Today In Garbage Human Beings- Meet Don Brink

This fucking guy:

It was the first day of school, so Don Brink was behind the wheel of his bus, its yellow paint glistening in the drizzling dawn. Wearing jeans and a John Deere cap, he turned the radio to an oldies station and, with hands callused thick by 50 years of farming, steered the vehicle toward the edge of town.

He stopped in front of familiar farmhouses surrounded by fields of soy and corn, where blond children boarded the bus, chatting in English.

“Morning,” the 71-year-old Vietnam veteran said.

This was the Worthington he knew.

But then Brink headed back into town, past the meatpacking plant that was the area’s main employer and into the neighborhood he called Little Mexico, even though most of its residents were Central American.

This was the Worthington he did not know — the Worthington he resented.

At the corner of Dover Street and Douglas Avenue, a handful of Hispanic children were waiting. At Milton Avenue, there were a few more. And at Omaha Avenue, a dozen students climbed aboard — none of them white.

Brink said nothing.

“I say ‘good morning’ to the kids who’ll respond to me,” he said later. “But this year there are a lot of strange kids I’ve never seen before.”

Imagine being so “economically anxious” that you won’t say hello to little kids when it is your fucking job to drive them?

Fuck you, Don Brink.






107 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Buenos días, pendejo.

  2. 2
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:
    I concur. Repeat even.
    Buenos días, pendejo.

  3. 3
    Elizabelle says:

    On the bright side, he’s taking maternity leave soon. Wait, no?

    Farmers and retired farmers don’t need this guy as their PR. I think with some of these “traditional” jobs, those who followed them never did have to mix it up and think outside their bubble. It shows.

  4. 4
    guachi says:

    @Baud: Baud! 2020! wins the thread in one comment.

  5. 5
    matt says:

    giving townies 1.5 votes each is probably not the recipe for a well run country.

  6. 6
    scav says:

    AAAAHHHHH!!!! the Heartland!, the beating xian small-town neighborly great ‘merkan heartland!!

    OK, a verbose comment #1, extended to his tribe.

  7. 7
    Chyron HR says:

    Well, I was expecting the story to end with him running the immigrant children over, so that’s a silver lining. Why exactly is “Old White Man Is Racist” considered newsworthy?

  8. 8
    guachi says:

    @Chyron HR: If you read the story, it’s not just about the white dude. The story follows several of the immigrants on their day. It’s actually quite good.

  9. 9
    Wyatt Derp says:

    I wonder who he voted for.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Is it just me who is made uncomfortable with the concept of a 71-year-old driving a school bus?

  11. 11

    The thing I love most about this country is that, unlike pretty much every other country, it’s built not on shared bloodlines or religion or language, but on ideas. It was a new thing in 1787. Nobody had tried it before. Freedom, equality, welcoming anybody, however wretched because all of us have something worthwhile to give the world, if only we can get a shot to do it, nobody had real ever tried that before, because nobody had even ever thought of it before.

    And yes, the very people who wrote all that into our highest law were, many of them, shamefully inadequate to set such standards, because they fell so short of even getting near those standards, much less meeting them. But they put them down on paper, and signed their names to them, and those ideas have lasted all this time. And all this time they’ve been a goad to us, spurring us on to try to do better. Most of the time, we fall short, but we’ve come a long way.

    Having built our country on ideas instead of blood or faith is a big deal, because it keeps us struggling forward. It keeps us looking to the future rather than to the past. It makes it hard to be complacent about what this country is and who and what we who make this country up are.

    And having said that, now I come to what I hate about this country. There has always been a bloc in the U.S. who have never believed in anything this country nominally stands for. They want a hierarchical society built upon shared blood and background and religion and speech, one in which the people at the bottom know their places, and those at the top are free to do whatever they want. And they’ll never be happy until they get it.

    These two blocs, one looking forward, the other back, have struggled and fought each other since the first day that we became a country. Hell, the backward-looking crowd started a fucking war over it. Sometimes the reactionaries seem to be badly outnumbered and on the run, as happened when the New Deal was in full swing. Sometimes they seemed to have the upper hand, as in right before the Civil War, and in the Gilded Age.

    Right now, we seem to be right on the edge, with both sides about evenly split. The reactionaries have the edge on governing, what with the badly thought through and retrograde aspects of the Constitution, but the forward-lookers hold the future, because there are more of us, and our side is the one that’s growing. This is what the fanatical opposition from the reactionaries stems from I think. They know their time is running out, and they’re desperately trying to somehow cement their anti-democratic edge enough that it becomes self sustaining.

    I think it’s doomed to fail, but it’ll only fail if we, those looking to the future, we looking to the future, keep fighting. People like Don Brink dishearten us, and he’s a morally empty monster. But there are more of us than there are of them. There are more of us than there are of them. As long as we keep that in mind, as long as we don’t let these people wear us down, as long as we keep on keeping on, we’re going to win.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    Obligatory: “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”

  13. 13
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @guachi: Do people still say RTFA, or was that just an old Slashdot thing?

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Today In Garbage Human Beings- Meet Don Brink

    Brinkmanship at its finest.

  15. 15

    @Chyron HR:

    Why exactly is “Old White Man Is Racist” considered newsworthy?

    Because most whites still desperately want to believe racism is dead, and because the Trump era is so blatant that they’re edging slowly towards the truth.

  16. 16
    Gravie says:

    The thing that slays me about this guy and his ilk is that he thinks he’s being some kind of hero. Asshole.

  17. 17
    Timurid says:

    So when this guy gets diagnosed with terminal cancer, shows up to work the next day, picks up all the kids and then drives the bus into a lake… nobody will have seen it coming. He was such a nice guy…

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    After the third or fourth time they had to pull it out of some cornfield, the locals keeping an eye on my Iowa grandma managed to take away the keys to her Caprice. You really don’t want to be doing that with a school bus.

  19. 19
    trollhattan says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    {rimshot!}

  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    Open up your heart, old white conservatives! The person of color you insult today might be fixing your meals or changing your sheets at the old folks’ hon sooner than you think.

    This has been another episode of, “Repubs, if you won’t do the right thing for the right reasons, do It for the wrong ones. Just DO it.”

  21. 21
    gene108 says:

    @NotMax:

    Should we go back to 17 year olds driving school buses?

    Don’t know, if school bus driver is something 30 & 40 year olds can make a career out of.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @trollhattan: School districts have a hard time filling school bus driver vacancies. It’s a pretty crappy job because of the hours and it doesn’t pay much.

  23. 23
    guachi says:

    @Gin & Tonic: While I assume most people won’t read the article, it’s also possible someone has used up all their free WaPo articles and couldn’t read it even if they wanted to. I only was able to read it because I’m at work.

    I’ll be charitable and not judge here.

  24. 24
    Mike in NC says:

    We have to assume Don Brink has a closet full of MAGA crap.

  25. 25
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Moderation? WTF? Let me try it differently.

    School districts have a hard time filling school bus driver openings. It’s a pretty crappy job because of the hours and it doesn’t pay much.

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    We used to have a racist prick neighbor who once told us he stopped giving away Halloween candy because “all these little Mexican kids started coming to the neighborhood.” The town we lived in at the time had a lot of agricultural workers. Imagine being such a dead-souled shitheel that you’d resent adorable children dressed up for Halloween because they weren’t white children. Anyhoo, that cantankerous coot finally dropped dead about 10 years ago from Jim Beam and Camels, and an immigrant family improved the neighborhood by buying his house.

  27. 27
    Elizabelle says:

    In fairness to Worthington, though, it is expensive and hard to educate a population with a large share of ELL (English Language Learning) students. Some of these kids did not get that much education in their home countries, and do you start a 14 year old in second grade?

    There should be a better financing method for it. Maybe statewide, maybe national.

    While that bus driver is horrendous for not saying “good morning” to his immigrant passengers (and surely they would understand that, and a smile), I think a lot of communities would have trouble with the outright expense of settling in a large group of refugees/immigrants who arrive in a short period of time.

    These communities are not getting the 1940s through 1960s back, although that might be their magical thinking, and I wish they could hear more of how immigrants bring vitality to the states whose populations are leaving/leveling off. They are going to need those new residents as they age, sooner than they think.

    It’s hard to handle a huge influx of anyone, and I wish we had leadership that could help folks live more securely and prosperously in their countries of origin. I think a lot of this is economic migration.

  28. 28
    Jeffro says:

    Hmm…looks like I am in moderation around #19…I wonder what did that?

  29. 29
    scav says:

    What’s more, this pillar of his community was not only comfortable with saying this aloud with his buddies and cohort, he’s apparently utterly unconcerned with voicing it to a national reporter. Is no doubt utterly indigment with any negative reaction to his homespun bedrock values.

  30. 30
    sherparick says:

    @NotMax: I know lots of retired men and women who drive school buses. I think you have to take a test and have physical to show that one is not likely have a heart attack or stroke out while driving the bus. I guess it optional that you not be an asshole.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    The WaPost had an excellent article about a month ago, about Maine. They can’t find enough workers to help care for their aging population, or fill local openings.

    ‘This will be catastrophic’: Maine families face elder boom, worker shortage in preview of nation’s future

    Across Maine, families like the Flahertys are being hammered by two slow-moving demographic forces — the growth of the retirement population and a simultaneous decline in young workers — that have been exacerbated by a national worker shortage pushing up the cost of labor. The unemployment rate in Maine is 3.2 percent, below the national average of 3.7 percent.

    The disconnect between Maine’s aging population and its need for young workers to care for that population is expected to be mirrored in states throughout the country over the coming decade, demographic experts say. And that’s especially true in states with populations with fewer immigrants, who are disproportionately represented in many occupations serving the elderly, statistics show.

    … Last year, Maine crossed a crucial aging milestone: A fifth of its population is older than 65, which meets the definition of “super-aged,” according to the World Bank.

    By 2026, Maine will be joined by more than 15 other states, according to Fitch Ratings, including Vermont and New Hampshire, Maine’s neighbors in the Northeast; Montana; Delaware; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Pennsylvania. More than a dozen more will meet that criterion by 2030.

    … Over the past two years, Mark Honey’s rare form of muscular dystrophy has proved so debilitating that he has lost control of his hands, legs and arms. Living alone in the small town of Ellsworth, Maine, Honey, 63, has for about 18 months looked for a nursing home where he can receive 24-hour care.

    But with nursing homes across Maine closing at an unprecedented rate, Honey has been unsuccessful. Medicaid pays for a care aide to come to his home for 70 hours a week. But the state has told Honey it cannot find enough workers to cover the hours, even though he legally qualifies for the care.

    Care workers in Maine were paid about $11.37 an hour in 2017, according to an AARP report, with a 2019 minimum wage of $11 an hour. As Kristi Penny, who has cared for Honey for four years, noted over the phone: “Even Dunkin’ Donuts pays you more.”

    Whole article is worth a click, and am sure the reader comments are too.

    The Somali and Hmong communities in Minnesota seem to have settled in very well. I love seeing them when I’m traveling to the Twin Cities.

    And pay healthcare and other workers a living wage. Why should women be subsidizing the elderly, either through underpaid caregiving or completely unpaid care of one’s own family.

  32. 32
    Yutsano says:

    @Jeffro: YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID!!!

    It’s FYWP. Who knows the actual reasons anymore.

  33. 33
    sherparick says:

    @Elizabelle: The meat packing plant, which is where their parents work, is probably the biggest employer and tax payer in the county. Also, as either renters or home owners themselves they are paying property taxes, directly or indirectly. Also, $200 year is less than $17.00 a month, which is probably less of an increase then they are seeing from their cable/ISP provider.

  34. 34
    Spanky says:

    Happy Infrastructure Week! CNN reporting that Schumer us calling for investigation and subpoena re the Ukraine Affair.

  35. 35
    Heywood J. says:

    It’s somehow reassuring to figure that Don Brink is still working into his seventies because he will never be able to retire.

  36. 36
    Seanly says:

    Don’t the asshat even try to say “Good morning” to the strange new children?

  37. 37
    delk says:

    Imagine if he taught those kids one word of English each day he picked them up. I know my Polish lessons would improve if every time I got on the L someone taught me a new word. Or better yet, proper pronunciation of the words I already know.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Spanky: I’m sure McConnell will get right on that.

  39. 39

    Brink also insists he isn’t prejudiced. His own grandparents were immigrants from Holland, and his parents spoke some Dutch.

    See that? I don’t see how you people can call him prejudiced. He’s part Dutch fercrissake!

  40. 40
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    To be fair, SF Bay my niece’s Deep Blue SF suburban high school science teacher could give this twat a run for the money since he’s not even civil to the white kids. The usual “you kids got it soft, not like we boomers had it in the ’60s” Sexual Revolution vet with PTSD nonsense. You can find jerks like this everywhere.

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    They won’t recognize that these immigrants are saving the town.

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    When you’re the big dog, you get the bone. CA to Trump: “Come take this bone.”

    California is considering a plan that would reward automakers that have signed onto a pact with the state to cut pollution — and punish those that haven’t — by restricting which companies’ clean cars are eligible for millions of dollars in government rebates to the consumers who purchase them.

    The plan is still in formation and has not been formally announced. But there are signs it’s emerging as California’s next salvo in an ongoing feud with the Trump administration over greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards. Legislation written last week would direct clean vehicle rebates only to cars made by companies that have entered an agreement with the state to abide by emissions standards that are stricter than the federal government seeks. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom declined to comment on the proposal but indicated an announcement is coming soon.

    “Stay tuned,” he said Monday when asked whether he thinks the state’s clean vehicle rebates should be restricted to car manufacturers that have entered California’s pact. “Give me a few days. And you’ll get a very specific answer to that question.”

    It’s all fallout from Trump administration plans to repeal emissions standards that began in California decades ago and were adopted nationwide during Obama’s presidency. Those standards call for carmakers to cut tailpipe emissions and increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets to an average of about 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

  43. 43

    @rikyrah:

    They won’t recognize that these immigrants are saving the town.

    They don’t want immigrants to save the town, or at least not those immigrants. They’d rather watch the town die than let it be take over by those people.

    ETA: More to the point, they would deny to the ends of their days that the immigrants are saving the town. They would insist that everything would be great and the town wouldn’t need saving if the immigrants weren’t there taking jobs from honest white folks.

  44. 44
    Spanky says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m thinking that it dawned on Chuckie to say something relevant about the breaking news, and felt out-outraged by Even-the-Liberal-Bill*-Weld.

    * Usually the only first name that comes to mind is “Tuesday”.

  45. 45
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @delk: Many of those kids probably already speak English fine. The little ones pick it up fast, in my experience. I mean, this guy doesn’t even know they’re not Mexican; I don’t imagine he knows anything about their language competence.

  46. 46
    Doug R says:

    You know that’s how Joe Biden made his bones-pandering to the backlash against busing.
    Same $hit, different shovel.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    @Elizabelle:

    They have a Somali community in Maine. But, some don’t want them there.

  48. 48
    The Moar You Know says:

    School districts have a hard time filling school bus driver vacancies. It’s a pretty crappy job because of the hours and it doesn’t pay much.

    @Gin & Tonic: Even in my wealthy-assed school district, the bus drivers get paid shit, it’s part time, and you have to get drug tested all the time. The only people who are going to take that job are old, bitter, Republican retirees who need the money. Everyone else is out having a good time, or working a far, far better job that doesn’t treat you like a parolee.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    Author blows the lid off Mike Pence’s devious rise to power — and his scheme to take the White House

    Vice President Mike Pence has stood by President Donald Trump for three chaotic years, even as dozens of top administration officials have resigned or been fired. Pence does not appear to ever cross the president or rein him in, leading critics to assume that he doesn’t exert much power in the administration.

    PIETY & POWER: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House, veteran journalist Tom LoBionco tells a different story. LoBionco views Pence as a savvy political operator who got on the 2016 ticket thinking Trump would lose, but that the race would catapult him to a position to run for president in 2020. LoBionco believes that Pence plans to run in 2024.

    Raw Story spoke with LoBionco about Pence’s life, political trajectory, his plans for 2024 and how he got on the 2016 ticket in the first place (in true Trumpian fashion it all starts with a billionaire who shilled tanning products and met his third wife when she jumped out of a cake).

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/09/author-blows-the-lid-off-mike-pences-devious-rise-to-power-and-his-scheme-to-take-the-white-house/

  50. 50
    sherparick1 says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): These people were known as Tories in 1776.

    They are still Tories today. They want a King and they want an aristocracy. The only thing different is they now want that aristocracy set up along lines of race, an invention of mid-17th century Southern colonies dealing with runaways to make it easier to tell who was a slave and who was not when dealing with a big country with a boundless frontier.

  51. 51
    cain says:

    So, this might be unpopular – but what I see is a town that has had a very large influx of immigrants that are wildly different than they are and are struggling to deal with the cultural change it brings to a town that was mostly a majority white. Now it is a minority white town and all things have changed.

    People adapt to change at different rates and I think what we’re seeing is those that are not adapting well are having issues. Racism comes out because that’s the obvious reaction to that change especially if the people coming here aren’t even valid immigrants and it seems like they keep on coming. Entitlement is a powerful feeling and what opens the door to be open to propaganda in talk radio and Fox News.

    I think we’d find this reaction in any community in any part of the world. If a whole bunch of north indians showed up in a south indian tamil community, (and yes that is actually is happening in the south – source: my deceased uncle who runs a paint factory in Tamil Nadu) there would absolutely be some resentment given how proud these people are speaking Tamil, and a bunch of folks from the north coming in speaking Hindi and all new cultural norms)

  52. 52
  53. 53
    joel hanes says:

    This is another Cletus safari story, ignoring everyone but the old wypipo bigots in a community.
    There are wonderful people in that town, but telling about them doesn’t get hate-clicks.

    The story does note that the priest in a local Catholic Church is trying to help these unaccompanied refugees, but there’s no quote from him, nor from anyone on that side. And there are people on that side.

    Our media is broken.

  54. 54
    The Moar You Know says:

    Don’t the asshat even try to say “Good morning” to the strange new children?

    @Seanly: Read the article. The answer is “no”. Doesn’t even try if they’re not white and blonde.

  55. 55
    lgerard says:

    You might also follow the link in the WAPO story and read the tale of the “consultant” that this people hired, Paul Dorr, who is a lunatic of the highest degree.

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    If it wasn’t for the immigrant kids the town would just get older and older, though. Our local public high school is about 25% smaller than it was my oldest son graduated, and he’s 30. We have a lot of white 70 year olds. What we lack are young families. You need a critical mass of students to be able to offer “extras”- music, AP, some sports. If the school declines those things go away.
    There’s a district one county east of here that is growing, and all the growth is Latino. There’s bitching- they “took over” the football team say the white parents who no longer control who plays and who doesn’t, but at least they have a football team. Towns die without new people. That’s just a fact.

    I myself will take your tired, etc. because I am practical and I see where this is going :)

    70 year olds are great, but a town they do not make. Need some young’uns.

  57. 57
    PenandKey says:

    “@Elizabelle: The Somali and Hmong communities in Minnesota seem to have settled in very well. I love seeing them when I’m traveling to the Twin Cities.”

    I didn’t grow up in the Twin Cities, but I did grow up in a small city in Wisconsin with a sizable Hmong population. For the first twelve years of my life or so I grew up next to a Hmong family and it wasn’t uncommon for all the neighborhood kids to help the elders tend their gardens since we were always guaranteed to get a share of the bounty. I ended up moving about 30 miles away to “rural Murca” after that and was there until I graduated high school.

    To say I experienced a culture shock was… an understatement. The level of racism I witnessed as a teenager, from kids that looked like me and that grew up practically in the same area, but that didn’t grow up in a mixed community was unreal. The whole, “judge a man by the content of his character” championed by Martin Luther King Jr went from being a fact of life nurtured by my parents and neighbors my whole life to this weird foreign idea that made by an ideological outsider to almost everyone around me.

    King has another quote that I took on as my motto in life in short order, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”. Partially this was because I was a walking “jaded teenager forced to live in the country” stereotype, but also because I refused from day one to put up with bigots I saw every day. I can proudly say that, while that stance didn’t make me many friends, and has essentially split my extended family in half because my outspoken attitude swayed a sizable chunk of my generation of relatives, it’s one I’m seeing more and more often. Guys like Brink? They’re still far too common but they’re a dying breed even out here in the sticks. Sadly, it’ll likely be a few more generations until they’re gone for good.

    And Kay’s “towns die” comment? Yeah, I can attest to that. The town I grew up in after moving to the country had to consolidate schools and has lost 20% of it’s population in the last 15 years. That’s where a lot of my old classmates get their animosity. Not only did they never grow up around someone who didn’t look like them, they’re in a dying town and school with no opportunities to know any better.

  58. 58
    Booger says:

    34 comments in and nobody has mentioned the real villainous piece of scum in that article, Paul Dorr?

  59. 59
    Martin says:

    People generally don’t understand just how varied demographic populations can be. Stanford runs a great center for looking at this inside CA, and everything you need to know about CAs future is in the population pyramid on page 4. The modal age for whites is 50-54, while for hispanics its a tossup between 0-4 and 15-19. There are twice as many school age hispanic kids than white kids in CA. They’re going to inherit this economy, and they’re going to lead this nation, as they already are leading a lot of the state now.

    Most other states in the US look like the white pyramid on page 4. States like Minnesota and Iowa and Maine are going to really start losing their political influence once those 50-65 year olds start really dying off.

  60. 60
    geg6 says:

    @NotMax:

    Have fun trying to hire anyone younger for such a job. And, honestly, my John is 72 and I’d have no problem with him driving a school bus. He sure would do a better job than this fat pig asshole because John doesn’t care what color the kids are or where they come from. He would do more than just say hello. He’d be joking around with them and having fun.

    Fuck this racist fuck. Fuck him with a rusty chainsaw.

  61. 61
    cain says:

    @joel hanes:

    The story does note that the priest in a local Catholic Church is trying to help these unaccompanied refugees, but there’s no quote from him, nor from anyone on that side. And there are people on that side.

    I can understand why the Catholic priest would be behind him.. after all, all these kids and immigrants are Catholics coming from Catholic countries. If anything, one would think that there would be a source of unity for those in the Catholic Church to take on and help fellow Catholics.

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    @HumboldtBlue:
    Wanna bet it’s some sort of money saving scheme to limit the crisis hotline staff and/or set up a private company to run it at a profit. Of course that profit goes to someone other than vets – there are pockets to be lined doncha know. At the very least they will cut back staff and hours because fuck vets. More money for walls that can’t be climbed – by 73 yr old fat fucks with orange hair and single digit IQ.

  63. 63
    cain says:

    @PenandKey:

    And Kay’s “towns die” comment? Yeah, I can attest to that. The town I grew up in after moving to the country had to consolidate schools and has lost 20% of it’s population in the last 15 years. That’s where a lot of my old classmates get their animosity. Not only did they never grow up around someone who didn’t look like them, they’re in a dying town and school with no opportunities to know any better.

    Imagine that small distillation of populations having so much influence on our representation in voting and otherwise? Blows my mind.

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @cain:
    Catholics can’t be racists? I don’t recall that from my days in a Catholic HS. Plenty of fucking bigots, in both my fellow students and in the clergy that ran the place.

  65. 65
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @Martin:

    they’re going to lead this nation, as they already are leading a lot of the state now.

    Yup. I’ve been in California more or less permanently since 1985 and not only have the demographics changed dramatically in general society but in Sacramento as well.

    Today, the Latino Legislative Caucus is comprised of twenty-nine members (seven Senators, twenty-two Assembly Members) and five auxiliary members (constitutional officers). It is one of the most influential organizations within the State Legislature.

  66. 66
    Peale says:

    @Roger Moore: they would be ok if the immigrants weren’t planning to settle and reproduce. Much prefer asexual immigrants. For some reason, people in their 20-30s having children is unnatural and most likely a sign criminal activity and conspiracy.

  67. 67
    cain says:

    @Ruckus:

    Catholics can’t be racists? I don’t recall that from my days in a Catholic HS. Plenty of fucking bigots, in both my fellow students and in the clergy that ran the place.

    They absolutely can. I was making the point that for the priest he sees them as fellow catholics. I’ve found that organized religion generally isn’t an effective bulwark on prejudice.

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    Any good, comprehensive immigration reforms MUST include Federal reimbursement to states that are hit hardest by new immigrants.

    Not wrong, but recall how many red states refused to take free Obamacare money to expand Medicaid.

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @HumboldtBlue:
    I was born in Los Angeles, as was my mother. White as the driven snow. It has changed dramatically in the last, I’d say 40 yrs. But there were always large swaths of minorities around. There are more “minorities” living in my complex than whites. It’s way too late to say that some day, in a lot of cities, whites will be the minority. It’s been true in some cities for decades, it’s just becoming true for more areas.

  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    @cain:

    I’ve found that organized religion generally isn’t an effective bulwark on prejudice.

    I’ve found that a lot of organized religions generally are effective generators of prejudice.

  71. 71
    cain says:

    Man, Pelosi is getting hammered in all the opinion columns.

  72. 72
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: at least where I live, all the school bus drivers are 70+ years old. Young folks got better things to do. Only retired people who need extra scratch do this work.

  73. 73
    cain says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’ve found that a lot of organized religions generally are effective generators of prejudice.

    I would agree with that statement.

  74. 74
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @cain: pro tip: never read the opinion columns!

  75. 75
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): optimism on B-J? Pie filter for you! Bam hammer for you!

  76. 76
    Jeffro says:

    @Yutsano: LOL. I really should be more positive. “Oh look – FYWP didn’t eat my post this time! How lovely!”

  77. 77
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Elizabelle:

    In fairness to Worthington, though, it is expensive and hard to educate a population with a large share of ELL (English Language Learning) students. Some of these kids did not get that much education in their home countries, and do you start a 14 year old in second grade?

    There should be a better financing method for it. Maybe statewide, maybe national.

    Why, it’s almost like someone wants to dump all these needy kids on a community already limited in it’s resources to fan the flames of hate and get people to blame immigrants for pretty much anything bad that happens…now who would want to do that?

    Coming from a part of the country that has had a disproportionate share of dealing with undocumented immigrants, I agree. Even though here, the border has been fluid for, well, forever, it’s expensive to take care of people who, by our own failure to implement immigration reforms, end up having to live under the legal radar with little means to make money but still need medical care, housing, food and education for their kids. Places like where I live are already financially stressed and it’s always seemed outrageous to me that the Federal government doesn’t feel it has any responsibility to reimburse local communities for the impact of it’s current immigration system.

    It has lightened up considerably lately, but earlier this year, Border Patrol was LITERALLY DUMPING what ended up to be thousands of refugee immigrants off in our community. Every few days, they Just drove up a busload from El Paso, opened the doors and let them off with no resources or assistance. Our city and community volunteers did a fantastic job of coming together and pulling a ton of support for these families here as they regrouped and moved to other places in the country where they could stay with family and await the process of obtaining status. But it cost our city–and several others in our state they also dumped families in–and our community hundreds of thousands of dollars we really didn’t just have laying around. Most people here were supportive, and very kind and generous but there were the angry resentful folks who also protested using our resources for these “undeserving invaders” posting regularly on our local newspaper’s comment section. Completely ignoring the fact that the immigrants didn’t choose to be dumped here–our immigration system did. And it’s become clear the Trump administration may have seen this as a tactic to ramp up anti-immigrant fervor in areas like ours that have traditionally been very welcoming to our neighbors.

    Any good, comprehensive immigration reforms MUST include Federal reimbursement to states that are hit hardest by new immigrants not only to make it work better but to make it harder for the angry cranks to blame immigrants for them not getting their share.

  78. 78
    Jeffro says:

    @The Moar You Know: Great point.

    I was pleasantly surprised several years ago when, moving back to NoVA, I found that my kids’ school division not only a) owned and maintained its own bus fleet, but also b) paid its drivers relatively decent wages and benefits. It’s not to say it made everything super and no buses ever broke down or the drivers weren’t occasionally cranky (according to my kids) but it sure beat the regular delays and breakdowns and generally low quality we experienced in another state where all of the districts contracted out their bus services.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cain: A lot of towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota absorbed a large number of Lao and Hmong refugees in the ‘80s. It did not happen without some friction, but it happened. Oddly enough, the earliest arrivals were sponsored by local churches. The schools hired ESL teachers. The local ginseng growers hired people to work in their fields. As time went on, their kids went to college and became lawyers, teachers, social workers, etc. Some were not successful and ended up in crummy jobs or in jail. The community adapted.

  80. 80
    Ruckus says:

    @cain:
    2 opinion columnists agreeing on anything must mean that it’s true. This concept is much older than “I saw it on the internet so it must be true!”

  81. 81
    swbarnes2 says:

    @cain:

    But are they really “wildly” different? They aren’t an isolated tribe from the Amazon. They understand a European based language. They are accustomed to a 9-5 work day for adults and something comparable for kids at school. They understand the basics of our laws, and how to use money. They’re Christian, for goodness sake!

    They shop at the grocery stores like everyone, and their kids like Disney cartoons. But none of that matters, because the real issue is that they are brown.

  82. 82
    JanieM says:

    @Martin:

    States like Minnesota and Iowa and Maine are going to really start losing their political influence once those 50-65 year olds start really dying off.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding the point, but I don’t get this. Maine has 1.3+ million people, so population-wise it has almost no political influence anyhow, except that we get two senators like everyone else. Unless we get rid of the senate, that will continue regardless of demographics.

    IIRC (haven’t checked in the past few months), Maine seesaws with Vermont as the whitest state in the nation. But it’s slowly changing with the arrival of immigrants from Africa and to a less visible extent the Middle East. Last I checked, there were more than sixty native languages in the Portland (pop. 70,000, give or take) public school system.

  83. 83
    Hoodie says:

    @Kay: Without immigration to feed low wage, noxious industries like meatpacking, these outlying towns that are neither vacation destinations nor close enough to a big city to be a bedroom communities would have nothing but bitter old farts like Brink left, and eventually would dry up and blow away. One reason that the JBS plant is there is because it’s in the middle of nowhere (Minneapolis is three hours away; the bustling metropoli of Sioux Falls and Sioux City are each over an hour), which means low wages and cheap housing. It probably reeks of pigshit and offal and no economically healthy town would tolerate its presence for long.

    Brink, like so many Trump voters, is just a sad, clueless loser. He was lucky enough to make it 71 years before the bottom fell out. I guess he might have a legit beef against JBS, but I bet the Chamber of Commerce types, realtors and other local business people would do whatever they could to keep it around, because they’re screwed without it. He longs for what, Dutch immigrants? What sane Dutchman would move to Worthington MN when he lives in a place that provides national health insurance, parental support, free quality education, etc., and where the wind doesn’t howl across the prairie at 40 below? The Europeans who emigrated in the 18th and 19th centuries were fleeing famine, religious persecution and war, not legal weed and a year of parental leave.

    What really sucks is that these immigrants end up in these shitholes, taken advantage of by the likes of JBS, but I guess it beats getting murdered and/or raped in Guatemala or Honduras. There really is no future there, however, because the underlying economics mean a very low ceiling for places like Worthington. But the WaPo would rather do another meaningless Cletus safari instead of tackling that.

  84. 84
    sdhays says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I mean, this guy doesn’t even know they’re not Mexican

    He knows they’re from a “Mexican country”.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cain: The churches I mentioned in my last comment were Catholic and Lutheran. The Lao and Hmong were mostly Buddhist and animist.

  86. 86
    cain says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Actually I don’t! I’m just looking at the headlines of them. I won’t bother. I usually spend my time defending Pelosi in forums like reddit then point them to calling their representatives. While I have my own ideas on what needs to be done, I’m content to let this shit show keep going until spring then I’ll take a temperature.

  87. 87
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Maybe the community where I went to high school was an exception (and also maybe has since changed). The drivers had a strong union and could make a livable wage. While I certainly wasn’t familiar with all of them, those I did see were probably 50 or under. Driver of the bus I rode on was able to sock away enough to co-finance opening an eatery.

    They made multiple trips as well. The morning run to the high school and three afternoon runs from. The regular end of school day trip, then the imaginatively named late bus and late late bus, the first for kids in after school activities (or held in for detention), the last for kids involved in things like the theater department, in sports, doing research in the school library and so on, any stuff which ran later and didn’t let out until close to suppertime.

    Did catch some short-lived flak from the powers that were (which petered out as it was baseless) for dedicating the yearbook when I was editor-in-chief to the school bus drivers, including a two page spread. Traditionally the dedication had been to a beloved or retiring teacher or administrator or suchlike.

  88. 88
    cain says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    @cain: A lot of towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota absorbed a large number of Lao and Hmong refugees in the ‘80s. It did not happen without some friction, but it happened. Oddly enough, the earliest arrivals were sponsored by local churches. The schools hired ESL teachers. The local ginseng growers hired people to work in their fields. As time went on, their kids went to college and became lawyers, teachers, social workers, etc. Some were not successful and ended up in crummy jobs or in jail. The community adapted.

    I assume the same will happen here. But I think the difference is that media was local and there wasn’t talk radio rousing the locals to hate their fellow man or making them feel entitled. Our times have changed and information is disseminated so much more quickly now and acted on. think

  89. 89
    cain says:

    @swbarnes2:
    Language and culture are powerful forces and can lead to all kinds of issues when they are different. It takes time to adapt to each other.

  90. 90
    Kay says:

    @Hoodie:

    I thought about the meatpacking too. I know a turkey operation manager personally. He is the only non-immigrant working there. It’s awful work. The worst.
    We have a largish community here originally from Laos where were deliberately settled here in the 1980s. They’re completely assimilated into the town. They were a huge net benefit for the particular town they settled in, because it was a railroad hub that was cut out and it was dying. One of them owns tens of Subway franchises. Another started a factory that makes the plastic flower containers people put on graves. It seems to be a thriving little business.
    Also, not to be a pain in the ass about the 70 year olds, but most of them here get a property tax abatement (up to a certain value). So, you know, they’re not actually paying 1/1 with younger people for schools. They pay less than they took out when they were kids. If we’re adding and subtracting, which I won’t do unless they start with me :)

  91. 91
    Elizabelle says:

    @Hoodie:

    What sane Dutchman would move to Worthington MN when he lives in a place that provides national health insurance, parental support, free quality education, etc., and where the wind doesn’t howl across the prairie at 40 below? The Europeans who emigrated in the 18th and 19th centuries were fleeing famine, religious persecution and war, not legal weed and a year of parental leave.

    That’s the part that I love. Why we aren’t getting “blonde” immigrants. Who in their right mind would not go for Europe, with its better quality of life? And realistic thinking about what humans need to survive well. Unlike our magical thinkers and greedsters.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cain:

    Does anyone allow the name “McConnell” to get into the column, or are they all still pretending that the House can convict Trump all by its lonesome?

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    ICE should not have the power to decide that it gets to “punish” specific states or communities by dumping refugees there, but ICE has way too much power right now and states have very little recourse. 😡

  94. 94
    Hoodie says:

    @Kay:

    We have a largish community here originally from Laos where were deliberately settled here in the 1980s. They’re completely assimilated into the town. They were a huge net benefit for the particular town they settled in, because it was a railroad hub that was cut out and it was dying. One of them owns tens of Subway franchises. Another started a factory that makes the plastic flower containers people put on graves. It seems to be a thriving little business.

    The thing about that, though, is that economic potential for descendants of those immigrants is probably pretty limited (on average) if they stay where they originally emigrated. You can’t build a diversified economy on Subways.

    I recall a conversation with a friend who emigrated to here (NC) from NE PA a few years back. She said one day she was talking with her husband and it dawned on her – why should they stay there just because her Polish ancestors came there to dig coal in the 19th century? ‘She couldn’t come up with a satisfying answer, and they moved a couple of months later. I just think people should not be sentimentalizing into thinking that immigration will solve the problems of dying cities and towns. The traditionally dispersed nature of the American population was largely a reflection of the reliance on agriculture and extractive industries, but both of those are now highly automated. Maybe small agriculture could make a comeback if people want higher quality food, but that is not likely given the current organization of the American economy. Maybe stuff like wind and solar power could allow for smaller cities and towns in areas where those resources are abundant to flourish due to maintenance and other needs, but those are also likely to be highly automated.

  95. 95
    cain says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Does anyone allow the name “McConnell” to get into the column, or are they all still pretending that the House can convict Trump all by its lonesome?

    I have always argued that we don’t want McConnell to control the impeachment process at any time once the House votes. That’s one issue we need to deal with McConnell doesn’t have the sense of abiding my rules. As far as he is concerned, he is the situation.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    @lgerard: Thank you. I saved the link.

  97. 97
    Jay says:

    White supremacist terror telegram is absolutely losing its shit over the arrest of the army guy who shared bomb-making instructions and suggested targeting Beto.Looks like a WHOLE lot of people knew this guy.These aren't lone wolves, fam.— Gwen Snyder is uncivil (@gwensnyderPHL) September 23, 2019

  98. 98
    Jay says:

    It’s awesome how, if you narrow the news filter down to just “Nazis who’ve been arrested recently for doing or plotting horrible shit,” a story is lasting on average like, five days rn.— Emily G (@EmilyGorcenski) September 23, 2019

  99. 99
    Jay says:

    @Hoodie:

    The immigrants need homes and services. There very presence creates and maintains other jobs in the Community that otherwise, would be gone.

    Quite often, they also bring energy and innovation and create new industries, that “the locals” never thought of, like a yoghurt plant in Wisconsin that is now a national brand, or a high end Salsa and Totilla Chip plant in Kamloops.

    Their kids will leave for a higher education, many will become “super educated”, some will not come back, others will, with new ideas and new investments.

  100. 100
    J R in WV says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    @guachi: Do people still say RTFA, or was that just an old Slashdot thing?

    I think Slashdot was RTFM, read the fuckin Manual… not the article. but could be both, really.

    It’s still out there, too, actually.

  101. 101
    J R in WV says:

    @Spanky:

    Happy Infrastructure Week! CNN reporting that Schumer us calling for investigation and subpoena re the Ukraine Affair.

    I want to remind everyone it isn’t the “Ukraine Affair” — it’s the illegally withheld Whistleblower Report Affair. No one knows for sure that Ukraine has anything to do with this affair. I personally expect it involves a phone call with Putin, and 3 days later a Trump request for a list of all CIA assets in Russia, followed by the resignation of DNI Dan Coats, his deputy under very strange circumstances, other resignations, etc, etc.

    Check out the data on this thread…

  102. 102
    FlyingToaster says:

    When I rode the bus (1970s suburban KCMO), our bus drivers came in 3 flavors:

    Old Republican bigots. But they hated all of us, not just the 4 black kids, 2 korean kids, and 3 native americans, but the 51 not-identifiably-ethnic kids as well (half-a-dozen were hispanic or eurasian, but those drivers were stuuuupid). They’d all been laid off from decent jobs for being horrible horrible employees and got stuck with driving a bus while their wives worked at the mall.

    Seminary students. They loved all of us, but made us listen to Xtian rock.

    VoTech students. They played decent music (Steppenwolf, Blue Oyster Cult, CCR, Jethro Tull, CSNY) and told jokes.

    I suspect that nowadays, there are precious few seminary students left who can afford a low paying job like bus driver. And I suspect VoTech students are making more working as apprentices than they can driving a bus before-n-after classes. So we’re stuck with aged incompetent Republicans.

  103. 103
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Spanky:

    * Usually the only first name that comes to mind is “Tuesday”.

    Funny you should say that. The first name that comes to my mind is “Spot”.

  104. 104
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ICE should not have the power to decide that it gets to “punish” specific states or communities by dumping refugees there, but ICE has way too much power right now and states have very little recourse.

    I see it as kind of a a “Phase 1 Clinical Trial” of theTrump-Miller Administration’s threat to “dump illegals in sanctuary cities in California”. They thought we’d prove them right: people would freak out and revolt. We didn’t.

  105. 105
    Tehanu says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    The thing I love most about this country is that, unlike pretty much every other country, it’s built not on shared bloodlines or religion or language, but on ideas.

    Yes! This! Exactly! Thank you for writing this, and I deeply hope you’re right about the future.

  106. 106
    Tehanu says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    School districts have a hard time filling school bus driver vacancies. It’s a pretty crappy job because of the hours and it doesn’t pay much

    My sister drove a school bus for over 20 years and yes, the pay wasn’t much, but it was a union job — Teamsters — and although I’d always thought the Teamsters were, you know, a bunch of crooks, the union helped her get her GED and a home loan, so I’ve never said a bad word about the Teamsters since. I suspect Mr. Brink either works for a district that doesn’t have a union contract, or refused to pay the dues.

  107. 107
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @FlyingToaster: You folks remind me that I missed out completely on one of the classic experiences of an American upbringing: Riding a school bus to school.

    When I entered elementary school, the venerable old (1920s) brick building was waiting for me 5 minutes’ walk east. When I was getting ready to move to junior high, the county conveniently built a brand new one 5 minutes’ walk north. The senior high, built in the late 1950s, was 5 minutes’ walk south.

    I thought school buses were great fun – because the only time I ever rode one was on a field trip.

Comments are closed.