On Refugee Experts and Liberal Outrage

by William Skink

If I had free time and ten bucks burning a hole in my pocket, I might be interested to hear what refugee expert, Hayley Smith, has to say about the global refugee crisis.

That was my initial thought, but then I came to this paragraph:

The Qatar Foundation and the Montana World Affairs Council teamed up to invite Smith to Missoula. She’ll share the stage Thursday night with Christina Atwood, who’ll discuss the refugee vetting and resettlement process overseas and on U.S. soil.

If you consult those alternative news sources the Washington Post slandered as useful idiots of the Kremlin, there is one word that glaringly leaps from the screen: Qatar.

If that word doesn’t raise your eyebrows, you are probably a liberal do-gooder chronically misinformed by main stream media. For those people, I would direct them to the words of Hillary Clinton:

In a leaked email sent on August 17, 2014 by Hillary Clinton to her current campaign manager, John Podesta, who back then was counselor to Barack Obama, she admitted that Qatar and Saudi Arabia “are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

Will this “refugee expert” explain to her audience how nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia are funding terrorists and destabilizing the entire Middle East? Will she accurately describe the role Neoliberal “humanitarian interventions” have played in creating the refugee crisis?

I don’t know why I’m still so amazed at this kind of thing, but I am. I mean, a country like Qatar funding a talk about the refugee crisis is like a serial rapist funding a panel discussion on rape culture. And boy oh boy will Missoula turn out to hear this woman talk.

I think about Missoula’s amor for refugees frequently as I get back into the swing of trying to help people. There are so many people isolated and suffering in this community, it’s no surprise that western states like Montana continue to lead the country with depressingly high suicide rates.

For the people I talk to that won’t get help until they become poor enough to qualify for things like Medicaid, or desperate enough to try things like suicide, I am tempted to tell them if only you were a refugee from half a world away, maybe it would be hip and cool enough to get you some assistance, but since you’re just another domestic refugee of late-stage capitalism, well, tough shit.

To those who so effectively ignore the domestic need when it’s not a preferred demographic while continuing the months-long tantrum over losing a presidential election, even the New York Times is trying to tell you how your behavior is helping Trump:

Liberals may feel energized by a surge in political activism, and a unified stance against a president they see as irresponsible and even dangerous. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right. In recent interviews, conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism — the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.

Protests and righteous indignation on social media and in Hollywood may seem to liberals to be about policy and persuasion. But moderate conservatives say they are having the opposite effect, chipping away at their middle ground and pushing them closer to Mr. Trump.

“The name calling from the left is crazy,” said Bryce Youngquist, 34, who works in sales for a tech start-up in Mountain View, Calif., a liberal enclave where admitting you voted for Mr. Trump is a little like saying in the 1950s that you were gay. “They are complaining that Trump calls people names, but they turned into some mean people.”

Mr. Youngquist stayed in the closet for months about his support for Mr. Trump. He did not put a bumper sticker on his car, for fear it would be keyed. The only place he felt comfortable wearing his Make America Great Again hat was on a vacation in China. Even dating became difficult. Many people on Tinder have a warning on their profile: “Trump supporters swipe left” — meaning, get lost.

He came out a few days before the election. On election night, a friend posted on Facebook, “You are a disgusting human being.”

“They were making me want to support him more with how irrational they were being,” Mr. Youngquist said.

I don’t think the supporters of relocating refugees in Missoula are capable of seeing any criticism of their efforts as valid, just like many liberals still can’t quite fathom that a vote for Trump doesn’t automatically make someone a card-carrying member of the KKK.

I don’t know why I would expect anything more reasonable to come from a political ideology that seems just fine with mass slaughter and displacement as long as it’s their smooth-talking president overseeing the atrocities.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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37 Responses to On Refugee Experts and Liberal Outrage

  1. Steve W says:

    When my friends from Canada pass through they mention the desperation in American’s eyes.

    And to think that it’s a manufactured shortage is what makes it all the more frustrating..

    • Big Swede says:

      Maybe your northern buddies are looking into mirrors?


      Know what you get when you cross Islam with Capitalism?

      No more jokes about the profit.

      • Steve W says:

        My Canadian friends have long felt sorry for the depressed lives they see all across our land when they travel. I first met them back in the early 1990s when Sylvie was getting her PhD in Math from U of O in Eugene. Ron worked in the political canvass i was helping manage for Oregon Fair Share. We were working to get a single payer Canadian style heath insurance system.

        Ron found it ironic how ignorant many Americans were (and are ) about health care and about Canadian healthcare. We were all housemates for around a year.

        Last time I saw them was 4 or 5 years ago when they were traveling through Montana back to BC when they looked me up and came and stayed a few days. They feel sorry for us in this country.

        But what can they do? it’s our own mess.

        • Big Swede says:

          Amazing what can happen in 4 or 5 years.

          “The Edelman poll finds that 43 percent of Canadians trust their government, with 57 percent saying they do not trust it. 80 percent of Canadians said they felt “the elites who run our institutions are out of touch with regular people.” To compare, in the United States, a nation often more distrustful than Canada of its elected officials, 52 percent said they trusted the government. This is up from 44 percent under President Barack Obama in 2015.”-Francis Martell

  2. steve kelly says:

    What slave-masters and frontiersmen looted has now become accumulated, generationally-laundered “inheritance.” Capitalism it is not.

    “With Thomas Jefferson taking the lead in the Virginia legislature in 1777, every Revolutionary state government abolished the laws of primogeniture and entail that had served to perpetuate the concentration of inherited property. Jefferson cited Adam Smith, the hero of free market capitalists everywhere, as the source of his conviction that (as Smith wrote, and Jefferson closely echoed in his own words), “A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural.” Smith said: “There is no point more difficult to account for than the right we conceive men to have to dispose of their goods after death.”” http://www.economist.com/blogs/lexington/2010/10/estate_tax_and_founding_fathers

    • It is very hard to determine what is going on there by that montage of photos and videos. It is hard to grasp the landscape, for one thing, and to place the actors in their places. Are they in a tent community? By a highway? Is there one fire pier or two? There are never many people involved. When the tribal members are banging their drums and chanting, there are as many “press” and photographers as Indians. There can’t be more than 60-75 total, hardly a national newsworthy event. It looks staged. All of it.

      • thanks “Mark” “Tokarski”

      • You could actually come meet me and find I am real. I doubt the same thing about Standing Rock.

        • you could actually go to Standing Rock and find its real.

        • Yes, yes, I understand that. I am only saying that they are unwitting puppets, that the event was a distraction of no consequence. This is evidenced by the media coverage, which only occurs on instructions from above. It could easily have been ignored, and wasn’t. I would bet if you took time to investigate its origins you would find agents provocateur, hired to stir things up.

          This is true with all our large gatherings of late … pitting the population against one another, and to what end I do not know. Trump’s “tweets,” inflammatory statements, idiotic appointments, are having their desired effect. Trump is but an actor, but those behind them are acting with purpose.

        • Big Swede says:

          The Puppet masters went to great efforts to set up these fake structures with paid actor protesters.


          If I were to orchestrate such a sham I’d at least show a few portable toilets in the news video to enhance their environmental responsibility.

          But all in all a fantastic ruse, filmed outside Ogden UT.

        • JC says:

          In the meantime, the Canadian film industry put up a mock set and took some overhead photos of it to sell the fact that it had the perfect set locations at the “tar sands oil mining sites” to stage the next great zombie apocalypse movie.

        • Swede, all of the rallies, either woman or in immigration, had real people in them really believing in what they were doing. OK? Standing Rock too. But as I say so often, if you don’t understand controlled opposition you cannot possibly grasp politics. It is all controlled from above, with paid organizers to get their people our, heavy publicity to get people to show up, even some useful idiots who believe in what they are doing. And all for naught, just a way to keep people occupied in futile acitivies while the country is run elsewhere, and out of sight. As long as we are pitted against one another, those who run the country can carry on without interference from below.

          “The best way to control the opposition is to lead them ourselves” … who said that?

        • Big Swede says:

          Mark I’m firmly standing outside your House of Mirrors perpetual prison of tormented souls.

        • These attitudes you have adopted – I know they comfort you. You are indifferent and incurious about most of what you see around you. You are even smug about it, thinking yourself wise to be so. But your attitude, your indifference and incuriosity, no matter your level of intelligence, are nonetheless indistinguishable from stupidity.

          We are hardly “tormented souls”! We’re having fun! Are you? Is anyone here? We know that the mass shootings and stuff are fake, that the elections are fake (Trump might have carried Utah), that the news is fake, that most of what you see are but poor players strutting and fretting their hours upon the stage. None of it torments us as it does the poor souls at this site. We don’t watch news, read newspapers, and if you are wondering how we stay informed, I just told you.

        • JC says:

          You’ve been disavowed by your mentor and godhead, you’ve just disowned half of your work. And now you want us to believe the other half is worth diddly? How long till you self-reflect enough to know you’re living a self imposed delusion and distance yourself from that?

          Informed? How can you say you know jack about current events if you don’t read the news or watch cable even if most of it is “fake.” You got no baseline. All you know is what you and your fishbowl acolytes see and hear in your echo chamber. Show one bit of real facts about any of your works (and amateur hour with Photoshop doesn’t count as a fact), and all the crap will dilute it into nothingness.


        • We’re doing fine, JC, not that you’ve said a nice thing to or about us in months, you snarly grisly old fart. I think my Photoshop now is of better use than your one college semester; I think our findings are defensible. It’s been hard work. What you got? There are manipulators who know people like you are just dying to find that cause that allows you to put that fist in the air, paint that sign, wait for the cameras. You know, Standing Rock.

          My mentor? I met him, I liked him and we argued, I went my own way, he attacked my methods, he turned out to be right, I adjusted. He is wrong about stuff too. Life is not for the simple-minded, black/white set. On the other hand JC, I’d bet I could find words from you in 2004 and then in 2017 and they have not changed in tone or content. Like Swede, you’re doctrinaire, carefully weaving all of the intricacies of life into to your philosophy, not allowing for error, even as it is the water you are slogging through.

        • JC says:

          Same as it ever was… there’s water at the bottom of the ocean.

          And quit being so presumptuous that you think you know anything about me. You don’t.

          Final question: are you ever going to show up for real life?

        • What a joke! You imagine you can plaster your words all over, and I can’t know anything about you? You think I got no guile, no insight, That I cannot read between the lines, pick up on tone and nuance? Right? Just as I could see Pogie is a hire and is paid for his work (why, having a serviceable mind, would he put out such tripe for nothing?), I can see that you are an angry man, soothing yourself in small campfires of similar seething angry people, maybe hoping to like one another, and hoping that on the horizon as a result of your tireless efforts, there will be change.

          Our side over at POM is a happy place. We’re just alive and having fun uncovering deception, which is all about us. We have no delusions that the state of existence will change anytime soon.

        • JC says:

          “You think I got no guile, no insight, That I cannot read between the lines, pick up on tone and nuance?”

          Exactly right. Poser.

        • It was a broader and more substantive attack on you JC, so “So’s yer old man” is not working. I am not fooled by you, poseur. You’re about as deep as freezing rain, though the rain can affect interesting sculptures on the landscape. You cannot.

        • JC says:

          Why don’t you go somewhere else to get your auto fellatio fix today, eh?

        • JC, we are investigators. We search for truth. It takes lots of work. I’ve got hours – ten or more, into np y Sutcliffe piece, and still the other writers are seeing things I did not. We’re having fun. Are you? We make mistakes as we learn and get better at our techniques. We are proud of the things we have discovered. We are conscious if the things we have been wrong about. We’ll be around for a good long time, brining in new writers whose only qualification are good minds and a burning desire to search for truth. You will not be asked.

          It is better to be open to the unusual, to be alert to fraud and propaganda and manipulation, and to be right about a few things. You and Swede are opposite sides of the same coin, wrong about everything and oblivious about it. This is why you are still whistling the same tunes year in and out, never changing in outlook. You’re dontriairre and non-observant. Like Pogie too.

        • JC says:

          Ever the presumptuous, pious ass full of hubris. Never changes.

          Go ahead and have your fun. Retirement is easy when you have no concerns, and stand for nothing while the world burns around you — wildlands dwindling, species reaching extinction, the atmosphere warming, people suffering from poverty and illness and corrupt power structures. But go ahead and have your fun, as meaningless as it is in the swing of things.

        • I beg you find any presumptiveness in my remarks. We own our mistakes, I own mine. I simply say it is better to be right now and then than to be wrong all the time … oh, hi Swede.

          It’s always a question … continue this exchange with you, knowing you read but don’t process, that you simply use my comment to launch an angry tirade only tengentially related. You’re pissed at me. I get that.

          Now go back to 2004, find your writing back then, and I bet you will find “… the world burns around you, wild lands dwindling, species reaching extinction, the atmosphere warming, people suffering from poverty, illness and corrupt power structures.” You’re a perpetual doom and gloom guy. You don’t progress, odd for a progressive. The planet is fine, the atmosphere is doing whatever it does and will continue to support us, and the same people are in power as have always been. That is the fascinating thing in our research … the same people, the same bloodlines fucking with us. I don’t pretend to understand it, perhaps never will. But then I never thought I would understand what happened on 11/22/63 …

          I am deeply sorry that I am fortunate, that I have a nice life. I don’t attribute it to any more than good fortune. What do you want me to do? I could be a prisoner, a school teacher, or God forbid, a fist-waving sign-holding self righteous progressive. There but for fortune … go you and I … … who sang that? Oh yeah, fake activist Joan Baez, controlled opposition, daughter of an Intelligence guy.

        • JC says:

          “knowing you read but don’t process”

          Presumptive hubris at its worst.

          “The planet is fine”

          Delusional. When’s the last time you’ve contributed any of your wealth to a worthy nonprofit like AWR, SVC, FOWS, or MEDC? You obviously don’t care about wild lands or endangered species if you think the planet is fine.

          “I am fortunate, that I have a nice life. I don’t attribute it to any more than good fortune. ”

          And doing the IRS’ bidding as a governmentally regulated CPA, making sure that your oil and gas clients’ dividends and royalties are nicely and legally hid from the government, so you can siphon off your tithe. No wonder you’re a climate denier. You’ve made your living and retirement contributing to global warming in your own special way.

        • “knowing you read but don’t process” …Presumptive hubris at its worst.

          I simply meant that your emotions are overriding your reasoning powers.

          Delusional. When’s the last time you’ve contributed any of your wealth to a worthy nonprofit like AWR, SVC, FOWS, or MEDC? You obviously don’t care about wild lands or endangered species if you think the planet is fine.

          That alphabet soup will suck up a lot of misdirected good intentions and produce a lot of newsletters. The planet is fine. If it gets warmer, we can drink Canadian wine. When it gets colder, we have a problem. But we do not cause it.

          “And doing the IRS’ bidding as a governmentally regulated CPA, making sure that your oil and gas clients’ dividends and royalties are nicely and legally hid from the government, so you can siphon off your tithe. No wonder you’re a climate denier. You’ve made your living and retirement contributing to global warming in your own special way.”

          I’ve never done anything illegal, though I grasp your meaning. I am smart enough to know we don’t need an income tax, that it is just a way of stealing our legitimately earned wealth and keep regular people from accumulating wealth, making sure that poverty is always knocking on the door. I did not invent the system. As a younger man faced with options, not good with my hands,unable to do carpentry or auto mechanics, I did this. I cannot say I have ever enjoyed a day of tax and accounting. It has been work. My true outlets are apparent.

        • JC says:

          I think my work here is done.

  3. Bob Williams says:

    The real ruse remains. DAPL = third mega size pipeline avoiding NEPA Law and order of making professional EIS with scheduled public comment period.
    Recall how Keystone KXL responded to public comment on EIS, with a FSEIS routing KXL along edge of Sandhills park in Nebraska.
    A DAPL EIS would have scenarios of how much North Dakota crude will be conveyed directly into ETCOP pipeline it connected directly to massive Tank Farm at seaport of Nederland Texas.
    That Tank Farm owned by Sunoco that will Operate both DAPL also EPTCOP.
    Would have scenarios how much Sunoco conveyed crude would be Exported, and involved in export swaps.
    Imo the 33 million USD for Law enforcement at Standing Rock, is the responsibility of not taxpayers, but DAPL SUNOCO owners that grossly neglected following NEPA Law and order.

  4. steve kelly says:

    FYI. SUNOCO avoids taxes via Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew funds neoliberal “environmental” fronts who work for neoliberal Democrats. In Montana, almost all the name-brand, neoliberal “collaborators” have been supported by Pew.

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