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Is Donald Trump Dangerous?

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On 5/8/2016 at 6:27 PM, HandyHandle said:

Apparently Nicky argues

There was no need to speculate about what I'm arguing. I linked you to a page full of quotes that directly contradict your claim that a country can be someone's property.

The reason why I did that should be obvious: I consider your claim that you own the United States false. That's my argument: you DO NOT OWN the United States. So you DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to remove someone from the United States under the pretense that you are enforcing your property rights.

On 5/8/2016 at 6:27 PM, HandyHandle said:

Surely if another nation must respect America’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, so must a foreigner.  In fact that’s the meaning behind Rand’s words. 

Ayn Rand believed that government should be limited to the protection of individual rights. She made this very clear. Left no room for interpretation whatsoever.

Deporting economic migrants who have in no way violated anyone's individual rights (since, like I said, you DO NOT OWN the United States) doesn't fall under the purview of government.

Edited by Nicky

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On 5/8/2016 at 11:27 AM, HandyHandle said:

...as Rand said ...

Surely if another nation must respect America’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, so must a foreigner.  In fact that’s the meaning behind Rand’s words. ...

Are you seriously claiming that Rand, of all people, would say illegal immigration was an immoral act?

Edited by softwareNerd

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In Rand’s posthumously published letters there are half a dozen about trying to get a former teacher (Marie Strakhow, whom she called “Missis”), then in Austria, into the U.S.  This was in the mid 1940s.  Rand never complained about the legal process involved.

People who say such quaint things as “I love my country” are delusional.  America isn’t their country to love.  They DO NOT OWN the United States, they just happen to be here.  They need to get rid of the “my” and instead say “I love *this* country.”  I’m being sarcastic.  In a very real sense citizens do own their country.  

Foreigners who without legal process cross into America by that act initiate force.  Their subsequent presence here is just as much an act of force.  The situation is analogous to fraud or burglary.  The mere possession of what was stolen, even if no physical force was used in the acquisition, is an act of force.

Rand realized that a country is a special entity, at least in her published writing.  I provided a quote in my last post.  A free nation “... has a right to its territorial integrity, its social system and its form of government.”  And “... a right to demand that its sovereignty be respected by all other nations.”

If one foreigner has a right to enter the U.S., why not a million, ten million, a billion?  Why not another nation?  It is I who think this position ridiculous.

 

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16 hours ago, HandyHandle said:

Foreigners who without legal process cross into America by that act initiate force.  Their subsequent presence here is just as much an act of force.  The situation is analogous to fraud or burglary.  The mere possession of what was stolen, even if no physical force was used in the acquisition, is an act of force.

Rand realized that a country is a special entity, at least in her published writing.  I provided a quote in my last post.  A free nation “... has a right to its territorial integrity, its social system and its form of government.”  And “... a right to demand that its sovereignty be respected by all other nations.”

Laws are not moral just because they exist.

Rand clearly thought certain forms of illegal immigration was moral, so you should stop misusing quotes from her. The devil quotes scripture.

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20 hours ago, HandyHandle said:

In Rand’s posthumously published letters there are half a dozen about trying to get a former teacher (Marie Strakhow, whom she called “Missis”), then in Austria, into the U.S.  This was in the mid 1940s.  Rand never complained about the legal process involved.

Ayn Rand was most likely an illegal immigrant for about three years, before she married an American citizen. And she came to the US under false pretenses (because she would've never been allowed in had she told the truth about the purpose of her visit), even before that.

She never had any respect for thugs. Not when they were acting on their own, and certainly not when they were acting under the color of the law.

20 hours ago, HandyHandle said:

If one foreigner has a right to enter the U.S., why not a million, ten million, a billion?  Why not another nation?  It is I who think this position ridiculous.

I can't think of a single reason why not. And the only "ridiculous position" about this is conflating the right of a billion people to enter the US with the possibility that they would.

Edited by Nicky

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3 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

... The devil quotes scripture.

Speak for yourself, brother! :devil:

20 hours ago, HandyHandle said:

...  

Foreigners who without legal process cross into America by that act initiate force.  Their subsequent presence here is just as much an act of force.  The situation is analogous to fraud or burglary.  The mere possession of what was stolen, even if no physical force was used in the acquisition, is an act of force.

...

Nicky is correct*

America is founded on the premise that all individuals have an inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The moral limitation to such a right is non-aggression.  Simply put, you are free to take actions that further your life so long as those actions don't impede another individual's equal right.  A moral society (of individuals) doesn't create this right; it secures it.  It certainly does not prohibit others from enjoying it based on nationality.

It is both legally and morally proper for a land owner to prohibit unwelcome use of their property, but of course that doesn't entitle them to assert who is or isn't welcome on another individual's land.  America as such, is "owned" by consensus, which is why issues like illegal immigration remain contentious.  Farm owners, landlords and businesses tend to view non-citizens as potential workers, tenants and customers, whereas supporters of Darkwing Donald, et al, tend to view non-citizens as potential threats.  The problem is the argument cannot be resolved in terms of potentials, because either you risk tossing the baby out with the bathwater, or allowing a fox into the hen house.

The proper social context for using force is to respond to actual aggression against individual lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness, and not those conjured up by jingoists.

--

* http://reason.com/archives/2012/02/14/ayn-rand-was-an-illegal-immigrant

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On May 9, 2016 at 2:56 PM, Nicky said:

Deporting economic migrants who have in no way violated anyone's individual rights (since, like I said, you DO NOT OWN the United States) doesn't fall under the purview of government.

...as it shouldn't!

But how is it we have this problem in the first place?  It would appear that America's current immigration laws allow for those to enter the country so long as they are "sponsored", do not have any criminal records, and are in sound health without communicable diseases.  It would seem such immigration laws are valid as they intend to protect the rights of American citizens, as well as protect us from those (i.e. terrorists) whose discovered purpose is to initiate force. 

My observation is that the machinery to process immigrants is woefully inadequate, and that is why immigrants enter the country illegally.  So the first step in immigration reform ought to be to strengthen the INS such that it can more swiftly and easily process immigrants.  Curiously, with all his pronouncements regarding immigration, we have not heard The Donald™ even offer this solution.

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6 hours ago, Yes said:

...as it shouldn't!

But how is it we have this problem in the first place?  It would appear that America's current immigration laws allow for those to enter the country so long as they are "sponsored", do not have any criminal records, and are in sound health without communicable diseases.  It would seem such immigration laws are valid as they intend to protect the rights of American citizens, as well as protect us from those (i.e. terrorists) whose discovered purpose is to initiate force. 

My observation is that the machinery to process immigrants is woefully inadequate, and that is why immigrants enter the country illegally.  So the first step in immigration reform ought to be to strengthen the INS such that it can more swiftly and easily process immigrants.  Curiously, with all his pronouncements regarding immigration, we have not heard The Donald™ even offer this solution.

The INS was disbanded over a decade ago. More importantly , the reason why immigrants can't come in legally has nothing to do with any inadequacies at Homeland Security (which is the department in charge of processing long term visa applications). Homeland Security has the ability to process all the visa applications it receives. But they're forced to reject most long term applications, because immigration is capped, by law, at 700,000/year (and Mexican immigration is capped at around 130,000).

People who already have family connections in the US have priority, and, especially in Mexico's case, take up most of the spots, so those without family connections have no chance to get their application approved. Their only option is to enter illegally.

The only solution to illegal immigration is to abolish the law that caps it at 700,000, and allow Homeland to approve or reject applications based on an objective security assessment, and nothing else. Then, the only people sneaking across the border would be the criminals. People without priors or terror connections would have no reason to.

Edited by Nicky

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6 hours ago, Yes said:

... It would appear that America's current immigration laws allow for those to enter the country so long as they are "sponsored", do not have any criminal records, and are in sound health without communicable diseases.  ...

My observation is that the machinery to process immigrants is woefully inadequate, and that is why immigrants enter the country illegally.  

No, that's not the situation. I'm not surprised that most Americans think something along these lines: there's an implicit assumption that the law is fairly rational. 

There are graduates of ivy league schools, with U.S. employers willing to give them jobs, and family willing to sponsor them. who do not get in because the annual quota of 85,000 is oversubscribed. Most try again the next year and get lucky, but in theory they may be consistently unlucky. But, at least these people have some mechanism. And, I'm not speaking of citizenship; I'm not even speaking of residency (aka Green Card)... I'm talking about a 3-year work-visa that can be extended to a max of 6 years. 

But, those are the lucky ones. There are many other people who have no way of immigrating because they do not fall into any of the categories the government allows in. It's not that they're don't have the resources to process the applications. 

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Another misconception is that the caps are not that bad, and that the US is still the most immigrant friendly nation in the world. Couldn't be further from the truth.

Yearly legal immigration to the US is capped at less than 0.3% of the total population. Other countries (Canada, Germany, Australia) allow in close to 1% of their total population, each year. Switzerland, 1.6%.

Even if the US lifted all caps on Mexico and Central America (the main sources of illegal immigration), it wouldn't end up accepting more immigrants per capita than those countries.

Edited by Nicky

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7 hours ago, Yes said:

My observation is that the machinery to process immigrants is woefully inadequate

The US government processes and approves tens of millions of visas each year. As long as the person seeking to enter the US isn't asking for permission to work, it's a lightning fast, streamlined process. Problems start when the application is for a work visa...then, all of a sudden, we have to stop the applicants, because "security".

Tens of millions of tourists: perfectly fine, no danger whatsoever. 2-3 million migrant workers: must be stopped, under the pretense of security.

P.S. there's of course no reason for a terrorist to try and get a work visa...a tourist/business/student visa works just fine. That's how the 9/11 hijackers came in: 18 of them applied for the very easy to get tourist/business visas, one of them had a student visa. They didn't sneak across any border, they didn't try to emigrate or get a work permit. Why would they?

Edited by Nicky

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Nicky and Software Nerd, I much appreciate your enlightening me on this topic.

As I now understand it, there are other factors that have inhibited immigration and may be responsible for the influx of "illegal" immigration.

it would be interesting to see how the two candidates address this topic.

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Last year, I read one of Trump's Entrepreneurial books which drew heavily on anecdotal evidence from his own life. This is what I gathered.

 

His saving grace seems to be his sense of life, which is very thoroughly the American kind of outlook that Ayn Rand praised so highly. He aims high (in every concrete or practical endeavor) and refuses to accept failure as permanent or inevitable. I think this is a large part of his appeal.

That being said, he has absolutely no explicit grasp of what makes those traits valuable, why one should strive to have them nor even that they can be gained or lost. He chalks his own bravado up to some sort of innate idea, which he just can't help.

 

What's worse, he makes no distinction whatsoever between the public and private sectors. In one part on brainstorming business ideas he included nonprofit, charitable and political organizations together as different kinds of "businesses".

That's the real danger I see - that he's going to wield his guns as if they were dollars, and we will all be on the hook for it.

 

And I think he's going to win.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Clarity

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3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Last year, I read one of Trump's Entrepreneurial books which drew heavily on anecdotal evidence from his own life. This is what I gathered.

 

His saving grace seems to be his sense of life, which is very thoroughly the American kind of outlook that Ayn Rand praised so highly. He aims high (in every concrete or practical endeavor) and refuses to accept failure as permanent or inevitable. I think this is a large part of his appeal.

That being said, he has absolutely no explicit grasp of what makes those traits valuable, why one should strive to have them nor even that they can be gained or lost. He chalks his own bravado up to some sort of innate idea, which he just can't help.

 

What's worse, he makes no distinction whatsoever between the public and private sectors. In one part on brainstorming business ideas he included nonprofit, charitable and political organizations together as different kinds of "businesses".

That's the real danger I see - that he's going to wield his guns as if they were dollars, and we will all be on the hook for it.

 

And I think he's going to win.

Reminds me of Penn Jillette's take on Trump: when Penn met Trump (during his silly reality show where he "fired" people who weren't actually his employees), he loved him (loved his direct personality, unfiltered mannerisms, etc.). Watching his campaign, and the people he surrounded himself with, he's absolutely horrified by his politics (and you can find him in recent youtube vids, going around various media outlets, making sure everybody knows just how horrified he is).

P.S. He's definitely not going to win. It's not even going to be close.

Edited by Nicky

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On 8/26/2016 at 10:23 PM, Nicky said:

Reminds me of Penn Jillette's take on Trump: when Penn met Trump ... he loved him (loved his direct personality, unfiltered mannerisms, etc.). Watching his campaign, and the people he surrounded himself with, he's absolutely horrified by his politics...

Exactly.

 

Rush Limbaugh made a striking observation, the other day. Hillary had been calling Trump a racist, sexist pig (of course), which the major media outlets reported on under the headline: "Hillary and Trump exchange barbs". Not "Hillary calls Trump out", not "Hillary shows him for the pig he is" (or anything else to that effect), but "Hillary and Trump exchange barbs".

There's something different about this election cycle. Every election that I can remember has consisted of the Democrats spewing moral condemnations everywhere and the Republicans apologizing for their very existence - but not this one.

Trump doesn't try to hide his flaws; he flaunts them. All of the Democrats' best-laid schemes hinge on inducing guilt in the minds of their opponents, which Trump simply refuses to accept.

 

Unlike Rush Limbaugh, I wouldn't praise him for that. There are times when guilt would be an appropriate response (such as after making absurdly irrational statements on national television). I do think he'll win, though.

 

--- P.S.

 

This is exactly what I meant when I've mentioned, in other threads, that our intellectual spokespeople would further Objectivism much more effectively if they learned to openly flaunt its alleged flaws.

Defiance sells.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Postscript

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The gist of Trump's immigration speech: the government should choose immigrants “we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish”.

Excellent plan, no doubt about it. Nothing wrong with picking out the best of the best for your team. I've seen Hard Knocks. You gotta be selective, put everyone to the test, and cut the weak and the unfit. And when you think you have your team, you gotta do it again.

Just one problem with it: I thought the plan was to make all of America great. No doubt, this will produce a great immigrant population. I know this, because Donald Trump is a great businessman. All he needs to do is look an immigrant in the eye, and he'll know if that person is likely to flourish and thrive, or not. That's how he picked his fake reality show employees all those years. So that part is great. Our team has the best punter in the league at that point.

The part that's not so great: the rest of the team. This expertly selected group of immigrants will make up what, maybe 1% of the total population? Everyone else is just random guys off the street. Our running back is a 47 year old fat lady, and the QB got wasted during the Fourth of July fireworks and now has two fingers missing off his throwing hand.

Bottom line is, we can't half ass this. That won't make America great. We need to make the other 99% great too. Let's pick a goal here: one in five. 60 million who we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish.

They can stay, the rest, get rid of them. And I think I'm being generous with one in five. To be honest, in a couple of years we might have to repeat the process, cut another 20% or so who slipped through the cracks/barbed wire the first time. I see no other way to make America as great as Donald Trump's vision would have it.

Edited by Nicky

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On 5/6/2016 at 6:55 AM, Devil's Advocate said:

The following disturbs me more than the leader.

...  If elected, and I give them better than 50/50 odds of getting there, America will become a darker place.

In the end it was a tactical victory provided by the electoral college, but yeah, I saw that one coming too.  Now we get to wait and see if he can pull it off a second time without the element of surprise.  My early prediction is, yes he will, because the 30% who support him are as hardened as the 30% who supported Hillary (or any alternative to him).  40% of the electorate will probably (and sadly) continue to avoid participation in the process.

It's amusing that pundits continue citing historically low approval ratings that are in fact higher than the percentage that brought him into office.  Until electoral support for a particular candidate in closely contested races rises above *33-35%* we'll continue to see the duopoly produce wave after wave of divisive, two-term  candidates.  The Donald (and his predecessors) are not nearly so dangerous as the cold math being relied on to seat divisive minority agendas.

**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_elections

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