Monday, January 30, 2017

The Trump Travel Ban

OK, here's a "drunk blog". I may regret it in the morning.

I don't like too many immigrants, even though I am one. The reason is I don't like them is that immigration is fueling the population explosion in the USA and this is leading to environmental stress.

And I don't like terrorists. 57 virgins? Good luck with that.

And I don't mind 'racial profiling'. Makes sense to me.

And I don't cow-tow to this 'welcoming refugees' soppiness (although I do think that, having been a major initiator of their distress, we should do a hell of a lot more to alleviate their problems wherever they happen to be right now).

But a blanket ban on LEGAL immigrants? On scholars? Entrepreneurs? SCIENTISTS?

An INDISCRIMINATE blanket ban?

The collateral damage is just too great from this one.


  1. Honestly, I find the argument of a population explosion in the USA, and especially the environmental stress supposedly present due to this, to be rather weak.
    1. The population density in the US is rather low
    2. People will be born in this world.
    3. Having them move to the US is not creating a real density problem in the regime we are now in. This could be different if one argues immigration in India (or even Europe).
    4. I don't see environmental stress in the US *resulting from immigration*. For that statement you should at least provide some evidentiary observations.

    My point of view is that (disregarding sovereignty, which is another argument, but not one you touched upon), if there are people added to the world, it does the world no significant harm by having some of them move to the US (in the current density range).

    So I take issue with your arguments until you provide some facts to back up these opinions.

    Also, racial profiling is wrong.
    Despite the (incorrect) fact that "not all X are terrorists, all terrorists are X", one cannot punish all X.
    All Brits have crooked teeth. Let's force all Brits to take dental insurance, because otherwise medicare will have too high dental costs for them. That is racial (okay, national) profiling, and I suspect it would not sit well with you.
    THe other example is the standard classroom "all have to stay late until the one person who did this comes forward" - that is intrinsically unfair (ask ethicists (?)). In your words: the collateral damage is too great - considering the exceedingly small percentage of people arriving that actually commits terrorism. (Finally I note that none of the banned countries have ever had a citizen commit a terrorist attack in the US... Instead Egypt, Saudi Arabia were the major contributors - apart from all the home-grown ones in the US.)

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    For data on immigration vs population explosion see:

    Concerning "racial profiling" , well, I was drunk (-ish): I said that in the first line! But it does make more sense to check more frequently for something in populations where it is more likely, doesn't it? So if Brits do have more crooked teeth it 'might' make sense for their lifetime insurance premiums to be slightly lowered. Yes, lowered, because they wouldn't have gone through the expense of having all these clinically useless braces in childhood.

    1. The point on immigration is that an environmental argument is bogus if you do not take into account the environmental cost (which will affect all of the world, regardless of where it happens) of leaving immigrants in their home country.
      And that is what is sorely lacking on SUSPS.

      Dentistry: you're now making a strawman out of my ethics based argument, suggesting there is validity to what I said...

  3. I agree with both your points. The environmental argument is selfish, expressing my opinion that I do not want the country I live in to be environmentally ruined, even if that is at the cost of suffering elsewhere.

    Secondly, you are right about the tooth argument as well. I must say I don't specifically agree with 'racial' profiling, but I do with more general profiling. There's no point in screening every 80-year-old women or 8-year-old child at airports, for example; most of them should just be waved through (some should be randomly screened, though).

  4. You are gracious in your response and it appears we agree after all.