlin landed on our shores. He cannot grasp that what was good for the country back at the end of the 19th Century when our population was around 75 million and the world population was 1.7 billion is not necessarily good for us now with 310 million people in a world with almost 7 billion people.

In 1900 Mexico had 12 million; today 112 million; Central America has 3 million and now has 33 million; our friends in Brazil had 17 million and now have 193 million. Africa in 1900 had a little over 100 million people, now it has over a billion people; Asia had 900 million but now has 4.5 billion. Each of these except for Asia has increase their population almost ten times; here in the U.S. we have only increased 4 times.

Not including the people of Asia but only those in Africa and the Americas who live in countries who have shown a desire to come here, assuming only 10% of those people would come, we’d have an influx of 135 million people. Add in Asia we would more than double our present population.

Jacoby’s outlier position prevents proper perception of the people’s protest. It’s not that the people are saying: “I got here first and don’t need any of your kind,” it’s just they are saying “as much as we’d like to do it, it is impossible to open our gates to all who would like to come here so we shouldn’t encourage such an influx.”

They, unlike Jacoby, understand we have to draw some lines. Every nation does. It’s not, nor has it ever been, as the person holding the sign suggests a human right to migrate.





  1. Matt, I’m for nuking anyone who disagrees with me. I think Fred Wyshak has a similar slant on people from south boston who got too close to the Bulgers or John Connolly.

  2. 1. Jacoby’s a buffoon who wants to bring back the Salem Witch Trials and excoriate anyone less “enlightened” than he sadly believes himself to be.
    2. As for Israel, they are caught in a wicked thicket and I do respect their right to self defense, but like you am deeply trouble by the killing of civilians. It seems to me in this age of asymmetrical warfare, much of which will be fought in urban areas, every care must be taken to avoid civilian casualties. The new maxim for a modern age will be “avoid civilian casualties at all costs” and even if there’s a one in one hundred chance a civilian will be injured, hold your fire, send the troops or drones in, or find another way to get the terrorists/Hamas-missile firers/mad-bombers/MuslimJihadists or narco-terrorists as the case may be. Stop killing civilians. You are presumed to intend the natural and logical consequences of your actions. When you firebomb or drone congested city streets, you are presumed intending to kill women and children.
    3. Matt, a paragraph quote from my new book: CHARACTER ASSASSINS II, which supports Marty Walsh’s view that Federal prosecutors are way off base and probation officials acted wholly lawfully in accordance with well established, time tested American traditions of Patronage.
    “Think about Chuck Turner, then turn your attention to the so-called Probation Department Scandal, where the former Commissioner of Probation, John O’Brien, an honest man with an impeccable record of public service, a Boston College graduate and former football player at BC, and two others in the Probation Department were being prosecuted by the federal government because some of the people who got jobs and promotions in the probation department were vouched for by state politicians; federal prosecutors said, “some were not the most highly qualified” or “O’Brien hired some who were less qualified than others then sent out letters claiming the hires were based on ‘merit.’” I’ve got news for the FEDs. If merit is as you defined it “those with the most education and experience” then no recent college grad would ever be hired for a probation job, no promising young person who was a recovering alcoholic or recovering drug addict would ever be given a second chance in life and hired by government. No ex-con would ever see a government job again. For to hire a young promising bright personable person with tons of potential and the likelihood of a long career in probation or other offices within government IS A MERITORIOUS MERIT-BASED system of hiring. The FEDs want legislators imprisoned or their reputations permanently tarnished as “unindicted co-conspirators” because legislators recommended persons for jobs. Every legislator supports other pols, and of course many support Bob DeLeo and leadership and none do so because someone recommended someone else for a government job. Yet Wyshak used such sordid reasoning to prosecute and impugn. As Mayor Walsh said, when he was a State Representative he recommended thousands of people for jobs, some because someone like Dan Ryan, a Court Officer from Savin Hill, vouched for them, others because a teacher or coach or neighbor vouched for them, and others because they knocked on the door of his office and as a constituent asked for help. The FEDs want that to stop. The FEDs want only judges, Paul Ware and lawyers from elitist schools and “prestigious” law firms, like the prestigious gang of law firms, pro-bono firms, and Ivy-affiliated judges that gang-banged the South Boston Veterans who ran the St. Pat’s Day Parade; for four years running, those “prestigious” bigots—and , Harvard Law Professors and Globe Columnists and Government big wigs trashed the Veterans. And only they and their ilk, if the Federal Prosecutors and Federal judges have their way, will be recommending people for probation or other government jobs. Patronage means people have Patrons, supporters, sponsors. There are Patrons of the Arts—thank God for their generosity with their time and money. And there are political patrons who include Presidents to Congressmen to local reps and local city councilors. The traditions and customs and long-standing exemplary noble Judaeo-Christian practices of the American people is that we help our neighbors and one way we do that is for people, in all walks of life but especially elected officials, to help people on the outside get a job inside government. And in America, oftentimes the most meritorious applicant is the promising young person who deserves his first good job in probation or elsewhere in the criminal justice system, especially if he or she is right out of school, high school, college or law school, and especially if he or she has overcome some obstacles, perhaps, or rolled around in the mud a bit perhaps, or come from the projects to achieve some modest success early in life, like finishing school. But maybe that’s what Ware, Wyshak and the rest of the Federal gang-bangers lack: real world, real life, rough and tumble experiences: pain and scars from scrounging in the dirt a bit, waking up in big poor families in the projects or on farms, waking up addicted to alcohol or heroin and overcoming those disabilities, infirmities, illnesses and hardhips. Maybe Wyshak and Ware lack a certain type of real world living: pulling yourself up by your bootstraps type of living; maybe, no matter who they started out in life, they’ve had too much of golden spoons and silver plates, of Osterville Yacht clubs and Charles River golf clubs.”

    • Billy:
      1. Agreed, as we used to say Jacoby is a piece of work. The Platters sang about him: The Great Pretender.

      2. The barbarians kill the women and children as we see with the Taliban and ISIS. We do not expect them to do otherwise and that’s why they must be stopped. If we kill women and children we become like them. There were ways to avoid the slaughter; they were hard. But that’s what must be done if we value life.

      3. Your book is right on point with the issues you raise. It gave me the idea for a post on the O’Brien case which will be coming out tomorrow. Thanks.


  3. from a never writer to an ever reader,Newes……

    Dear friends,
    For the month of August, you can watch Doug Horne’s historic interview with Dino Brugioni about the Zapruder Film for free online in the 85-minute feature The Zapruder Film Mystery:

    While serving as chief analyst of military records at the Assassination Records Review Board in 1997, Horne discovered that the Zapruder Film had been examined by the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center on the Sunday evening after the assassination. In this interview, legendary NPIC photo interpreter Dino Brugioni speaks for the first time about his examination of the film at NPIC on Saturday evening. Brugioni was never told about a second examination by a completely different team on Sunday evening and believes the Zapruder Film in the archives today is not the film he saw on the day after the assassination.
    Drawing on Volume 4 of his book “Inside the ARRB”, Doug Horne sets the scene for the interview with Brugioni and presents his conclusions. Whatever you feel about Zapruder Film alteration, Brugioni’s testimony about two NPIC events that weekend – presented here in HD video for the first time, thanks to Doug Horne and Peter Janney – is fascinating.
    The film was made as an extra feature to Killing Oswald and is also now available on the DVD:

    • MS:

      That was an interesting film. At the least one would say that not all was on the up and up. What by the way is the CIA doing in this thing? I thought they were suppose to stay out of domestic matters.

  4. Henry Barth: Savages caveat would actually reconstitute the situation pre-WWII where only charitable aid was available and people depended on previous arrivals from the same country/area/sect to become established here. At that time, millions came anyway.

    Rather than welfare, the drivers, then as now, are the horrendous conditions back home, the international lure of the American dream and the belief that we are a law abiding society of former immigrants. But mostly, it’s fear of staying and dying in their own country that make desperate folks hand their kids over to smugglers.

    I would love to believe that we, as a country, can sit down and decide this issue according to what is best, long term, for America, these unfortunate youngsters and the region as a whole. But that will never happen.

    It’s sadly amusing to hear people say that this could only be addressed in a non-partisan way in an election-free year. EVERYTHING is political fodder now, for one side or the other, and maintaining or gaining power the only ambition. And continuous campaigning and unlimited money assure there will never be a non-election year again.

    Matt’s main objection seems to be to the idea that we can absorb unlimited refugees, which I agree is utopian and wrong headed. But packing these kids up and sending them back to their murderous, gang-controlled slums seems so un-American to me. Especially since we cannot escape at least a whiff of responsibility for the deterioration of the rule of law in Latin America as our successfully outsourced “War on Drugs” contributes every day to the mayhem they’re fleeing.

    • Jeff:

      I agree with most of what you said. Savage is speaking tongue in cheek. He knows that is impracticable since no one who is here can be deprived of what others received, the courts would see to that.
      I happen to agree as you suggested that no parent would willingly turn over her child to another except in the most desperate of circumstances; we’ve seen it happen before in WWII when Jews turned their kids over to Christian families when the Nazis came into town.
      What then is the solution? We can’t have unlimited immigration since much of the world would want to come here. How then do we draw the lines?
      I’ve no easy answer and I haven’t heard a good one. Obama’s plan to let all kids who are here become citizens sounds good until you see the new influx of kids which has come about because of the word of his plan getting spread around.
      As usual we will deal with this in an ad hoc manner. It’s now an emergency so everyone runs around pushing his or her particular project; all seem to think the answer comes with more money, more cops, more judges, more social workers, etc. Once the emergency is over and it is funded to appease some it will reoccur in a year or two and the same cry will come out.
      As for the kids who have recently come, we know that a thousand or more are coming to Otis Airforce base in the Town of Bourne. It has about 18,000 people; 20% under 18 which gives it 3,600 school kids. How will it absorb another 1,000 kids who don’t know the language? The federals say they will pick up the costs but how will that be done. Who will care for the kids, feed them, clothe them, house them,etc? How long before Bourne will be facing some sort of suit or another for not doing the job right.
      All I intended to present was that we cannot open the gates to everyone. If we don’t do that, then we have to have a policy for treating those who come who should not be here. We don’t even seem to be able to manage that. I’d suggest that be our first step to develop that and apply it, even if it has to be done harshly since otherwise we’ll be facing this more and more.

  5. The very “far right” radio columnist Mike Savage also wants the US to have an open doors immigration policy. Let them all in, but with one caveat: No benefits for the first ten years. None.

    That is an interesting idea.

    • Henry:

      I listened to Savage one night. He went on and on about an employee at Starbuck’s coffee not putting the cup to his coffee on correctly and he got a little spilled on himself. I thought he was a little over the edge since in his heart he would have had her executed for such a mistake. He refused to accept any blame on himself for not checking the cap.

      Savage’s prescription is foolish like that of the guy in the Globe. No matter what the precondition to getting into the United States the benefits would always be there; the courts would isure that by deeming any restriction on people living in the country to be unconstitutional. It’s always hard to look someone in the face and tell them they can’t get food or clothing or housing. The biggest scam has been for people coming from the Soviet Union who get on SSI because they are unable to work even though they have never been part of the Social Security plan.

      As for Savage, he was also for nuking the Iranians, if my memory is correct.