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Post 60

Tuesday, November 14 - 5:10amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

If law enforcement knows of a dangerous convicted felon who may enter the country, they can watch for that individual.  And if we find a dangerous convicted felon who has entered the country, we can deport them.

 

It is dangerous to treat a whole country as property of any kind.  That may be true in some respects, but it is not the same as ordinary property.

 

Owners of ordinary property have the right to limit access to their property, especially in the case of dangerous persons.

 

(Government property such as police stations is more like ordinary property than like a whole country, although the government is obligated to be rational and even-handed in a way that private property owners are not.)



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Post 61

Tuesday, November 14 - 6:33pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Steve,

 

You wrote,

I]f people, born outside the country, residing outside the country, and having no American citizenship or a green card have an individual right to enter our country, then where does the government get off saying they have to stop everyone at the border to check that they are not convicted felons?  We don't allow stops on the streets to verify non-felony status.  And do we treat the list of felonies of foriegn nations as identical to ours?  Look... if every human being has the right to enter our country, then we have no borders. 

Of course, not every foreigner has a right to enter the country.  We shouldn't admit jihadists, criminals or people with serious infectious diseases.  In other words, we shouldn't admit those who pose a physical threat to Americans.  But there's no reason why anyone else shouldn't be allowed to come here, work and live as a resident before applying for citizenship.

I've explained, in great detail, in other threads, why the citizens of our country are the owners (owners-in-common) of all public spaces and public buildings and the political and legal structures.  Just as the stockholders in a corportation are the owners of that corporation.  Their ownership rights are limited and the same is true regarding what a citizen can do.  The corporation is run for the stockholders by the board and its selected top officers.  The public property we citizens own is managed by government which we have limited control over (voting).  That concept of property rights - in the nation, by its citizens - is a key part of the foundation of representative government - of a republic.  We have a border for the same reason that all property is limited.  What is owned is finite and specific.  When someone steps over the border (legally) they come under an entire set of laws shaped by a unique history.  That set of laws, that history, for a given nation can make it a very desirable place to be or a place people would pay money and risk death to get out of.  That huge difference between value and disvalue is also a kind of property.  No one has the legal or moral right to come into my house without my permission.  No one has the moral or legal right to enter our country without requesting permission (e.g., a visa).

I don't think you can say that the citizens as a group own the country.  That doesn't fit my understanding of property rights.  Property rights are individual rights, not collective rights.  True, right now, the streets are not privately owned; they're owned and maintained by city governments.  But a city has no right to prevent people from using them in the way they were intended.  Innocent people from other countries have a right to come here and live.  They have a right to travel on city streets and to seek employment and housing from willing providers.

Some libertarians and most anarchists believe that no one - including the government - has a right to stop someone from entering our country: open borders.  They are wrong.  They talk about freedom of movement.  But freedom is freedom from force.  That is a condition that requires the machinery of  good government operations under to good laws to create that freedom.  Freedom doesn't grow on trees.  It is the outcome of that good government taking the initiation of force out of the marketplace.  You can choose to do whatever you want, as long as it does not include the initiation of force.  Trespass is a form of initiated force.  It is a violation of property rights.  It applies to a person's house, to a corporations property, and to all of the properties managed by our government.  It certainly applies to the border.  

Of course, freedom is freedom from the initiation of force, but freedom from the initiation of force IS freedom of action -- it IS freedom of movement -- provided that such action or movement does not involve physical threats or a physical danger to others.  Quoting Rand, "The concept of a "right" pertains only to action -- specifically, to freedom of action.  It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men." ["Man's Rights," The Virtue of Selfishness, pb, 94]  Such a right pertains to all (innocent) human beings; it's not just an American right; it is a human right, an individual right.  So it pertains to anyone regardless of where he or she happens to reside.



Post 62

Tuesday, November 14 - 10:00pmSanction this postReply
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Brant,

 

What is needed is language that can be operationalized, as objective law, in a declaration of war from the House, and done in such a way that it is possible to prosecute those who provide material assistence to the enemy. 

 

It is easy to find the language to declare war against a nation.  We did it in WWII.  It is much harder to find effective, objective language when the people you need to fight are in an organization (like ISIS or Al Queda) rather than a whole nation... but it is doable.  

 

What language does congress use to write a declaration of war that the executive branch can use when the enemy's common descriptive category is "Fascists"?  I cannot imagine workable language.  It has to be specific enough to limit who the executive branch can have the military target and not leave the decision up to the executive branch.

 

I think it has be a declaration of war against specific groups, and those groups would have to meet certain requirment for being 'on the list' and those requirements would have to be spelled out in the declaration.  I think each new group, to be added to the list, would have to have the declaration amended by an act of congress.  The unifying theme (which is needed for a single declaration of war) is that they are all claiming to fighting a holy war based upon their interpretation of Islam.  If there is some other group out there, like a neo-nazi group, that launches a serious attack on our nation, then they should get a separate declaration of war which can be amended to include other neo-nazi groups that join the first.  If a group or the 'theme' (eg, neo-nazi) isn't generating a truly serious threat, then they don't warrant a declaration of war. 

 

At least that is my thinking on a good way to make legal (and effective) a way for the federal government to act against ongoing national threats that are not from a nation-state, remain a nation of laws, and honor the constitutional requirement the the house of representatives hold the sole power to declare war (and the executive branch should never be allowed to make war without such a declaration).



Post 63

Tuesday, November 14 - 10:40pmSanction this postReply
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Doug, you wrote:

 

If law enforcement knows of a dangerous convicted felon who may enter the country, they can watch for that individual.  And if we find a dangerous convicted felon who has entered the country, we can deport them.

 

When you say "convicted felon", I have to ask, convicted by what country?  Of what crimes?  What if we don't get accurate, or fast information for citizens of Syria or Tibet?  Not let them in, or keep them waiting for months?

 

And law enforcement would need to stop every single person at the border and run a check on them and not let them in till they could verify that they don't have a convicted felony status in the country they come from.  This means stopping even the people who had never broken any law in any country.  Where does law enforcement get that right?  A security guard can stop you from entering a private business and ask to an ID.  They get that right from owners of the private property.  I am saying that America "owns" property held in common by American Citizens and that gives them the right to control borders, set entry conditions to things like the Pentagon, federal court houses, etc.  If federally managed facilities, for example, are not owned by anyone, then anyone can destroy them... right?  Only the concept of property rights can confer a just control over claimed property.

 

How would law enforcement find "a dangerous convicted felon" who has entered the country if they are not vetted before entry?  Only by waiting till they commit a serious crime here and then doing the check that was needed before entry.
------------------------------

 

It is dangerous to treat a whole country as property of any kind.  That may be true in some respects, but it is not the same as ordinary property.

It isn't the "whole country" - it is those parts of it that are managed by the federal government and must be seen as property-owned-in-common by the citizens.  The government doesn't "own" anything... it manages what we own.  Property owned by the people, managed for the people, and controlled by representatives elected by the people.  (That is the theory... not a statement reflecting how far we have strayed from a government whose only permitted powers arise from protecting individual rights).

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

 

Owners of ordinary property have the right to limit access to their property, especially in the case of dangerous persons.
 
(Government property such as police stations is more like ordinary property than like a whole country, although the government is obligated to be rational and even-handed in a way that private property owners are not.)

There are many different kinds of property.  Shareholders of a corporation have a different set of property rights to that corporation than I do of the house I own.  And I have different powers relative to my property than the managers of the corporation do to the corporation they manage on behalf of its owners.  There are intellectual property rights and they clearly represent a different kind of property and infer different powers to those that manage or own them. 

 

I can write a contract to grant certain property rights to someone else - like renting out my car for week where I would be giving up my property right to use my car during that week, but retaining the property right to sell the car (after the week ends - something the renter doesn't have the right to do). 

 

"Limiting access" has a different meaning depending upon the context of the property in question.  I can limit people from coming into my house.  A corporation can limit who enters the buildings it manages.  A shareholder can demand that his shares be tallyed in votes at required shareholder meetings and that he have access to those meetings and to certain fiscal information. 

 

What would be far more dangerous would be to treat our borders as if they didn't exist.  Our entire legal system is predicated on geographic boundaries as a key part of jurisdiction.  The very foundation of law depends upon jurisdiction. 

 

We have our representatives make laws that apply to that area.  That is an expression of our soveriegnty as individuals who are attempting to control the government that is supposed to protect our individual rights.  A constitutionally limited republic based upon individual rights exists as an idel, as a political direction we want to move, and as a better theoretical political model than any other I've ever heard.  And it requires a border controlled by the federal government.  That can't be done in a moral fashion unless the government is managing some form of property rights on behalf of the citizens.



Post 64

Wednesday, November 15 - 12:06amSanction this postReply
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Hi Bill,

 

Of course, not every foreigner has a right to enter the country.  We shouldn't admit jihadists, criminals or people with serious infectious diseases.  In other words, we shouldn't admit those who pose a physical threat to Americans.  But there's no reason why anyone else shouldn't be allowed to come here, work and live as a resident before applying for citizenship.

 

If a foriegner (who isn't a criminal, jihadist or infected with a serious disease) has a RIGHT to enter the country, then the government has no right to exercise ANY border control without probable cause of having a rights-violator in their sights.  That is - in practical terms - open borders.

 

Here is another way to see that this is so:  If a person is a convicted felon, but served his time, then why can't he come in?  And in the absence of a judicial ruling, how does border control declare a person a jihadist?  If he has a right to enter, then denying that right can only be done if his right was forfeit by an act that violated someones elses rights and we need that to come from a ruling from the judicial branch following an indictment from the executive branch that meets probable cause and proper rules of evidence.  Doesn't work does it?  Do we give up probable cause, checks and balances, habeus corpus, and many other foundational parts of objective law?  Or am I right in asserting that there is a property right that exists that grants goverment proper authority to limit access?

 

Only if the government is managing property can they limit access.  And our form of government says it should be in accordance with objective law that doesn't violate the constitution.  And we Objectivists know that it must be in accord with the protection of individual rights - and only that.  If government has no authority to manage that border the way they manage access to a federal court building, or to an Army base, then we have no borders because we have no border control.
-----------------------

 

I don't think you can say that the citizens as a group own the country.  That doesn't fit my understanding of property rights.  Property rights are individual rights, not collective rights.  True, right now, the streets are not privately owned; they're owned and maintained by city governments.  But a city has no right to prevent people from using them in the way they were intended.  Innocent people from other countries have a right to come here and live.  They have a right to travel on city streets and to seek employment and housing from willing providers.

 

The citizens don't own the whole country, they only own what is common property (e.g., like a federal court house, like the legal structure).  This ownership is the heart of my argument.

 

Property rights are the right to actions that can be taken by an individual without permission and to which other men cannot morally interfer.  I can buy into a partnership and acquire a theoretical percentage of the assets (real assets, inventory, property rights, good will, etc.)  I own things in common with the other partners.

 

A more abstract level is the ownership I have in any corporation by virtue of the stock I purchase.  I am in a  collective ownership despite the fact that my property rights are rights to take a set of specific actions, as an individual (voting the shares, selling the shares, collecting dividends, etc.)  But corporations can 'own' shares in other corporations.  They may be listed as "owner of record" but the actual owner (morally speaking) are the stockholders of that first corporation.  And that second corporation might only own intellectual property rights.  Property rights can be very complex.

 

This can also be a complex issue because of how easy it is to conflate moral rights with legal rights and legal rights can be civil or contractual.

 

A city doesn't "own" (in a moral sense) the streets in that city.  Because government doesn't have any moral rights - only individuals do.  Those streets are clearly of value.  There are clearly legal rights regarding the use of the streets.  The city can designate who can drive on them and set conditions like speed limits.  How can they do this if they have no moral right to 'own' those streets?  Easy.  They don't own them.  They manage them.  They manage them on behalf of the owners. The owners are the residents, or tax payers, or registered voters (take your pick... different arguments support different ideas as to owners).  The alternative is either to give up the idea of moral ownership by believing government has moral rights, or to believe that there are things of considerable value but exist and are used and controlled but they have no owners.  How can you have ownerless property - that would be an example of the stolen concept fallacy?

 

If my argument for seeing certain very valuable forms of property as belonging to the citizens isn't adopted, then government has no right to stop innocent people (people who have NOT been convicted) at the border.  This is just as no police officer can stop innocent people inside the country and question them in the absence of probable cause.  If I am right and there exists common property, the property rights confer the right to limit access.

 

I own my house and I can stop anyone from coming into my house - even if they are innocent, disease free, etc.  My property, my right. 

 

I can delegate that right to a manager (as landlords do with rental property).  For example: A rentor of apartment wants to hire someone to prepare taxes as a business and do so from that apartment.  The person who wants the job has a right to accept, but can't work in the apartment if the owner of the property denys access.  The person living in the apartment can hire them, but they still won't be able work in the apartment if the owner of the property doesn't grant access.  Same thing with the manager of the property.   There is a moral right to accept an offer of work, but not to trespass as a part of carrying out the work.

 

We have obviously recognized this in some fashion where we say that access to a federal building can be limited. 

 

The rights confered upon accepted visitors to the country are civil rights (not moral rights).  If they get citizenship papers, one of the civil rights is to vote.  We have delegated to the government the power to limit access to our commonly held property. 
-------------------------

 

Of course, freedom is freedom from the initiation of force, but freedom from the initiation of force IS freedom of action -- it IS freedom of movement -- provided that such action or movement does not involve physical threats or a physical danger to others.

 

I believe that I am in complete agreement with Rand's understanding of freedom.  Where you quoted Rand, the statement is, "...freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men."  You weren't paying enough attention to "interference" - this would be the area where someone enters your house without your permission - this would be the area where many property rights live.  Rights are about what you do not need permission to do.  I can enter my house and need no permission.  Others need my permission.  If they enter without permission, they are interferring with my property rights.  If I have rented a car for week in exchange for a certain amount of money, that is a contract where each side must honor the rights confered by the other.  They must provide the car and I must pay the money.
--------------------

 

Such a right [freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men] pertains to all (innocent) human beings; it's not just an American right; it is a human right, an individual right.  So it pertains to anyone regardless of where he or she happens to reside.

 

That is true.  But there is no right to violate a right.  If someone holds certain property rights, others do not have such a thing as the right to violate a right.  Let us say that hundreds of thousands of people own shares in a real estate company that specialized in managing rental properties.  The shareholders, as a group, vote to elect the top management.  The top management makes policy for the landlords.  The landlords limit access to the properties according to the policy set.  No one, no matter how innocent, has a right to violate valid property rights.  If they do it is "interference" by other men.



Post 65

Wednesday, November 15 - 5:35amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

If we don't have complete or accurate information on someone, we let them in.  Law enforcement can make a judgment about keeping an eye on them, but must do so in a constitutional manner.

 

Conviction of something we do not consider a felony shouldn't count.

 

Law enforcement can constitutionally do some checking on people in the country without specific evidence, usually enough to recognize someone about whom information is already available.  And someone else might recognize a felon and report this to law enforcement.

 

Even if we do not control movement across borders, they still exist for purposes of determining jurisdiction.



Post 66

Wednesday, November 15 - 6:47amSanction this postReply
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Doug, you wrote:

 

If we don't have complete or accurate information on someone, we let them in.

 

Morally, there is no right to interfere with people at the border in the absence of a property right that can be defended by the government.  Practically, what you have described is an open border and the results would be disasterous.  A country that doesn't understand that it has a moral and a legal right to limit access to the country is like a person who doesn't understand they have a moral and legal right to limit access to their house in the face of demands of strangers wanting to come in just because they aren't felons.  And then someone says, "Well, if these strangers steal something or mug the owner, then he have then put out."  Nonsense.

 

I recommend that you re-read what I've written about the moral basis for understanding that there are property rights of citizens for the ownership of property held in common.  If you don't understand what I've written, or you disagree with that, then I don't see that any further discussion would be useful.  If the government is managing the property to protect our rights, then limiting access is moral and in complete agreement with Objectivism.  If the people do not have any kind of property rights of this sort, then the government would be interfering with people who want to enter and we would be morally required to have totally open borders (or ignore probable cause, habeous corpus, etc.)



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Post 67

Wednesday, November 15 - 10:42amSanction this postReply
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Steve, you wrote: 

I own my house and I can stop anyone from coming into my house - even if they are innocent, disease free, etc.  My property, my right.

Exactly, which is why the government cannot be said to "own" the country.  The government cannot properly stop innocent people from immigrating to the U.S., because in doing so, it violates their right to freedom of action. 



Post 68

Wednesday, November 15 - 3:33pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Bill,

 

As I said, the government does not "own" the country.  But they do manage some property that is called "public property".  I am maintaining that the public property should be thought of as belonging to the citizens - NOT the government.  Like owning shares in a corporation, there are few actions that this ownership provides (voting, being in the country, holding certain political offices, etc.)

 

The government cannot properly stop innocent people from immigrating to the U.S., because in doing so, it violates their right to freedom of action. 

 

That would be true.  And government would have no right to stop anyone at the border and ask any questions.  We would have a totally open border.  But the right to freedom of action does not include the right to violate anyone elses right.  I'm not free to take someone elses property.  I'm not free to enter someone elses house without permission.

 

My entire argument is that we, the citizens of the United States, are the owners of the public property.  There is more detail regarding the nature of these particular property rights as compared to inellectual property rights or ownership of a corporation by shareholders.

I'd suggest that someone ask themselves who owns a federal courthouse?  The government?  Or are they managing it for the true owners - the citizens of the country.  Just like the executives of AT&T manage that corporation's property for the owners - the shareholders.



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Post 69

Wednesday, November 15 - 7:42pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

If you have not chosen to let someone into your house, and they are not legitimate officials with something like a warrant or probable cause, it is unlikely that they have legitimate business there.

 

If someone inappropriately enters your house, that is a violation of your personal space.

 

Neither of these applies to entry into the country.

 

A stranger entering your house increases the vulnerability of you and your property to a greater extent than an unvetted person entering the country does. 



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Post 70

Thursday, November 16 - 4:03amSanction this postReply
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To go back to the original problem, as of Post #48, Kyrel's rhetorical question in Post #0 was accepted at face value: he wants to execute, jail, or deport all Muslims. The cogent response came from Doug in Post #51: America was founded and is still based on the political theory of individual rights, which is based on ethical egoism.  Until and unless someone actually commits an act- or credibly threatens to commit an act - in violation of someone else's rights, no one should interfere with that person's freedoms. We do not persecute minorities expressly because we do not target groups.  If you do not know what a bill of attainder is, the Heritage Foundation has an explanation for you. 

 

On the subsequent point, Steve Wolfer maintains now as he has in the past that the govenrment represents all of us as common owners of America. He claims that the entire nation is to be managed as if it were a single federal property, like a courthouse. As our collective landlord, the government keeps people out because their presence threatens us. (Eventually, it also will be keeping all of us in.) That argument cannot be supported by the principles of Objectivism. No hint of it is found in the works of Ayn Rand. In fact, she spoke quite clearly against such a policy.  (Ford Hall Forum 1973.) The more insightful policy suggestions from knowledgeable Objectivists is based on the working history of the United States: you could come here if you had a sponsor. That process was based on property rights. You own your home and can say who lives there.  You own your business and can say who works there.  And, as Steve admits, the commons (streets, post offices, etc.) are for everyone. So, someone who had a primary right to be here, through sponsorship, would enjoy other rights (and responsibilities) as well.

 

As for Muslims, everything dropped on their doorstep could be laid with the Christians and all other variants, socialists, neo-conservatives, environmentalists, without end. For over 100 years, Catholic churches in America, but especially in Boston and New York channeled money to the IRA. My grandmother always voted Republican because to her the Democrats were the KKK.  Yet we do not single out WASP Democrats for special persecution, nor should we. Even as far as the Klan goes, if all they want to do is dress funny, burn a cross, and talk hate, they can amuse themselves. Actions are crimes. Stupidity is not.  But it is critical that we keep to principles here and recognize that as fallacious and errnoneous as Islam is as a religion, it is no different than a hundred other bad ideas.



Post 71

Thursday, November 16 - 9:11amSanction this postReply
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Doug,

 

There are different kinds of property and that means different kinds of actions that owners of the property have a right to take. 

 

The right I have to limit access to my house is very, very different from the rights I have as a owner of a tiny share of some company as a shareholder.  The shareholder kind of property is such that the access to corporate grounds or buildings will be handled by the corporation's management.

 

The rights that I have as an owner of a part of our country (only those parts which are properly under the control of the government) are similar to those of a corporate shareholder.  That is, I vote, with other shareholders, for the managment.  Then the management creates and enforce the policies on access.

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

 

You wrote: "If someone inappropriately enters your house, that is a violation of your personal space.  [This doesn't apply] to entry into the country."

 

But it does if I have any kind of property right in our nation.  If people decide to camp out on the green space in front of a corporation that is trying to engage in retail activities and if that makes it less attractive to customers, and the profits decline, and this happens because managment is not allowed to limit access, than the shareholder has been effected.

 

If a billion people decide to enter the United States in the next year, and they all come from, let's say China, and they are all poorly educated, lacking skills, don't speak our language, are unaware of our customs and culture... won't that have an effect on our citizens?  The answer has to be "yes" - even if we had no welfare, no public works, no public education - and that settles the principle and makes it just a matter of numbers - a matter of "where is the line drawn?"

 

But open border people say that no line can be drawn because we don't have a right to stop people from entering.  Not 1 person who would have near zero effect and not 1 billion people that would totally transform the nation.

 

You wrote that a person entering my house creates a greater vulnerability than an unvetted person entering the country does.  That is just avoiding the principle.  Shoplifting is less onerous than armed robbery, but both are forms of theft.  The uninvited person in my house and the illegal alien are both forms of trespass.

 

The open border progressive wants to use increased rates of immigration to transform the nation - politically and culturally.  They want to force increased diversity and the expense of increased chaos is just more opportunity for change.  The dumbing down of education... an unstated goal.  The massive increase in government spending... an unstated goal.  They don't like America and want to change it.  There end is total control by a few elites.  Open borders is just a means to that end.

 

The open border libertarian is too often an anarchist or trending that way.  They oppose immigration as an anti-government position.  For them, almost any government activity is something to be opposed - to be opposed as something that has a monopoly on retaliatory force.  They ignore or even oppose the use of government force to defend individual rights (they think that marketplace competition will provide the means to protect individual rights even if nothing stops the use of force in the marketplace).  Ayn Rand refered to anarchism as a floating abstraction.  An abstraction untethered from reality and divorced from the practical.  Their argument hinges on a stolen concept fallacy.  The free market they count on to competetively evolve protections for individual rights isn't free until force is outlawed.  There is no "free" market until a government based upon individual rights with a set of objective laws makes it a market "free" of initiated force.

 

If someone can not, or will not, get their head around the idea that there are radically different kinds of property and therefore different kinds of property rights, then they will never be fully able to defend individual rights.



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Post 72

Thursday, November 16 - 10:34amSanction this postReply
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Marotta wrote:

 

...Kyrel's rhetorical question in Post #0 was accepted at face value: he wants to execute, jail, or deport all Muslims.

 

But that is a lie. Here is what Kyrel wrote:

 

The vast majority of Muslims in America support the social ideals of jihad (i.e. war) and sharia (i.e. slavery), and the vast majority of Muslims in America engage in the practical act of donating money to jihadi and sharia groups (i.e. funding mass-murder and universal enslavement). So why aren't the vast majority of Muslims in America arrested, jailed, executed, or deported?

 

Not "all" muslims.  Kyrel's question is, 'wouldn't those Muslims who support the active perpetrators of slavery and mass murders be arrested, jailed, executed, or deported?'  He makes the claim that the vast majority of Muslims are (in some fashion) supporters - not "all".

 

An honest person would disagree by saying they do not accept the "vast majority" part of the argument.  Or they would say they don't agree with the characterization of jihand and sharia.  Or they would say they do not believe the suggested actions (arrest, jail, execution or deportation) were practical, or were morally appropriate, or would be legal. 

 

Marotta, instead, creates a strawman to attack by lying about what was said.
------------------

 

Marotta then writes:

 

Until and unless someone actually commits an act- or credibly threatens to commit an act - in violation of someone else's rights, no one should interfere with that person's freedoms.

 

That is true.  But when someone one from another nation, who has never received permission to enter this country, never been asked to partake of its values, never invited share the protection of its umbrella of laws, never received an offer to live in its environment of freedom... when that person sneaks over the border and steals a place here with lies and deception they are engaged in trespass.  They are committing an act that violates the rights of everyone who is here by legal and moral right.  No one has the right to violate a right.  There is no freedom to trespass.
---------------------

 

Marotta then writes:

 

We do not persecute minorities expressly because we do not target groups.

 

He implies that Kyrel is advocating the persecution of a minority.  Kyrel was identifying what he saw as sources of immoral war and of slavery.  Do we care if it is minority or a majority when the issue is 'they are trying to kill and enslave us?'  An honest person would enter the argument with a disagreement on what Islam is, or what the more fundamental Islamist are doing, or what amount of threat is involved... etc.  Not Marotta.  He falls back on progressive arguments that amount to accusing people of being racists or trying to persecute minorities... demonizing his opponents.



Post 73

Thursday, November 16 - 10:44amSanction this postReply
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Marotta wrote:

 

On the subsequent point, Steve Wolfer maintains now as he has in the past that the govenrment represents all of us as common owners of America. He claims that the entire nation is to be managed as if it were a single federal property, like a courthouse. As our collective landlord, the government keeps people out because their presence threatens us.

 

Lies.  I have never said that government should manage all of our nation.  I have never said that the citizens of this nation own all of the nation.  I haven't said that the purpose of immigration control is to keep people out because their presence threatens us.  Lies.

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And, as Steve admits, the commons (streets, post offices, etc.) are for everyone.

 

What I said is that the commons are managed by the government.  We all know that much. 

 

What I added to the mix is the Objectivist understanding that only those things that government SHOULD manage (military, police, courts, etc.), SHOULD be viewed as property of the citizens.  Think about the alternatives.  Do we want to see anything that is real and of value and has a place in our lives as not being property of anyone?  Isn't it a stolen concept fallacy to declare that some property is ownerless?  Well, if all such things belong to the category of "property" then who is the owner?  There has to be an owner.  (and there will be a manager, who may or may not be the same as the owner).

 

Those who call for things to owned by government are statists. 

 

Those who call for things to be owned by "the people" but actually take over all things in violation of individual rights are communists. 

 

Those who call for things to owned in the name of society or the good of the majority are statists in disguise.

 

If you don't agree that government can only act to defend our individual rights, you aren't an Objectivist.  If government is managing a given thing (lets say a court house), then are they doing it because their authority derives from their unsupported decree, or from a collectivist's fuzzy claim that it is for the good of the people, or because their authority comes from the delegation of the rights of the individuals? 

 

The only moral sources of authority are the moral rights of the individuals.  That is why we, the individuals of a given juridiction, are the only moral owners of the property government manages. 

 

Understanding that our set of laws is one of those properties government manages may be too big an intellectual step for some... but it is the source of the moral right of government to act to limit access at the border (the edges where our jurisdiction - our laws - begin to apply).

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Marotta talks about sponsorship as a path to entering the US.  I have no objections to sponsorship or a merit-based quota of people per year or some other scheme.  But only if it is based upon the understanding that the nation has the right to limit access, the right to set reasonable standards, and that that government's use of force in this area has been delegated, as all government powers should be, from the individual's natural rights. 

 

The purpose and context in which the immigration or visitation standards should be formulated is in what benefits any given Ameriican individual or group of American individuals would receive, or what improves the nation as a whole.  No consideration should be applied to the benefits of the immigrants since their well-being is of no concern till they become part of the nation.  We might wish them well as individuals... as a culture... but the access to the nation is an expenditure of resources in defense of individual rights.   Our nation should not see its purpose as to help people who are not American citizens or residents. 



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