Just Implementing Laws, and Following Orders, June 18, 1944

Historian Michael Beschloss just posted this picture, from 64 74 years ago today.

“Japanese American internment camp near Jerome, Arkansas, today 1944” Source.

64 thoughts on “Just Implementing Laws, and Following Orders, June 18, 1944

  1. pgl

    I bet Bruce Hall notes that these prisoners got to wear hats and carry umbrellas so as not to get sun burned.

    1. Bruce Hall

      Everyone agrees that the U.S. has an imperfect and at times vicious past. But the U.S. has also been in the forefront of protecting many of the persecuted. Even today, it accepts a million or so legal immigrants and, when appropriate, thousands of refugees who qualify for asylum.

      How many Armenians were persecuted and killed or driven from Turkey? The U.S. accepted large numbers of Armenians.
      How many Jews were persecuted and killed or driven from Germany? The U.S. accepted large numbers of Jews… and helped establish Israel as a Jewish homeland.

      I’m not sure the picture in the post and these pictures are equivalent. What I am sure of is that no good deed goes unpunished. It’s no longer sufficient for the U.S. to offer support and safety; it is now demanded or taken… and when some Americans object, they are vilified.

      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Bruce Hall: I agree America has stood up in the past. All I’m asking for is that America continues to do so. Mr. Trump’s statement “America will not be a migrant camp” seems to indicate he has a different path selected for this country.

      2. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Bruce Hall: By the way, I do not believe you responded to my question about the S.S. St. Louis and the passengers on that ship. Should they have been allowed asylum, or was it right and proper to deny them asylum?

        1. Moses Herzog

          Allow Captain Obvious (me) to make a comment here. Oftentimes I think silence or slow response is a good sign. It means the wheels are turning upstairs, and “said person” holding an immoral stance is finding it a little more difficult to rationalize treating children under age 5 like they are garbage to be processed at ICE “distribution centers”. It means someone has thrown a small stone into the watch and it’s locked up the gauges. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dog Bruce to answer the S.S. St. Louis question like a pitbull with his teeth locked down on a criminal’s ankles exiting the scene. But it’s a good sign.

        2. Ed Hanson


          Not answering for Bruce just asking another question. I have notice that when tough, difficult, international decisions are made today, you designate President Trump and his administration as the drive for and cause of the decisions (properly so accept for the lack of higher regard to laws as they have been written). But, when tough difficult international decisions were made in the 30’s and 40’s, it is the United States you designate as the drive for and cause of the decisions, not the progressive administration and policies of President Roosevelt. Shouldn’t the same criteria of cause be used?


      3. pgl

        So we accept people from Europe but not from China or Latin America. I think that fits the Make America White Again agenda quite nicely.

      4. baffling

        bruce, these were american citizens. treated as thought they were NOT american citizens. conservatives froth at the mouth like rabid dogs when trump falsely spouts about “illegals” voting in the election. and you seem to have 1/10000th of such a reaction when a us citizens rights (voter and civil) are violated like in the picture. or when they speak spanish in some parts of the country. care to explain? (i am sure you do have some kind of cute excuse).

    2. Moses Herzog

      The irony is, in most of those photos (the ones I’ve seen) the Japanese peoples do look tidy and neat, don’t they?? And when I say irony, I mean you would expect people (white European or otherwise) who are being carted off someplace involuntarily, to look disheveled, off-kilter, and needing of some sleep. But many of them look like they’re headed to the office.

      My Dad said the two cleanest countries he ever went to (and my Dad did a decent amount of traveling in his youth) was Japan and Germany. Now I will say something that has about a 60% chance of royally pissing off Menzie. China is a fascinating case, and clear to this day, I find it semi-mystifying. Inside mainland Chinese people’s personal homes, they are immaculate as it gets. But in public they will throw trash anywhere, spit anywhere (including some females) and have very little regard to public areas. When I was there (I imagine this has changed now) you would commonly see spittoons in University teachers’ dorm hallways, and very often see profs smoking near the classroom door, or would open a window and smoke in the classroom. Am I saying mainland Chinese are slobs?? NO. They certainly are better than me at keeping their own homes and personal places clean, and I venture to say better than the “typical” American–but when you switch the context to public areas, it doesn’t seem to register for them. I’m speaking strictly mainland Chinese here.

      1. pgl

        Bruce Hall has already stated that if we give these kids a bed and 2 meals a day, all is good. So why not dress them up nicely while we are at it!

        1. Bruce Hall

          I believe I said that this policy as similar to one that would happen if the parents (or single parent) of Americans were detained by police and other relatives were not available

          I am not advocating open borders or using children as pawns in an attempt to achieve open borders which, apparently, you seem to be doing. Apparently, it was fine with you when Obama was deporting people, but when Trump continues the same policy or attempts to take steps that make deportations unnecessary by stopping people at the border… well, that’s un-American. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obamas-deportation-policy-numbers/story?id=41715661

          Your interpretation of my comments leaves much to be desired.

          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Bruce Hall: No, it wasn’t fine with me that President Obama was deporting so aggressively. I don’t think I ever stated it was so. I think in some post indicated support for the Senate reform plan. I do agree, I never advocated splitting up families via “zero tolerance”, nor did I ever advocate retroactively de-naturalizing citizens. So there are several policies implemented by this Administration that I do not support.

          2. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall I will second Menzie’s distancing himself from. Obama’s treatment of migrants and undocumented aliens. I have said many times that I thought his policy was godawful. In fact, immigration is one of the few policy issues in which I think Bush 43 was quite enlightened. The probl

          3. pgl

            “I am not advocating open borders or using children as pawns in an attempt to achieve open borders which, apparently, you seem to be doing.”

            I am doing no such thing. Hey Bruce – any more dishonest cheap shots today?

          4. Bruce Hall

            Okay, so we agree that the U.S. has done things in its past that look “unenlightened” in its present.
            • slavery
            • treatment of native Americans
            • Jim Crow laws
            • Japanese and Chinese policies of exclusion
            and others.

            Can we apply today’s standards to historical actions? Sure, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t judge the rest of the world in the same way. Were immigration laws the same then as they are now? Absolutely! 100%! The government in 1939 was run by ruthless, unfeeling, aristocrats. Remind me, I forgot, who was president then? Which party was in power then? I’m sure Donald Trump had something to do with that. But even if he didn’t, I’m sure whoever was in charge didn’t accomplish a single worthy thing during his presidency because of the SS St. Louis.

            By the way, here are some data about the U.S. and refugees. You may say too little, some may say just right, others may say too much. The one common thread is that all came under the U.S. immigration laws at the time. And what were the consequences for those who thought it too inconvenient to bother with U.S. laws and processes?

            Context is a bitch.

          5. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Bruce Hall: If you are asking me to defend FDR’s Executive Order 9066, then I’ll refuse. He may have gotten the Supreme Court to say it was constitutional, but morally it was wrong. As was the internment (on much smaller scale) of Americans of German extraction in the WWI.

            Now I’m not sure why you think the provision of the refugee numbers are useful. You argue for context; the reason many individuals have “broken the law” (a misdemeanor) by crossing the border not at a port of entry is because DHS has restricted the processing of people through these entry points. So, legally, yes, many individuals crossed illegally, but you do understand the Trump administration deliberately set up this Catch-22?

            So, got your pound of flesh – are you happy?

          6. Bruce Hall


            You were the one (along with pgl who raised the issue of the SS St. Louis. I merely pointed out the context and provided data regarding refugees (by geographic area in response to pgl.

            As TV lawyers say, “Don’t ask the question unless you know the answer.”

            There was a slightly different take on all of this at The Federalist which may be plausible: http://thefederalist.com/2018/06/18/migrant-crisis-is-about-the-drug-cartel/

            While this is a conservative publication, it seems to provide support for the argument against draconian measures that Trump is employing to discourage the mass migrations toward the U.S.:
            The Mexican cartels had to find a new funding source with the legalization of marijuana in the United States. The market for their poor quality pot dried up, and so they turned to human trafficking as an alternative source of funding. They locked down the Rio Grande, to the point that you must pay them to be ferried across or you risk being shot. The cartels use these migrants to flood the zone and clog up Border Patrol resources, functioning as human pawns (http://thefederalist.com/2018/03/08/on-the-texas-mexico-border-migrants-overcome-every-obstacle/) to distract from their efforts to smuggle opioids and other drugs across.

            The cartels don’t just benefit from being paid by these migrant families desperate to get away from the violence in Central America. Every family group the cartels send across ties up the Border Patrol for hours. Back in 2014 when unaccompanied minors were flooding across in large groups, U.S. authorities were well aware that the cartels were taking drugs just a few miles upstream while they dealt with the minors, but there was nothing they could do about it. They were hamstrung by their own humanitarian policies.

            There’s something going on here that brings to mind the ignorance of the U.S. military when it came to the early days of ISIS. It’s as if we refuse to acknowledge that the enemy reads the same media we do – that they can’t follow coverage of the issues, and understand how to manipulate the storylines to their advantage. That’s clearly what is going on here, and the Trump administration’s zero tolerance crackdown in response to this increased migration is playing into their hands.

            The point is that while, individually, crossing the border is a misdemeanor, collectively the situation is vastly more complicated and threatening. Unless and until the border is actually secured, either enforcement or non-enforcement of immigration laws seems to play into the hands of organized crime.

            A wall anyone?

      2. dilbert dogbert

        Moses: I remember a story I read of how the Japanese had to decide whether when traveling by train was inside or outside. They decided it was outside. That made trains a mess. Then when the Olympics came to Japan they make an effort to look good to the world. No more males peeing in the gutter and such. Interesting history of changes of customs.

  2. pgl

    “And they say history doesn’t repeat itself. Like hell it doesn’t. If the world in 2018 doesn’t remind you of Germany circa 1930’s you’re not paying attention.”

    Someone on Twitter named Carrie.

    1. baffling

      since corev, bruce, ed and peaky cannot be wrong-they are conservatives after all-then the bush family must be a bunch of liberals. who could have known?

    2. Moses Herzog

      Laura Bush committed something seemingly “similar to” involuntary manslaughter with a car and never spent 1 day in jail. That editorial covers about 1/10,000th of the penance she owes humanity. Now if some “white trash” or black person had pulled the stunt Laura Bush did (or perhaps we could imagine a Mexican immigrant without proper papers), it would have been, uh, “fascinating” to know what the results of the police report would have been on that one.

      Of course there are some illegal immigrants who might get away with what Laura Bush did. If Melania Trump plowed through a stop sign she could tell us the reason the other driver died was because they were driving a small Kia Rio, and we’d all just go on about our business. “This is America, after all”

      Laura says she wasn’t drinking. This reminds me of the old cliche joke when someone insults the intelligence or actions of a drinker, and the old standby line is “He acted like an idiot because he was drunk—what’s your excuse??”

      1. pgl

        Can we also attack Teddy Kennedy? Mrs. Bush wrote an excellent oped on this issue. Do not give Team Trump this kind of hate material.

        1. Moses Herzog

          That’s a fair point, but Ted Kennedy was dead before Trump ran for office. Laura Bush had from June 16, 2015 clear to November 8, 2016 to write all the editorials she wanted about Donald Trump’s policies. Laura Bush also could have taken the pointiest part of her elbow and stuck it fiercely into the ribs of her slacker husband to “embolden” him to write an editorial between June 2015 and November 2016. As far as I know, no such editorial exists, and no such elbow jabbing occurred. I’m happy to be educated if someone knows different.

          And YES, YES, wait for it……. wait for it……. this gets back to Hillary. Hillary thought is was “cute” when Trump first announced a run for President. She thought she’d hide out, away from the press, at private fundraisers and just kind of grin inside herself as Trump gained steam day by day. If she had learned from her husband’s campaigns in Arkansas and how grueling and grinding they were, she would have been able to do more than a fake southern accent that receded and then magically reappeared every 2 minutes and create the “I’m With Me” slogan. “Im With Me” for F’ing crying out loud!?!?!?!?!? Who the F___ did Hillary think she was, Oprah Winfrey??

          Raised in Illinois and a grad of Wellesley and Yale, then tries a fake Arkansas accent and a fake southern accent as late as 2016?? Then she wonders why no one likes her or sees her as a genuine person?? Who the F___ runs around half their life faking their own voice??

  3. pgl

    TRump twitter talks about how the Democrats are allegedly weak on “boarder security”. Lord the lying idiot cannot even spell!

    1. ilsm


      Hayden, former USAF general in intelligence (oxymoron of highest standing) presided over operations that compare favorably to Gestapo levels of moral ‘warfare’…………..

      If you don’t worry about the horror US spreads around its gasping empire, then the shock over detentions in Texas is not serious.

  4. pgl

    Are these immigrants and their children nice beds as Bruce Hall would have us believe or places in cages. We have the photos:


    OK – we see some young boys. The press is telling us that they have not been allowed to see the young girls that were kidnapped from their parents. Why not?

  5. noneconomist

    What do Franklin Graham, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and Willie Nelson have in common? They detest this child separation policy.

  6. Zi Zi

    I think the historical backdrop of the internment of American Japanese and Canadian Japanese was the Japan’s invasion in Asia at the outbreak of WWII, which led to Rape of Nankin. — Certainly the Japanese captured in the photo were innocent.

  7. pgl

    Rosalynn Carter forcefully condemns this Trumpian policy:


    Of course we have some moron named Dr. Mirabilis who ranted:

    ‘When she was first lady, her husband happily oversaw the genocide in East Timor.’

    Notice his link was dated December 1975. I guess this right wing moron does not know that Gerald Ford was President then. Maybe we should all read what Mrs. Carter was doing in 1979 to help Cambodian refugees:


  8. dilbert dogbert

    The 74 year brought to mind being in a car with my uncle near Visalia CA and asking him what the posters on all the telephone poles were saying. “Report for Internment.”

  9. 2slugbaits

    Bruce Hall I’m still waiting to hear why you think Melania Trump was more deserving of entry into the US than families walking thousands of miles across deserts and dangers, risking being robbed, raped, kidnapped or murdered. Maybe that’s why Melania seems to be showing a lot more human sympathy for those whom she knows are more deserving than she was.

    1. Bruce Hall


      Sorry I missed you comment among the chaos. I’m not certain I can address “deserving” in the context you are using it. The U.S. immigration law establishes requirements for both immigration and asylum. Is it perfect? No, not when compared with Mexico’s strict laws and policies, but it has served the general purpose of balancing national interests (normal immigrants going through the legal process who bring something of value to the receiving communities) and needs (emergency acceptance of those qualifying for refugee/asylum status).

      One might ask why Mexico hasn’t stepped up to help the Central Americans they willingly let enter their country and travel through it in violation of Mexico’s own laws. Well, the answer is obvious. They don’t even want their own poor and the U.S. has show an inability to manage its immigration process so further burdening the U.S. system with Central Americans enables Mexico to let their own illegals and cartels to move into the U.S. with greater impunity.

      But whether Ms. Trump was more deserving? Well, she wasn’t a burden in any way to the U.S. and she had sponsorship from an American citizen. If “deserving” only means “poor and oppressed in some manner”, then I guess she wasn’t deserving. Then these are the “deserving” people: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

      Make room.

  10. pgl

    Bruce Hall – “You were the one (along with pgl who raised the issue of the SS St. Louis”.

    I have not raised this issue once. Of course Bruce Hall has falsely accused me of all sorts of things that I have not said. Go figure!

    1. Bruce Hall


      Sincere apologies. You did not reiterate Menzie’s question about the SS St. Louis. You brought up Norway, so I responded with Pew data showing how small immigration from Europe is.

      But since you are a literalist and like to pick statements out of context, I’ll simply point out that Trump’s comment was not about race, but about achievement and how the U.S. would benefit from well-educated people out of successful societies like Norway rather than simply being flooded with “undocumented”, unskilled, poor refugees. The Pew data shows that his statement has some merit to it. http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2017/01/30123105/FT_17.01.27_refugeeToUSbyRegion.png

      Regardless, even the refugees in the Pew Research data are subject to a controlled process. Are you saying that the U.S. should not control its borders?

      Here’s a thought: does the U.S. have a moral obligation to interfere in the internal affairs of countries where large numbers of people are forced into refugee/asylum situations? Would it not be better to prevent governments from oppressing their citizens than waiting for the oppressed to try to escape their situation and be forced into treacherous journeys seeking new safe havens? . Here’s a start: http://www.newsweek.com/eight-10-countries-ill-treat-and-torture-citizens-amnesty-309274 .

      Perhaps European countries could help the U.S. squash those oppressive governments and prevent all of those people from becoming refugees. It’s the moral thing to do.

  11. pgl

    BTW Bruce Hall cherry picked from his own Federalist link. Permit me to provide a paragraph that he omitted:

    “None of this, Right or Left, has much to do with the reality of the U.S.-Mexico border. The fact is, the border is far more secure today than it was ten or fifteen years ago. But it’s also true that the border will never be free from drug smuggling and illegal crossings so long as Americans want drugs and foreigners want to come here. Lost, too, in Washington’s desultory immigration debate is the stubborn fact that the countries to our south are in various stages of societal collapse, which makes the incentives to cross the border, even at great personal risk, all but irresistible.”

    Separating children from their parents does nothing to reduce drug smuggling. Quite the contrary – this cruel Trumpian directive has diverted scarce resources away from preventing such smuggling.

    1. Bruce Hall


      Yes, you did pick another paragraph from the article I quoted. However, you simply ignored my introductory statement: While this is a conservative publication, it seems to provide support for the argument against draconian measures that Trump is employing to discourage the mass migrations toward the U.S.

      But, then, I expected that from you.

  12. Erik Poole

    Bruce Hall wrote: “How many Jews were persecuted and killed or driven from Germany? The U.S. accepted large numbers of Jews… and helped establish Israel as a Jewish homeland.”

    Menzie Chinn chimed in: “Bruce Hall: I agree America has stood up in the past. All I’m asking for is that America continues to do so. Mr. Trump’s statement “America will not be a migrant camp” seems to indicate he has a different path selected for this country.”

    The thing about an ethnic cleansing exercise is that it is indeed a zero-sum game. Come to think of it, it is hard to imagine the birth of the state of Israel in the former Palestinian Mandate with the use of terrorism.

    The Israeli nation building process can be characterized as a nuclear weapons backed affirmative action ethnic cleansing program. But rather than viewing it only in moral terms (or simply deploying sectarian, ethnic or racist criteria for policy-making), maybe US voters should be dwelling on the potential for more blowback, i.e., more dead Americans.

    My willingness to pay for annexing Jerusalem or additional settlements on the West Bank in dead Americans is zero. Perhaps you folks view the cost-benefit equation differently and view the on-going nation building process as worthy of the sacrifice of American lives?

  13. Erik Poole

    Bruce Hall

    I am familiar with all these arguments. Especially with the discourse of cultural superiority that comes tripping off the tongues of Israelis, particularly settlers.

    I suppose you could argue that when it comes to ethnic cleansing terrorism, the Israelis are nicer ethnic cleansers than others. Though I must admit I do feel a little silly banding about the term ‘terrorism’ as in the War on Terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic or at best a strategy. Terrorism is deployed in all major violent conflicts.

    The USA is a great power precisely because it is such a great terrorist nation state. Bruce, close your eyes and imagine the skin burning off the backs of young children and grandparents. That is the odour of Allied victory during WW II when the USA directly bombed civilians living in Japanese and German industrial cities.

    In the post-war period, all the rich capitalist countries have stopped taking resources with violence except for Israel and the USA. Presumably Israel and the USA realize that it is important to have sectarian, ethnic or racial exceptions to this lofty notion of well-defined secure economic property rights.

    The Israeli nation building process is iconic among Marxist-inspired national liberation guerilla movements. God knows what the violent death multiplier is.

    In the meantime, if you support the settlers, the illegal annexation of Jerusalem and the nuclear weapons arsenal, well, I wish you good luck. Presumably you understand the risks and are more than willing to pay for this project in dead fellow Americans.

    1. Bruce Hall


      1. The article about cultural superiority to which you object was written by an Arab, Fred Maroun, who was criticizing Arabs.
      2. The U.S. has expended far more than any country in trying to fight terrorism without taking any resources from the countries (consider Afghanistan and the fact that the U.S. did not confiscate Iraqi oil). Please provide citations that support your contention that “In the post-war period, all the rich capitalist countries have stopped taking resources with violence except for Israel and the USA.” With regard to Israel, re-read the article by Fred Maroun.


      1. Bruce Hall

        Oh, and I ignored your comment about U.S. bombing of Germany and Japan since you are obviously ignorant of WWII and what the Germans and Japanese did.

        Based on that comment and your obvious hatred of Israel, I am beginning to suspect that you are an Aryan Nation member.

      2. baffling

        “and the fact that the U.S. did not confiscate Iraqi oil”
        we were there to secure iraqi oil. just like kuwaiti oil in the past. you are playing technicalities with the idea of “confiscate”.

        1. Bruce Hall


          Interesting that you should conflate “securing” (preventing the oil from being appropriated by Iran or jihadists and “confiscated”. How much of the oil did the U.S. “secure” and sell? Oh, you mean secured so that the new Iraqi government could sell. Okay, no “technicality” on your part.

          1. Baffling

            Could Iraq do what they wanted with the oil? Not without us permission. Don’t be a hack Bruce. We controlled their resources. I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy in your argument.

          2. Bruce Hall


            Don’t be a hack Bruce. We controlled their resources. I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy in your argument.

            You are parsing again, baffling. Conflating “controlled” with “confiscated” in the context of the war is beneath you. In that context, “controlled” equates to “ensuring Iran or Jihadists do not seize and use Iraqi oil to finance their terrorist efforts”; “confiscating” equates to “seizing and using Iraqi oil to finance the war effort.” The U.S. did not receive or seize Iraqi oil as compensation for ousting Saddam Hussein.

            But we are way off topic. I suggest you read:
            Author: https://www.hoover.org/profiles/victor-davis-hanson

          3. baffling

            bruce, keep on reciting the idea that we did not fight a battle in iraq for the purpose of oil. yes, we were nation building. sure. seriously, you are rather dishonest here bruce. you are rewriting history as well. the jihadi’s and iranians did not have access to the oil while saddam was in power and we invaded the country. so the premise of your argument is void. you are warping the timeline to fit the narrative you would like to defend. so you are either stupid or a political hack. or maybe both?

  14. Baffling

    Corey lewandowski sets a fine example of the childishness behavior approved by the trump administration. And now the critters on this blog will all come out and defend the man-child at the expense of children.

    1. CoRev

      Troll, Add some value. Bruce just pointed out your hypocrisy and now you double down with more childishness?

      Please, just some modicum of value.

      1. baffling

        corev, i just pointed out the inaccuracy of bruce’s defense. i am sure you also believe in the warped timeline for your narrative as well, but it is incorrect. but please, do double down on the stupidity. and go ahead and defend lewandowski. did you see the political hack on tv? what a moron he is. but you are welcome to defend him corev.

        1. CoRev

          Troll, Add some value. Why did you add me to your argument with Bruce? Just trolling again!

          1. baffling

            “Why did you add me to your argument with Bruce?”
            because you interjected your self into the discussion with a comment. you don’t want to be part of the discussion, fine, then keep your trap shut. y’ano. what an idiot you are corev. and a snowflake.

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