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Messages - TheDrake

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1
General Comments / Re: Government Shutdown, Immigration Edition.
« on: January 18, 2019, 11:04:52 AM »
Sure, Trump is willing to talk, if by talk you mean graciously accept a Democrat surrender to his demands.

It is going beyond just the wall and just the cost of the shutdown now. Democrats can't afford to throw up their hands and just give Trump what he wants, or they'll endure at least 24 more months of tantrums and demands. Trump can't back down because he is Trump, and because his base will excoriate him.


2
General Comments / Re: Government Shutdown, Immigration Edition.
« on: January 17, 2019, 06:30:28 PM »
Hmmm. How to describe Belgium?

Quote
"You go to Brussels — I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful — it's like living in a hellhole right now."

Donald J Trump

3
General Comments / Re: Government Shutdown, Immigration Edition.
« on: January 17, 2019, 04:55:13 PM »
Yeah! Coming up next, cutting off the power to the Capitol building? Shutdown Mania!

Meanwhile, he's also conscripted 36,000 tax men to work for free. I predict his returns are going to be leaked real soon.

4
General Comments / Re: Deplatforming
« on: January 17, 2019, 02:44:44 PM »
Telephone book is a good example. Do you think that they blindly accepted yellow pages ads? What about the library? Are you going to get mad at them for not putting "9/11 was an inside job" on their shelves? Or a coffee table book full of lurid abortion photos?

Netflix absolutely manipulates their results based on whether they are getting revenue or if it has lots of "likes".

Youtube has a particular problem, if you've ever used it. It will immediately start streaming other videos it thinks you will like. If things most people hate bubble onto the queue, people are going to be pissed off.

Google isn't at all like a road. Nobody can build another road right next to it. Nobody can decide to drive on Bing instead. DuckDuckGo exists, and curates in the other direction. In fact, there are a bunch of alternatives, easily found by google.

8 search engines

Google is monolithic because people choose it, not because they have no choice. DuckDuckGo is not weird or secret, it is constantly offered as an alternative to google on sites like Breitbart who fear Google's impact.

If you think people don't appreciate the brand, you may be right. "google" is a verb now. Nobody's saying "Bing it". Still, only 65% of search market share is google, fueled in part by the fact that China is all Baidu.

5
General Comments / Re: Deplatforming
« on: January 17, 2019, 01:16:41 PM »
I don't think suppressing a search result is censorship. That would be like saying walmart is practicing censorship because they refuse to carry a certain magazine on their shelf.

It is customer service, will more people stop using your portal because of your editorial impact, or because when they search abortion they see a smashed fetus?

The mall might have to allow you to speak, but they don't have to announce that you are speaking on the PA.

6
General Comments / Re: Deplatforming
« on: January 17, 2019, 11:02:55 AM »
RTL activist : those libtards censored my you tube!

Me: I'm glad somebody took down those disgusting videos of medical waste.

When actually, they didn't take it down, they just kept it from popping up at breakfast.

7
General Comments / Re: Why is May still around?
« on: January 16, 2019, 03:55:55 PM »
The majority party might also be having a hard time finding someone who wants to be PM under the circumstances. Still doesn't explain why she doesn't resign and f off to the Isle of Man.

8
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: January 16, 2019, 12:02:29 PM »
Hahaha dumbest one yet.

Trump bragged about serving Clemson 300 burgers to reporters just prior to the visit, then tweeted later about having over 1000 hamberders.

I think it makes clear that numbers don't mean anything to Trump. Whether its hamberders or any of his other wild claims.

9
General Comments / Re: An unfree market for medical devices
« on: January 16, 2019, 11:56:16 AM »
Quote
It's probably because people think things like the idea that an ultra sound is "non-invasive" means it's completely safe to use on yourself.  It's low risk in a controlled environment with trained personal, it is not necessarily low risk in other contexts (it can actually cause biological changes in your body, including some with potentially very dangerous impacts).

I could say the same about fireworks, but we sell those in many states. The same is true of a nail gun or an electromagnet. But I'll concede the point with respect to ultrasound generally, it could be causing damage silently.

And unfortunately Vape-PAP is a thing in one form or another. I'll never be able to unsee that post where somebody claimed it "felt weird to vape with their mask on". I'll try to convince myself that they were trying to be funny.

10
General Comments / Re: Deplatforming
« on: January 16, 2019, 09:20:57 AM »
Quote
Social media activists noticed Roku was offering the channel earlier this week, half a year after YouTube, Facebook and Apple, among others, had banned it.

Roku initially defended the decision on the grounds it did not censor content unless it was illegal.

But it has backtracked, after facing widespread criticism.

11
General Comments / An unfree market for medical devices
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:59:05 AM »
I was reading an article about a new handheld ultrasound device that is run from an app.

faq - butterfly network

Quote
Butterfly iQ can be purchased by a physician licensed to practice in the United States in good standing under applicable state law or by the order of such a physician for use in professional practice as authorized by law.

Now, I probably wasn't going to buy this thing, but I really don't see why it has to be prohibited. It isn't a drug. It isn't habit forming.

Meanwhile, what does affect me is a CPAP machine. It isn't possible for me to buy a replacement mask online without a prescription (my original one would not be considered current).

I also wear eyeglasses. If I haven't had my eyes checked within the past twelve months, I can't order eyeglasses even if the prescription is the same as the ones I'm wearing.

No wonder healthcare costs rise when consumers are coerced to have doctor visits they don't want and don't need.

Even worse, this leads to black market used goods that are even less safe. People sell old CPAP machines on craigslist, with no guarantee of function or sterilization. People get eyeglasses secondhand and try to find one that is close enough. Some online sellers sneak through a loophole and sell CPAP mask components separately rather than assembled.

Is there some reason why people have to be protected from ordering improper equipment? Or even more oddly from buying non-intrusive diagnostic equipment?

12
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:33:54 PM »
Various headlines on the matter, CNBC is about as accurate as I could imagine:

Trump AG pick Barr: Mueller would not be 'involved in a witch hunt'

NBC current headline is:

William Barr: 'Vitally important' for Mueller to complete Russia probe

NY Post bends it harder, implying a stronger conclusion.

William Barr says Mueller’s probe is not a ‘witch hunt’

13
That's correct about the math, it isn't so simplistic. If California doubled the us population with illegals, they'd still not have 100% of the seats.

That math also assumes that all those illegals are returning census forms, or more accurately that they are returning them at a rate equivalent to other residents. I would guess it isn't, but I would have a hard time proving it.

14
General Comments / Re: Government Shutdown, Immigration Edition.
« on: January 15, 2019, 05:05:55 PM »
Meanwhile, Shutdown 2019 is in full effect with bigger thrills than last time.

The Democrats refused to go to lunch. Maybe they heard about what Clemson got to eat.

15
General Comments / Why is May still around?
« on: January 15, 2019, 05:02:13 PM »
Multiple no confidence votes, loss of Brexit plan approval by a massive margin. More headaches than you can shake a stick at.

What is she on about, why is she still there taking lumps? Why not emulate Eric Cartman and say, "Screw you guys, I'm going home."?

On the other side, why are people blocking her removal? I'm sure its something I just don't understand about British politics.

16
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 15, 2019, 03:55:41 PM »
Quote
But wouldn't it be considered as treason to disclose confidential attack details to the nation targeted by those plans?

Even Snowden's crime isn't treason, as I understand it. Take a look at the language. But nobody released the document anyway, they just described its existence.

Under the statute, an enemy is an organization with which the US is in a declared or open war. So even the Navy spy, Walker, didn't qualify despite giving up lots of military secrets.

A brief search ran me across the following weirdness:

Quote
During the Civil War, Lewis’ paper noted, a professional gambler named William Mumford who lived in New Orleans was the only person formally convicted of treason. Mumford, angered by the replacement of the Confederate flag with an American one at the city’s US Mint building following the Navy’s capture of the state, scaled a flagpole and removed the flag.

“For this action, he was tried by military tribunal on the grounds of treason,” the paper noted. “His overt act was found to be the desecration of the American flag, and since the United States contended the southern states were still a part of the Union, Mumford was a U.S. citizen who owed allegiance to the country.”

Mumford was executed by hanging on June 7, 1862 from the same scaffolding at the Mint building where he’d torn down the flag.

That seems a bit harsh.

17
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 15, 2019, 10:57:14 AM »
So far the only explanation proffered is that the leak was a result of the White House itself allowing it to be released in order to put Iran in its place or something. That's an extremely specific scenerio, and on the balance it doesn't seem to be the most likely explanation, although certainly it's possible. But putting that scenario aside for a moment, does it not seem like the alternative scenario (that it was leaked to the media without authorization) seem outright treasonous? Reasons for such a leak could be to embarass the White House, or else possibly to undermine a non-aggressive policy towards Iran by forcing the issue, so that warhawks could make provoking moves towards Iran on their own even despite the White House's policy. These are both completely plausible as I see it, and I don't know how to evaluate such moves other than in dire terms.

Or am I missing something?

You had asked "how would this be legal" and that was the only way. If we consider the question, "why was this done?" That comes under a different heading.

It is not treason to expose something that you think is harmful to the country. It wasn't for Snowden, it wasn't for the Pentagon Papers, and it might not be here. If the leak were an attempt to alert the public that the administration is trying to pull a Gulf of Tonkin Resolution with Iran, it could be a selfless patriotic act that prevents a war with Iran.

We can rehash what treason is, and is not.

Quote
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere,

Releasing this information would not appear to aid Iran particularly much. They didn't release any specifics to the plan, or there's a much stronger case for treason. Not to say it isn't illegal, I suspect it is.

As for using it to influence public policy, I think it is far more likely that it was intended to reign in aggression toward Iran and to make people suspicious about any Administration "act of war" claims they might make.

18
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 11, 2019, 01:06:55 PM »
Death panels!
WMD!
Coming to take your guns!
MS-13!
China!

BE AFRAID AND ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US

19
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 11, 2019, 10:01:36 AM »
I stopped watching when *illegal drugs * was the Top of the list of reasons. That doesn't cross in the no barrier area.

20
General Comments / Law enforcement tweets
« on: January 10, 2019, 11:07:12 AM »
I stay plugged in to my local police on twitter, and got the following message this morning:

Quote
Officers are currently working on locating an individual in the area of <intersection>. Helicopter is assisting. We believe there is no threat to the public. Please call us at <number> if you spot anything suspicious.

I just don't even know what to do with this. You're employing a helicopter to find someone who is described as not a threat? You have no details about the individual, not even gender. Isn't "spot something suspicious" just going to have people report based on stereotypes of various kinds?

They also do a fair amount of PR, obviously, recognizing service. They also have encouraged people to reach out and say hello to officers they see.

They send out timely information on major traffic accidents, like those that close all lanes of a major tollway, as well as road closings during flooding.

I haven't decided whether this is an overall net good or bad thing.

21
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 10, 2019, 10:37:27 AM »
So let me be clear, I view illegal immigration as it's own problem that needs to be corrected.  Securing the boarder addresses more than just illegal immigration (drugs and additional crimes).  I don't have a problem with a much better system for legal immigrants that properly vets people and brings from the very same countries from which they come today.

Thanks, that's helpful, and it partly explains why you and I are so far off in our views. I'm more pragmatic about the fact that we can't really "secure the border" for the same reason we can't even stop people from smuggling things into a prison. All we can do is make it more difficult. In order to determine how hard to make it, I look to understand how much impact the current level of illegal crossing has upon our society. Generally, but not exclusively limited to measures of crime and economic impact.

I'm generally fine with the existing level of illegal crossings, whether at legal checkpoints, through the desert, and on overstays of various types. I have no sympathy for a native citizen who can get beat out for a job by an uneducated person from another country who doesn't speak English. I like the lower prices. I'm concerned about potential violence, but don't see levels that I consider significant.

I would greatly prefer to deflect this into increased amounts of legal immigration, including guest worker, skilled worker, and citizenship paths. I like chain migration, where people bring their families with them. This increases their civic commitment. This would reduce the burdens on border agents and facilities so there would be room to contain people who may be truly dangerous.

I don't like the idea of carving up private property to lay a wall down, just one of the problems that halted previous expansions along the Texas border. I obviously don't like the expense. If we are going to pay that much, I think you'd be better off hiring more agents or increasing screening at legal checkpoints through technology or personnel. I think drones are entirely viable, and could autonomously lock on to border crossers and follow them until an agent can arrive if they are in sufficient numbers. There just isn't much cover out there.

I know this is partly a rehash of things I've said before, but I wanted to put it all down in one place to make my thinking more coherent.

22
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 09, 2019, 06:13:37 PM »
A chain migrator, eh?

23
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 09, 2019, 12:38:11 PM »
Seriati, let me try and cut through the noise a little bit.

Assuming as a thought experiment that every illegal never committed a crime, and that they never received public money or services, and that they never smuggled drugs, and that they never participated politically in any form - would you still want to limit those entries?

If so, it would render discussion on the scope of impact entirely moot.

24
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 08, 2019, 04:00:22 PM »
 ::) Why do you think that's a policy? Few, if any people, have ever said "let's just have lots of illegal immigration".

In order to ensure Zero illegal immigration, you'd have to do insane things. You'd either have to interdict all international trade, search every container, build a wall across Canada as well as Mexico, random stop and frisks, etc.

So, then we are left to decide how much are we willing to pay in order to reduce it to which levels. How difficult do we need to make it, and what is the cheapest method to achieve that level? More than just which levels, we will need to break down what kind of illegal immigration we are willing to live with (visa overstays) vs what other kind?

It seems that wall arguments are tautological. We need a wall because we need a wall. Numbers don't matter, actual threats don't matter, effectiveness doesn't matter, cost doesn't matter,...

25
General Comments / Re: States of Emergency
« on: January 08, 2019, 03:04:58 PM »
Obama had $150 billion in cash to load on planes and give to a state sponsor of terrorism for the entire 36 years of its existence. I think Trump can use the exact same approach for only $5 billion.

This again. Your procedure has grown tiresome. Was that US tax money being used? No, it was Iran's money that we were holding hostage. It was $1.8 billion on the plane, charitably. Most of the money wasn't even in US institutions, it was overseas.

26
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 08, 2019, 03:00:53 PM »
Quote
All of them in a world of communicable diseases are a physical threat.  How many are criminals, gang members, terrorists, wife beaters, hot heads, drunk drivers, drug users, or will become such?  I'd bet far more than 1%.

How much does it move the needle? How many of all those things do we already have? A 2% rise in the crime rate is not a crisis. This is the nonsense "any bad skittle" argument. I won't go point by point.

We can address various problems through a wall, lowering the total number of gang members (for example) inside the country by a relatively insignificant amount. Ultimately solving very few of these problems.

Or we can address the problems themselves. Unless you think we are importing many more criminals than we are growing locally.

Quote
make the argument for leaving the border unsecured

No one has argued that. The fact that we are apprehending large numbers makes it clear that the border is not unsecured. I am making the argument for allowing the border to be somewhat less secured in order to save billions of dollars.

27
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 08, 2019, 01:30:25 PM »
Quote
"Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family."

That's Trumpian hyperbole, and it got her a pants on fire from politifact.

28
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 08, 2019, 12:56:20 PM »
The other thing is that her "nitpicking" doesn't seem to apply to Bernie Sanders who supports a lot of the same policies. I don't remember anybody ripping him a new one on his numbers.

29
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 08, 2019, 12:53:49 PM »
Quote
Thanks for reminding me of the latest completely ridiculous talking point.

More ridiculous than claiming thousands of middle eastern terrorists are trying to gain entry across the southern border?

I wouldn't mind spending more money on security in depth, whether that is counter-terrorism, law enforcement against violent gangs, etc. The value of those dollars would also stop threats from citizens, legal aliens, people smuggled across the border, etc.

I wouldn't mind spending more money on disease prevention and management, including making free clinics available to diagnose and treat contagion in a timely manner.

I wouldn't mind holding employers more accountable for hiring illegals, and that would include domestic help. I'd even think that broadcasting PSAs about domestic help and creating a hotline to help people learn how to properly validate credentials would be helpful.

I would definitely support more funds to process arrivals in a timely fashion, so we don't have to choose between lengthy incarceration (tent city, etc) and personal recognizance. By accepting people in legally, we gain the opportunity to vet them, hold them in quarantine, and other protections.

You are correct that if you are only talking about physical threats, the visa overstays don't matter. If you are making the economic argument, the anchor baby argument, the government services argument, the cultural argument - it quickly dominates.

How many of the 300,000 fall into the category of a physical threat? Maybe 1%? With everyone else just trying to pick up illegal work, flee a dangerous home country with no opportunity.

If you're a real terrorist, you're going to be fine entering via the Canadian border. Canada hasn't restricted your travel, and you can wander across a true unguarded border. Not to mention travel by boat, smuggling, etc. Same thing with organized crime. The wall stops the masses, not people committed to doing harm.

30
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 08, 2019, 12:08:42 PM »
65% of net arrivals are visa overstays, the wall stops exactly zero of those. Any coherent policy would be focused on that, and be much cheaper.

Drugs are mostly smuggled through checkpoints, not dragged through the high desert. And as we all know, we can't even keep drugs out of prisons that have very fine walls indeed.

Immigrants regularly attempt and sometimes succeed at crossing where there is wall. And that's near populated areas that are better patrolled.

Everything that it is claimed that more wall would do, it doesn't do very well. Would more wall stop some people? Sure. Can we calculate dollars per person stopped? Not exactly, but let's say $5b stops 100,000 annually - a pretty big stretch. Over ten years, that might mean 1 million stopped. $5,000 per stop.

That assumes no recurring cost, which is likely false even just for maintenance.

Securing the border has become a moral imperative for some, without a critical eye as to the effectiveness of the effort.

The illegal migrants just aren't that scary. They aren't a major issue for me. I can think of 20 other things I would spend the $5b on, because it is a terrible ROI.

31
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 08, 2019, 11:33:36 AM »
<sidebar> The Iran-Obama thing is a conspiracy theory manufactured out of whole cloth by Michael Ledeen, published by the usual conservative conspiracy outlets. </sidebar>

32
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 08, 2019, 11:25:46 AM »
Quote
Her point was clearly that someone attempting to be honest and making some kind of numerical errors is not the same thing as using fake figures to deceive and spin your agenda.

So you think she was making an honest mistake when making her claim that you could pay for medicare for all with pentagon waste?  ::)

This is one of a few signature issues for her. You really think she hasn't seen calculations on this? You really think she didn't know that discrepancies in accounting are not the same thing as wasteful spending that translates into available money?

"How are you going to pay for it?" is a legitimate question for any major policy. An advocate should have an answer that is not false or grossly misleading.

If you can't remember the numbers, have your office publish them for you and refer people to them. I suffer from this myself - I can hardly ever remember a raw number. In engineering you don't throw out a guess when asked in a meeting. You bring it with you, or you promise to get back to someone with the right number. I think we should demand the same from our politicians when it comes to spending our money.

This isn't just a quantitative error on her part, it is qualitative. There is no way that this source of funding is even significant in terms of paying for her program.

Her quote is revealing though. I think she honestly doesn't care how much the program costs, because to her it is a moral issue that we'll just have to find the money somewhere because this is a fundamental thing that we HAVE to do.

33
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 08, 2019, 11:13:13 AM »
I see you've ignored everything else about what Hungary is doing, Crunch? Still think we should follow their lead? Think we should have border patrol beat the crap out of anyone who tries to get near the border? Think we should imprison lawyers trying to represent asylum seekers? Think we should threaten advocates who try to help illegal immigrants? Think we should shut down news organizations that report on any of the above?

34
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 07, 2019, 07:36:22 PM »
I think it is probably a bit much for him to characterize Republicans as shying away from solving healthcare because it is "too hard". Republicans have made it clear that they don't really think that everyone should have access to healthcare, and that insurance companies should be free to manage their plans to accomplish that goal. Republican states don't avoid medicaid expansions because it is difficult, they avoid it because they don't give a hoot if poor people have to choose between medication and basic needs like food and shelter.

After all, if you can't find a good full time job, you deserve hepatitis.

35
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 07, 2019, 12:27:00 PM »
This is the Washington Post:

Quote
“Here is America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is,” tweeted AnonymousQ1776. (The Twitter account apparently has been deleted.)

To which the rest of the sentient world responded: Wow, she did a thing.

Hardly seems like they were trying to claim conservatives were outraged.

The one fox calls out as the "most overblown example" merely talks about that particular twitter user only, which clearly did think that it would show her in a negative light. I don't see anything in the actual article that suggests there was a major reaction by conservatives to the existence of the video, only that "several conservative twitter feeds" shared it.

The headline is indeed misleading and inflammatory, "CONSERVATIVES MOCK ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ FOR COLLEGE DANCING VIDEO, EVERYONE ELSE THINKS IT’S ADORABLE". Unfortunately that's what's happened to headlines across the board. I won't defend that practice.

Maybe this is just a sign that people never delve behind the headline or the soundbite teaser or the news scroll at the bottom of the TV broadcast.

36
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 07, 2019, 12:11:15 PM »
I was responding to crunch above, who suggested that Hungary built a big beautiful wall. We've drifted quite a bit from the original topic.

37
General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: January 07, 2019, 11:11:41 AM »
Quote
The first problem here is that Ocasio-Cortez is really minimizing her falsehoods. Four Pinocchios is not a claim that Glenn Kessler and The Post’s Fact Checker team give out for bungling the “semantics” of something. It’s when something is a blatant falsehood. It’s the worst rating you can get for a singular claim.

In the case of the $21 trillion, Ocasio-Cortez was suggesting that this was all Pentagon waste and that cleaning it up could pay for two-thirds of the estimated $32 trillion price tag for single-payer health care, which she and others are referring to as Medicare-for-all.

In this case the supposed "liberal media" in the form of the Washington Post had slammed her hard for being ridiculous, not to mention comparing a number based on 17 years to a number based on 10 years. It wasn't the first time. She plays as fast and loose with facts as Trump, and could have her own thread detailing her false and misleading statements.

38
General Comments / States of Emergency
« on: January 07, 2019, 09:08:07 AM »
Was reading some on the topic as Trump threatens to build his wall under emergency powers.

I was somewhat shocked to learn that the US currently has 30 states of emergency in effect under the emergency powers act. Most have to do with blocking property with international scope. I fail to see why such things aren't done legislatively, and the whole idea of the emergency powers seems dangerous. Congress can only override the president if they have a veto-proof majority.


39
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 07, 2019, 08:45:10 AM »

That's not a democratic talking point, and it makes a yuge assumption, that a wall will greatly curtail illegal immigration. Signs point to no on that one, a common Democrat talking point says it is a waste of resources.
A common democrat lie is that it’s a waste. Hungary tried a wall, it works:
Quote
Attempted border entries have fallen since the barrier was constructed. During the month of September 2015 there was a total number of 138,396 migrant entries, and within the first two weeks of November the average daily number of intercepted migrants decreased to only 15, which is a daily reduction of more than 4,500.

Anyone saying it won’t work is lying, the facts are that it works.

Hungary doesn't have a wall. They also constructed their 13-foot high fence for $106 million.

But it is more their other policies than "having a wall".

Quote
Nearly every day, an immigration lawyer makes his or her way to a barbed-wire enclosure along Hungary’s border with Serbia, ready to walk an asylum seeker through the daunting process of pleading for safe haven in one of the most refugee-resistant countries in Europe.

Now these lawyers risk jail time if they so much as help a client fill out a complicated Hungarian-language form. Hungary’s parliament last week approved a legislative package aimed not only at barring the gates to almost any outsider — but also decreeing punishment for those who try to aid would-be migrants.

So, I'm going to say that it would be a massive miscarriage of American justice to put a lawyer in jail for helping an asylum seeker fill out a form. NGOs operating in the country risk having their employees thrown in jail. Their border patrol has inflicted hundreds of cases of intentional injuries, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres. They also take over any media that is critical of their PM, including his immigration policies.

By the way, they call their package of immigration law the "Stop Soros" legislation.

That may all sound pretty great to Trump and many of his supporters, but it's not really a model I want us to emulate.

40
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 04, 2019, 08:35:05 PM »
2. The border wall shouldn't be built because it will greatly curtail illegal immigration and cause wages to go up.

That's not a democratic talking point, and it makes a yuge assumption, that a wall will greatly curtail illegal immigration. Signs point to no on that one, a common Democrat talking point says it is a waste of resources.

There isn't really much indication that wages and illegal immigration are highly correlated, except in specific vocations.

The median wage earner in the US probably benefits from illegal migration.

We can all agree that food cost rise will cost billions for the SNAP program...

41
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: January 04, 2019, 03:54:38 PM »
Quote
Asked if that was a threat to Democrats, Trump replied, "I never threaten anybody, but I am allowed to do it -- call a national emergency."

It is a false or misleading statement by Trump that he never threatens anybody.

42
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 04, 2019, 03:52:31 PM »
Quote
Or the matter that an illegal immigrant allegedly is twice as likely to take up other criminal activities than their legal/Citizen counterparts.

Cute. So you slap "allegedly" on there and you can make up whatever crap you want? Is there any source at all that supports that?

A video with talking points on Facebook? Awesome source that is, isn't it. The numbers do seem to line up with others I've encountered at other points in time over the past decade + so I'm sure a little bit of Google research would bear it out one way another. I phrased it as I did to reflect my own uncertainty as to the reliability of the numbers given.

Of course they also brought up another point that also is valid:

Fairness.

It is unfair that a person in India, Zambia, Botswana, and a number of other nations has to often wait 10+ years in order to legally enter the United States for the purpose of immigration, while somebody from Costa Rica can simply walk across the border, illegally, and be protected by legions of advocates who will work tirelessly to ensure they can stay... Probably at the expense of the person in Zambia then needing to wait even longer for their own legal entry.

I did google it. Several sources hover at about 150%, but those are mostly violent crime, not any crime. Others say immigrants are less likely to commit a crime, but data is largely muddy in separating illegal from legal. Most state-level offenses can't be correlated. There hasn't really been academic work done. Any data measures convictions rather than offenses, so any elevation could easily be attributed to jury bias in convictions, public defenders, etc. So the fact of the matter is, no one really knows.

On the other point, I've always said that the solution to illegal immigration is to allow more legal immigration, work visas, guest workers, etc. Nobody should have to wait 10 years to come here.

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General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 04, 2019, 01:48:09 PM »
Quote
(She was arguing against building the wall by the way)
"If Trump's wall gets built, I can guarantee you that prices of goods in the United States would have to go up because the cost of Labor in the United States would have to increase."

Do you agree that this is a downside? It would seem farcical to me to base any political position on the premise that illegal cheap labor is a good thing that must be perpetuated. May as well say that slavery would reduce costs even more :o

I think the discussion was in the context of the "net cost of immigration". Savings would have to be part of that calculation, no? A person paying an extra dollar to provide services to an illegal, and a person paying an extra dollar in increased costs are equivalent, mathematically.

44
General Comments / Re: Election Security
« on: January 04, 2019, 01:36:48 PM »
Given what we know about unconscious manipulation, I don't know why anyone would trust a hand recount.

Scientists have to conduct double-blind studies to avoid putting their thumb on the scale, I don't know why we would think that humans can perform this job accurately.

Anybody working in this capacity is by definition engaged politically, and has their preference.

45
General Comments / Re: Injustice of the Republican Tax bill
« on: January 04, 2019, 01:24:14 PM »
Quote
Or the matter that an illegal immigrant allegedly is twice as likely to take up other criminal activities than their legal/Citizen counterparts.

Cute. So you slap "allegedly" on there and you can make up whatever crap you want? Is there any source at all that supports that?

46
Neither of his daughters are underage. "the left" usually avoids using easily disproven facts, no matter what you believe about their editorial bias.

I will concede that CNN in particular borders on hysteria with their unrelenting "Trump bad" headlines.

As for Obama, I seem to recall a steady stream of doctored photos and falsehoods about him - at least on the internet. So I wouldn't say "it's usually the left" demonizing people.

47
General Comments / Re: Election Security
« on: January 03, 2019, 12:05:52 PM »
I don't think I'd worry much about a flawed scan. It's a basic fill the oval type thing, that they've been using for decades for everything. Most forms can do character recognition flawlessly, unless somebody has really funky handwriting. The post office scans and routes hand written addresses routinely.

48
General Comments / Re: Border defense is like network defense
« on: January 02, 2019, 06:13:08 PM »
To do this in immigration, we have one big thing working against us - privacy. Once we enter the network, much of what we do can be considered anonymous.

This is where there's a derail.  We don't have a problem because of anonymity.  There are plenty of non-anonymous contacts with government, where could rationally and easily "catch" illegals.

I'm not going to go into the practical consideration of where there are opportunities missed. I think we've covered it quite a bit previously. A lot of it has to do with local politics and local resources.

I would say the analogy here is when Information Security asks functional department heads to help enforce security. Department heads have a different agenda. They want to meet deadlines and be productive. So they plug their own personal devices into the secure network, they upload information to dropbox, they take pictures of the whiteboard with their cellphones which automatically gets broadcast to google, the provider backup, and Picasa. They install random plugins that they downloaded from pleasehackme.com

Asylum seekers are like outside contractors, they should be allowed on to the guest network with limited privileges. They typically are not denied entry. Instead, they are stripped of any computing devices, they may be searched, they may work in a separate area from employees, and any computing they are allowed to do may be fully air-gapped. There are lots of ways to deal with asylum seekers that make more sense than either instant denial or full unsupervised access.

Some aspects of our immigration system are like a cranky sysadmin who loathes users of all kinds and wishes everyone would leave her alone. Current, and some proposals would be even worse.

Sorry, your family can't come see your cubicle where you work.
Did you ask permission to install firefox? You'll be waiting 3 weeks before we do it.
Change your password every 30 days, even though every study says it won't increase security.
Take a company policy review every 6 months, no matter how long you've been here.

Sometimes I get the sense that Information Security would just as soon disconnect the whole company from the internet...

49
General Comments / Re: Border defense is like network defense
« on: January 02, 2019, 02:41:15 PM »
That's a lot of the current news, but not a lot of the illegal immigration. The current hysteria is about terror threats and criminals. So the asylum seekers are demonized because they slip away, and they are probably all people just masquerading as asylum seekers when really they are MS-13. You can sprinkle on top of that "they're coming to steal our elections".

None of the people in those groups are going to be worried about picking up shifts at a restaurant. I don't see any physical barrier being an issue there, because criminals and terrorists are perfectly capable of managing to cross through a port of entry. They aren't the ones slogging it through the desert or joining a Honduran caravan, IMO.

It does bring up a question of a different threat and management of the threat. What is the defense in depth for a gang member who slips across the border - either across the Rio Grande, in the belly of an empty tanker truck, with false credentials, or any other method?

It kind of looks a lot like defending against MS-13 members who are US citizens, doesn't it? Standard law enforcement techniques. Same with terrorists, clearly people who are US citizens can be recruited.

50
General Comments / Re: Misleading or False Claims by Trump
« on: January 02, 2019, 01:45:50 PM »
Words are never truly interchangeable, I think it is always about the degree of difference in context. It is the only source for defining synonyms, however. Usually it is about finding a better word for your context than the one you are thinking of. If Trump typed in "wall", he might see the word "barrier" and make a switch. :)

He already knows all the synonyms for biggest, including:

huge, enormous, tremendous, massive

Those words are much harder to separate. Why use enormous vs huge? They are what I normally think of as synonyms. That comes down to emotion and connotation. Huge is more of an interjection, while enormous is more awestruck.

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