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Post 0

Monday, February 13 - 12:04pmSanction this postReply
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Luke,

 

I doubt that your assessment of ARI's or Yaron Brook's motivation is correct.  I seriously doubt that it is about money.  I've seen a great many people who are Libertarian or Objectivist who believe in open borders (or at least more open than they are) and I've seen a great many people who are strongly anti-Trump for his pragmatic and often big-government approach to politics.  I think that they believe that individual rights require open borders. 

 

I have the sense that CATO is also more in favor of open borders than not - on the same basis.  But that's just my impression.

 

I am certain that ARI, Yaron Brooks, and CATO are organizations that hold deeply to principles BUT they don't get it when it comes to borders.  When different political ideologies, some extremely toxic to liberty, exist and even rule in other countries and in the minds of people attempting to enter our country, then there must be borders.  Borders  say, "The jurisdiction of other political systems ends at our borders."  The protection of individual rights by objective law implies a jurisdiction which means borders.

 

If those libertarians and Objectivists could agree that there must be borders, then we could have a rational discussion on who can come in and who cannot come in.  In this context, Trump's "America First" means that who gets to come in is about protecting the rights of American citizens and not making policy whose purpose to aid people in other countries.  Progressivism is actually an emotional movement dressed up as if it had reasoned arguments.  That is why progressives never let go of the idea that a refugee or immigrant has a "right" to enter our country.  In fuzzy, progressive-speak, "right" is often just another way to say "need" and for them, needs are akin to holy commandments to give in, to sacrifice, to bow before the greatest needs. 

 

"America First" is a recognition that our government has a moral and legal obligation to never sacrifice the lives or treasure of Americans to serve others.  In my mind it doesn't go far enough.  It should be "Individual Rights of Americans are the First and Last Concern of the American Government".



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Monday, February 13 - 12:14pmSanction this postReply
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If they started with an "open borders" policy in more peaceful times pre-9/11, got heavily financed by "open borders" people, and then stuck to that party line even after reason says it is a bad idea after all, then that suggests an addiction to the easy cash flow by sticking to the "open borders" party line.

 

It would help a great deal if we knew who are their major donors and why they donate.

 

I concede that the ARI may have sold their souls, not for money, but simply to be conceived as "nice" by the multicultural globalist elites, which is just another way to sell one's soul.

 

The last possibility is that they have simply become the "crusading irrationalists" decried by Leonard Peikoff in "Fact and Value" back in 1989.

 

I see no room for "honest error" here.

 

Does anyone disagree?



Post 2

Monday, February 13 - 12:31pmSanction this postReply
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Luke, you don't know who ARI's donors are, and you don't know what the donors' motivations are, and yet you claim that ARI sold out for money!  I'm uncomfortable with that kind of harsh accusation being made in the absence of any evidence.

 

Then you go on to say that they maybe they didn't sell out for money, but rather they have sold their souls just to be liked by mulitcultural globalist elites!  Again, I feel very uncomfortable with making such a harsh damnation in the absence of evidence.  It just isn't right.

 

All we know is that there is a difference of opinion regarding the political policies on immigration.  How could you not see room honest disagreement?

 

Even if Yaron Brook is totally on the wrong side in this argument over immigration, and even if he is taking anti-Trump positions that I disagree with, I'd still recognize that he is more of an Objectivist (by light years) than Trump.  I'd still see Yaron Brook as an intellectual ally and intellectual friend with whom I have some disagreements.  And I'd still make up my own mind to support Trump on each and every one of the things where he is moving in the right direction.



Post 3

Monday, February 13 - 12:40pmSanction this postReply
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With all the sh!t happening in the Western world with the Muslims, I am at a loss to explain how any sane person can adopt a view favoring open borders.

 

Something fishy is happening here, and I dislike it strongly.

 

I don't see how speculating on the worst is out of the question, nor how withdrawing support based on those worst case speculations openly stated is a bad thing.

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 2/13, 12:42pm)



Post 4

Monday, February 13 - 2:48pmSanction this postReply
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We agree that Islam is a nasty political ideology, one that happens to be adopted as a religion by more than a billion people, and we agree that there is an enormous danger to our country from those barbarians that are Islamic fundamentalist.  I don't think that immigration policy should ever tolerate immigration that doesn't result in a benefit to the nation and that includes assimilation along with the benefits.
---------------------

 

How can a sane person adopt a view favoring open borders?  Beats me.  I think that there is a kind of reality disconnect among people who are very bright, hold almost all the right principles, are very intellectual, but go astray in just one area - like borders.  There are some very, very bright people who are sound in nearly all of their political philosopy but don't grasp that a nation has the right to control immigration.

 

You've seen the arguments here at RoR.  They say things like, "Tell me how you can justify denying an American citizen the right to rent his house to someone, or to hire them, just because that person is currently on the other side of this imaginary line?"  They say things like, "Govenment has no justifiable powers that aren't derived from the defense of individual rights.  And if some would-be immigrant is not violating the right on an American citizen, then the government has no right to stop him from coming into the country."  Those are strong arguments.  How do you counter them with Objectivist principles?

 

I've written here on RoR about how there are aspects of America that we own in common, like public buildings, and in particular our extensive legal structure.  We own this legal structure that protects our freedoms - we own it in common - along with physical structures and land.  Public property.  And from those come the property rights that government defends on our behalf.  Just as it has the right to manage (and defend) a federal court house which is part of our public property. 

 

That's my argument and it has not been an easy one to work out or to make.  I've never seen it elsewhere but without it I don't know how anyone can at the same time justify the concepts of individual rights, of government having no valid powers that don't arise out of protecting individual rights, and that a person vetted as not being a criminal or terrorist being able to enter the country. 

 

If the immigrant coming into the country isn't seen as potentially violating our property rights versus receiving an invitation from our property's manager - government, then INTELLECTUALLY the government is wrong to stop anyone that isn't initiating force. 

---------------

 

It is like there are extremes where at one end people have common sense but no grasp of abstract principles and at the other extreme there are people who are fiercely aware of the abstract principles but on occasion loose track of the common sense connection to reality.



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Post 5

Monday, February 13 - 4:57pmSanction this postReply
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Countries having a long history of peace between each other, who have similar legal systems, and established and respected rules for resolving inter-border disputes... there is no problem with an open border policy between them.

 

When permitting a foreigner from a place that doesn't have as strong of an alliance, we need stringent border rules, such as requiring an application to enter that includes an oath from a local citizen agreeing to be responsible for the foreigner.

 

=========

 

"Tell me how you can justify denying an American citizen the right to rent his house to someone, or to hire them, just because that person is currently on the other side of this imaginary line?"

 

The foreigner will necessarily be utilizing non-consenting public property of the citizens in general and non-consenting private property of other specific citizens.  Public property may be roads and parks (owned by the citizenry in general).  Private property may be taxis, stores, restaurants, etc.  The foreigner will need permission first from the property owners.  Many private property owners who have open door policies themselves would rather their government ensure foreigners have legitimate business or are from trusted places rather than having to hire a security guard at their door checking everyone's IDs.

 

========

 

I don't personally think Muslims in general are more threatening to us because of the religion.  I just think the Muslims in the middle east are more threatening to us because people from our country have been killing them and overthrowing their leaders and establishing puppet dictators for at least 50 years... They want revenge.  And since you mentioned 9/11, I think 9/11 was done by the powers that be (who control portions of the US government, including controlling our idiot president at the time), not by a bearded Muslim guy in a cave.  I don't think that people from the middle east are really that much more dangerous to us today than they were 50 years ago, there is just a lot more false flags and propaganda today.  War is peace. 1984.



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Post 6

Monday, February 13 - 5:38pmSanction this postReply
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I don't personally think Muslims in general are more threatening to us because of the religion.

Religions, by their nature, are to be accepted on faith and obeyed.  Islam, like all the other religions, is vague about some of its directives, and contradictory on others.  But it has a great many statements that clearly call for violence against those who do not believe.  Islamic fundamentalist have killed hundreds of thousands of other muslims for not believing in just the right way.  They are also commanded to kill atheists, Christians, and Jews.  This is a religion that has a long, bloody history.  Islamic fundamentalists' motivation is far deeper and goes back far beyond any simple desire for revenge or us being over there.  From the 7th century until after WWI, there have been few times where a caliphate did not exist - and each one of them were born amid spilled blood.

 

Islam is more than a religion - with Sharia it is a political system.  Fundamentalists are waging a war against all of the world to establish a caliphate and to force Sharia on everyone - this is a theme that has been going on since the 7th century.

 

The people in the middle east are as capable as any other peoples of upping the ante with the use of a wide range of technological weapons: biological, chemical, or nuclear.  There are people over there that have the money, the means and the motivation.  They differ from other peoples in having a large number of fundamentalists who have declared war on us, want to kill us, have already killed Americans, and who worship death and have no fear of death.  I can't understand why anyone would dismiss this reality.
-------------

 

I consider the belief that 9/11 was a false flag operation to be total conspiracy theory and just not believable.



Post 7

Wednesday, February 15 - 4:37amSanction this postReply
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It does not take much googling for "Nativism" and "19th century anti-immigrant" and similar search terms to defeat the premise offered here.  Before 9/11, our worst terrorists were Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph, both of whom were extreme American traditionalists. People like that are still a danger, as Dylann Roof demonstrated.  

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 2/15, 4:39am)



Post 8

Wednesday, February 15 - 5:09amSanction this postReply
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We have enough native nuts without inviting them from outside the borders.

 

These people are a special kind of crazy ... not all of them, but enough of them to make trouble for us.

 

Islam is evil and destructive.  Its practitioners form caliphates and implement Sharia law.  They mean us harm.

 

American Pastors’ Prez: Calling Islam Non-Violent Is ‘Purposeful Denial of Facts’

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 2/15, 1:17pm)



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Post 9

Wednesday, February 15 - 9:01amSanction this postReply
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Conflating "nativism" and "19th century anti-immigrant" with a rational, moral, legal control of the border is NOT a sound argument for open borders or against control of who comes into the country.  It is akin to progressive labeling in place of logic.

 

Eric Rudolph is a religous nut-case - a fundamental Christian terrorist.  And it must be pointed out that neither the Christian culture, nor the Christian religion itself calls for acts of terrorism and this is why there are so very few fundamental Christian terrorists.  For those reasons it is another case of conflating and deflecting.  Bad logic.

 

Timothy McVeigh became radicalized (became a nut-case) over a misconception of the constitution.  In his mind, he had a duty to the constitution that required him to kill those he saw as subverting it.  He tightened his irrational focus on the government and saw the various militia groups as good and the government as bad.  'McVeigh was an American born terrorist who killed a great many people therefore we should not impede the entry of foriegn born terrorists who might kill a great many people' - what the Hell kind of argument is that?

 

To call Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh "American Traditionalists" is a ugly use of words that insults America and ignores the meaning of "tradition" - neither of those nut-cases acted in a way, or believed in principles, that reflected the principles that founded our nation.  America does not have a tradition of killing people who engage in abortions nor is it an American tradition to go out and blow up our government's buildings.

 

Dylan Roof is a nut-case who radicalized over purely racist views.  He was an avowed white supremacist that wanted to start a race war.  Marotta's loose use of language implies that Dylan Roof is like Timothy McVeigh who is like Eric Rudolph and that they are all a kind of "American Traditionalists" - and that is a kind of terrorist that somehow reflects American traditions and therefore why worry about Islamic fundamentalist terrorists that might come into the country.  What a truely muddled view of the nature and purpose of a border and the rational approaches available to reduce the chances of Americans being killed by terrorists coming from the Middle-East.

 

Marotta's statements mirror typical Progressive talking points.

 

Progressivism is an ideology that harbors a barely hidden hatred of America - a hatred of that which is good about America.  And that can make it intellectually dangerous to pick up Progressivism's terms and talking points - Often resulting in bad arguments whose roots come out of a hatred of what is good in our history.

 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Progressivism is an emotion-based ideology.  It dresses up in words that resemble reasoned discourse, but usually with such thin cloth that the irrationality can be seen underneath.  The arguments don't hold together when examined because emotions are neither facts nor logic.



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Post 10

Thursday, February 16 - 9:40pmSanction this postReply
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I doubt very much that Ayn Rand, were she alive, would favor 'open borders' and I doubt even more that she would support something like amnesty leading to citizenship and voting rights. It was really amnesty that made this a big political issue as people have been coming here illegally for decades.  And Latin Americans have an advantage over other, often more deserving foreigners, given our porous southern border. 

 

As for globalism, I recall Ayn Rand once warning her readers that those who would sacrifice themselves and their family to their neighbors would sacrifice their country to the rest of the world.  I have problems with Trump - especially his eminent domain seizure attempts - but his 'America First' mantra is kind of egoist (in a national sort of way) and what Objectivists should want in a President.  Most globalists seem to want US to be nanny to all other nations including those who don't want US to be their nanny - especially when the nanny chases them with her carpet-beater. And Western bombing of ME Muslim countries has certainly contributed to the refugee problem.  Yaron Brook has written articles favoring aggressively altruistic foreign policies.



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Post 11

Friday, February 17 - 3:01amSanction this postReply
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Luke, if we have too many natural born citizens who are criminals, and therefore do not need to import more of them (agreed), then it is also true that we do not have enough natural born citizens who are geniuses and do need to import more of them.

 

Everything you say about Islam applies to Christianity. Coming as you do from a home, region, and culture dominated by Christian fundamentalism, I would think that you can understand that. Perhaps your fundamentalist Protestant background denied you an understanding of Catholic Canon Law, but I assure you, Christianity has its own "Sharia."  Charging interest is a sin. (That is why Muslims form partnerships, rather than corporations. When you lend money, you take on the responsibility of its good investment. The West used to be like that, also; and according to strict Christianity, still should be).  

 

The dress of nuns was only brought to Christianity from Islam as a result of the Crusades. Cloistered women in the Dark Ages just wore simple clothing. Getting all covered up came later, along with the Rosary, the "prayer beads" of Islam. 

 

The current conflicts with the Arab-Islamic cultures (plural), which derive ultimately from U.S. meddling in the wars of other nations, allow many on the secular right to ignore the threat to modernity presented by our Christian fundamentalist neighbors. Standing with Israel has a rational basis. Getting between Iraq and Iran was as pointless as choosing Stalin over Hitler in World War II.  And that is what this is about. Protecting the Saudi kingdom was the consequential action that inflamed the fundamentalist Wahabbis there and brought about the 9/11 attacks. 

 

All Muslims are no more or less "fundamentalist" than all Christians. The only rational way to evaluate people is as individuals.  



Post 12

Friday, February 17 - 3:22amSanction this postReply
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Steve, you insist on misrepresenting much of what I write. You simply dislike me. It is your privilege. But the result is that you seem not to understand the simplest statements. Alternately, you seem incapable of following a logical argument supported by evidence.  In this case, I cited William Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh only to underscore the fact that ethnocentric generalities fail to solve the alleged problem.

 

It is classically ethocentric prejudice for you to claim that Rudolph and McVeigh are mere exceptions, whereas all Muslims are potentially dangerous. A hundred years ago, it was claimed that Italians are criminals who cannot be acculturated to American values. Yet, here we all are, and the President is trying to fill the Supreme Court post of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In that time, Jews were also a problem -- somewhat different, though. The Ivy League schools limited Jewish enrollment lest they overwhelm the WASP numbers. Those examples are from the infamous times of Jim Crow, when the KKK marched openly in the street in Washington DC. Back then, i was legally impossible for an Asian to become an American citizen.

 

The "great dissenter" Justice John Marshall Harlan pointed out in his opinion on Plessy v. Ferguson that although they could not become citizens, Asians were allowed to ride in the same rail cars as White people, which was denied to a Colored veteran.  I point that out because at the same time, Baghat Singh Thind attended, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and served in the U.S. Army during WWI. He was honorably discharged in 1918. Originally his application was approved, but a naturalization agent appealed his citizenship and thus the case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. He was stripped of his citizenship because Asians could not become citizens. They do not have American values. They would overwhelm us with their numbers.  

 

Your comments display the same lack of reason and lack of conformance to reality. You adhere to a traditionalist conservative American nativism based on ethnicity. You make exceptions for criminals from your own self-perceived and self-identified group, but you identify entire groups of "others" ("aliens" "foreigners" "them") as "naturally" or just "culturally" criminal.  That inefficent thinking prevents the solution of the real problem.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 2/17, 3:25am)



Post 13

Friday, February 17 - 3:39amSanction this postReply
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... we do not have enough natural born citizens who are geniuses and do need to import more of them.

Except that current domestic policy fails to use this consistently as a guiding principle for acceptance or denial of an immigration request.  By definition, there are not that many geniuses in the world.  Moreover, even "geniuses" can be evil.  Look at the Frankfurt School.

 

There are just too damned many outsiders entering our country, and not enough resources to vet them properly, not to mention the illegality of many of the entries.



Post 14

Friday, February 17 - 9:08amSanction this postReply
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Marotta's reply to Luke shows a stunning failure of logic.  Speaking to Luke he says:

 

Everything you say about Islam applies to Christianity.

 

After which Marotta says that Christianity has its own Sharia!  How can someone be so blind to reality as to not see the difference between how Nuns dress, on one hand, and cutting off the heads of non-believers, on the other hand?   How can someone call himself an Objectivist and not see the difference between the brutal, purposeful initiation of lethal physical force on a massive scale - here and now in this century - and the complete freedom to choose whether or not to accept this or that tenent of this or that religion?  I've said it before, Marotta's thinking is frequently muddled.

-----------------------

 

The current conflicts with the Arab-Islamic cultures (plural), which derive ultimately from U.S. meddling in the wars of other nations, allow many on the secular right to ignore the threat to modernity presented by our Christian fundamentalist neighbors.

 

There have been Arab-Islamic conflicts with each other, with Jews, with Christians... with anyone within sword's reach... since the 7th century.  Saying that it suddenly arose from "U. S. meddling in the wars of other nations" is a bit blind to reality. 

 

But that whole 'meddling' thing is just a phrase modifying the sentence's subject: "conflicts with the Arab-Islamic cultures."  What does he say these conflicts do?  They cause the 'secular right' to ignore 'the threat to modernity presented by our Christian fundamentalist neighbors.'

 

Marotta, presumably speaking from the 'secular left', is trying to be helpful and point out that if the secular right weren't being distracted by these Islamists, who are beheading people, killing people of all faiths in the hundreds of thousands, who are attempting to gain nuclear weapons, and who call for our death... well, if they weren't so distracted by that (which, he says, was caused by meddling) that they'd see that the real threat is from Christian fundamentalism.  A threat to modernity, he say.

 

Here is how I see it.  Religious faith in place of reason is an epistemological abomination whether it is from Islam or Christianity.  But fundamental Christianity is not attempting to force all of the rest of the world to accept a set of barberous, 7th century laws or be killed - they haven't formed into a theocratic nation seeking nuclear weapons - they aren't flying airplanes into our buildings or setting people on fire.  They attempt to PERSUADE people to accept their beliefs.  Persuasion is different from killing and isn't it strange that this has to be pointed out?  My sense is that Marotta can NOT escape those progressive talking point he accepted somewhere along the line - that explains, to a degree, why he overstates the dangers of fundamentalist Christianity and understates the physical dangers being brought to us by Islamic fundamentalism. 



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Post 15

Friday, February 17 - 9:40amSanction this postReply
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Steve, you insist on misrepresenting much of what I write.

 

No, I don't. 

 

And, as I've said before, all you have to do is to use quotes - the actual sentences - to demonstrate your claim.  But you don't, because you can't.  You often live in a world of floating abstractions.  Digging down into the actual words and parsing them logically is apparently too tightly anchored to reality for your liking.  So, you just throw out unsupported assertions.
---------------

 

You simply dislike me.

 

Not exactly.  For the most part I don't even think of you.  I do dislike your style of 'thinking.'  And I find it disgusting that you've resumed your practice of ad hominem attacks.  You've falsely accused me of racism before and I see little difference in being falsely accused of discriminating on the basis of ethnicity.

 

I suspect that this is the progressive in you... emotions over concepts, and when you get riled you can't help but to 'think' your opponent is a racist and a conservative.  How sad for you.

 

Anyone that reads my post, and then reads your description of my thinking as  "traditionalist conservative American nativism based on ethnicity" is likely to think you've become unhinged.



Post 16

Thursday, February 23 - 5:28amSanction this postReply
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Nice Handwritten Response Card from ARI CEO Jim Brown

Content follows.

----------------------
Dear Luke,
Thank you for your thoughtful letter. I assure you, ARI is not beholden to "corporate globalists." If you would like to discuss our position on immigration, please call me any time. We appreciate your past support, and we hope we can earn it again in the future.
Sincerely,
Jim Brown
----------------------
I am not sure if I will pursue a dialogue, but at least they did not dismiss me completely.

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 2/23, 5:29am)



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