How do you tell if a politician is blowing hot air?

Political speaking is all about lying, either through outright falsehoods or through manipulating words such that, technically, what you said was true even if you knew the audience would not examine it like that. Granted, they ought to be a little more clever, but listen to this winner right here:

A recent statement by Mr. Chertoff summed up his general stance: “Criminal activity at the border does not stop for endless debate or protracted litigation.”

Well, yes, technically speaking immigration not approved by the Immigration Commissars is illegal, but someone going a long distance that happens to cross this imaginary line to work is not morally different from my moving the same distance inside this vast country to do same.

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Entering Without Permission is Tresspassing

I am always amazed at the way some libertarians who sanctify private property, deny that the citizenry has any valid collective interest outside the bounds of the personal physical property they own. What about the physical and intangible infrastructure they have developed and own collectively? This includes such things as public roads and buildings, parks, military weapons and other physical infrastructure that have been paid for by the public as well as laws and customs, military forces, governmental, regulatory and service organizations, the diplomatic establishment and so on.

People who use these things without permission by crossing borders illegally are committing aggression against your collective property in a real sense if the law says it is doing so. Also since all other countries laws say the same thing, the natural law of reciprocity also applies.

I am no anti-immigration fanatic but I think that the element of collective ownership of a nation’s physical and other assets that have been collectively paid for provide a moral justification for the control of the borders. The collective infrastructure was not established for free and to use it without permission or compensation is theft. Dave

Dave--would you extend that

Dave--would you extend that "collective property" argument to, say, having children? Should the nation as a whole have some say over whether I'm allowed to bring a child into existence? How is this any different than crossing the border? If immigration is theft because the immigrant "steals" from the collective, then having children is theft for the same reason.

Note that some countries, notably China, have taken this logic of collective ownership to the extreme and implemented laws controlling what should be an entirely private decision.

One Child Families Not Needed Yet

I am not against immigration. I simply think that there are some collective rights that citizens of a country can morally enforce. This is because there are public places that are not anyone’s personal property. These spaces do not belong to everyone in the world but to the people within the borders of a nation.

People who are born in the US are automatically citizens so they already belong. Other countries could have different laws. If we had the same number of people as China we might do as they do.By limiting immigrants we will be sure of avoiding this problem.

For several hundred years countries have had enforceable borders. That is what makes them countries. As long as we have national forms of government people will largely have to stay where they are unless they receive permission to immigrate.

What if the borders were thrown open? I could prosper by ferrying people over from Haiti, and letting them off on the beach. I once read a survey that said that 43% of Mexican school children have as their ambition to come to the United States.

I have nothing against Haitians or Mexicans but if the United States is to serve as a home for all the people from poor countries with high birth rates there will be trouble. The day will come when the world’s population will be 7 to 9 billion. When this happens prosperous countries such as the US will have to protect themselves. This is unfortunate in human terms.

We can help other countries by helping them build market based economies and to taking care of their own citizens. Since trade barriers impede this they are immoral but under the current world system,not borders.

Dave

There's no such thing as

There's no such thing as collective rights. Believing in collective rights makes you a collectivist, not a libertarian. Besides, your title contains "not needed yet", implying you believe rights are based on need. Collective rights based on needs is the basic principle of marxism.

Your line of thinking is no different than the one that killed hundreds of million of people. I am not saying you are guilty of anything, but you're making it clear which philosophical side you're on.

If you have any self respect, grab a gun and shoot immigrant children crossing the border. If you wouldn't be willing to enforce a "right", how can you seriously claim it exists?

Yes my message is inflammatory, but I seriously see no reason to tolerate a call to murder, theft and kidnapping.

Collective Rights, Absolute Rights

There's no such thing as collective rights.

You are an absolutist idealist living in a dream world. Geography and other constraints of reality as well as the fact your policy is not in effect protect you from living with any negative consequences of your ideas. This characterizes most absolutist beliefs. We are safe as long as they are not actually tried.

There are all sorts of collective interactions we accept as necessary. Each family has rights and duties that apply within the collective and that exclude persons outside of the collective. Do I have the right to invite myself to dinner at your house? Your children, in effect, have this right. Because you have the right to discipline your children, do I have the right discipline them? Can I decide where your children go to school? Do you have the duty to look after your parents? Do I have the duty to look after them?

Municipalities have the right to require you not to dump your sewage and garbage on the street. If people have no rights to control the streets and there is no common property, where does this authority come from? Are leash laws a violation of your rights? Is it right to require you to vaccinate your dog and children to protect the collective right of people not to risk disease? You think there are absolute rights but I think there are all sorts of trade offs and compromises and no ideal situation. Small battles go on daily to decide where one person’s rights end and collective rights begin.

Your line of thinking is no different than the one that killed hundreds of million of people.

If free immigration is absolute right that risks creating an absolute disaster you can take the high road if you wish and call me an accomplice to murder. I still don't think open borders are worth the risk.
Dave

But it is tried

You are an absolutist idealist living in a dream world. Geography and other constraints of reality as well as the fact your policy is not in effect protect you from living with any negative consequences of your ideas. This characterizes most absolutist beliefs. We are safe as long as they are not actually tried.

Open borders has been tried and is tried in the United States today and it works very well. I've done it myself a few times - moved from one state to another inside the United States, without passing any noticeable border control between states.

No disaster.

It's a pretty good test, because the United States is large enough to be a good model of multiple neighboring states (which, technically, it actually is, hence the name), and there are significant differences between the individual states.

Open the Borders ,See What Happens

I wouldn’t mind if there were open borders with Canada and Mexico. They would have to agree to open borders with the United States. If that worked we could establish open borders with other countries, step by step. The first thing that would happen would be that the Canadians and Mexicans would start screaming about cultural imperialism and demand limitations. At present Mexico won’t allow us to drill oil off shore or on shore in their country because of “national pride.”
See Link

In Canada you can’t get full American cable television and radio stations have to play a certain amount of domestically produced music.
Link
And these examples are just the tip of a very large iceberg of nationalism that you act blind to.
That is the trouble with extremist, insular thinking.
Dave

Insular advocates of open borders

They would have to agree to open borders with the United States.

That's your precondition, not mine.

The first thing that would happen would be that the Canadians and Mexicans would start screaming about cultural imperialism and demand limitations.

So?

At present Mexico won’t allow us to drill oil off shore or on shore in their country because of “national pride.”

So?

In Canada you can’t get full American cable television and radio stations have to play a certain amount of domestically produced music.

So? All the more reason for them to visit the US.

And these examples are just the tip of a very large iceberg of nationalism that you act blind to.

How have I displayed blindness to it?

That is the trouble with extremist, insular thinking.

Since I'm a libertarian I'm inevitably going to be called an extremist. I'm surprised that you call open-border advocacy "insular". That seems a much more appropriate name for closed-border advocacy.

Your fundamental argument here seems to be: actually existent states do not currently have open borders, and also lack some other freedoms. How is this an argument against either open borders or freedom?

No Escape from History or Reality

Your attitude is based on the way things should be in an uncomplicated, ahistorical, apolitical world. Do you think borders will be dropped willy nilly without negotiation, diplomacy or the input of interest groups or that scattered violations of the border are the equivalent of a unilateral decision to let the borders collapse? Or if they did things would be sweet. We can't even get NAFTA to work. If I were the Mexican government I might say, OK lets save money by busing all the prisoners in all our jails to the border and say "don't come back." You are promoting a vision in a vacuum based on your moral philosophy. That is what I mean by insular. As you so wisely point out above this may have unintended consequences.Dave

Do you think borders will be

Do you think borders will be dropped willy nilly without negotiation, diplomacy or the input of interest groups

Saying borders should be open does not imply you think they magically will. You're attacking the same strawman as before.

Imagine a woman saying to an armed rapist about to rape her:

- You shouldn't do that
- Oh yeah ?? What you gonna do ?

It's hardly an argument against the immorality of rape, although the woman has as much chance of being spared as the US Mexican border has to be opened in the near future.

Illegal Immigrant is the Rapist

America says you will not cross her border without permission. The illegal immigrant says "Yeah ,What are you going to do about it?"

Dave

Woosh.

Woosh.

You are an absolutist

You are an absolutist idealist living in a dream world.

This is a very common argument. You make a normative claim, I make a normative counter-claim and then you claim that applying this moral principles is not realistic. In this case why did you feel the need to come up with a seemingly normative argument for collective rights first? I could reverse the argument, you seem to live in an ideal world where immigrants don't dig tunnels, bribe custom officers or evade controls. That's not the point! You started to claim they were collective rights... are you arguing these rights exist because if they didn't things would be bad? That's a bit odd.

There are all sorts of collective interactions we accept as necessary.

What's a "collective interaction", who is "we"?

Do I have the right to invite myself to dinner at your house?

How is that related to a "collective right"? It's my individual right as a owner to turn you down.

Your children, in effect, have this right.

No.

Because you have the right to discipline your children

I don't think I have. I can withhold desert though.

Municipalities have the right to require you not to dump your sewage and garbage on the street.

Hum, no. They just claim they do.

If people have no rights to control the streets and there is no common property, where does this authority come from?

You're the one claiming this authority exists! Answer your own question.

If free immigration is absolute right that risks creating an absolute disaster you can take the high road if you wish and call me an accomplice to murder. I still don't think open borders are worth the risk.

You are not an accomplice, you are advocating murder. Not a crime per se, but pretty despisable.

By the way... the mexican children is crossing, where do you aim your rifle? Legs ? Chest ? Head ? I'd like to know the details. Please tell me how you would proceed to stop him. Immigrant asks a similar question, please answer him... how would you report him/her to DHS? I'd like to know.

Shooting Mexicans

This debate is getting to be fun. You can’t beat me when it comes to being silly but before we go on let me get a few things straight. You affirm the following:

1.) You don’t understand the meaning of the word we.
2.) You have the same right to refuse to feed your children as you have to turn down a dinner request from an uninvited guest.
3.) Other than withholding dessert you have no right to discipline your children.
4.) You have the right to dump garbage and sewage on public streets.
5.) There is no community authority over public places.
6.) I advocate murder.
7.) Enforcing laws approved by the electorate is a warrant for the authorities to use deadly force as the default method of enforcement.
8.) Attempts to enforce immigration laws are by definition an abridgement of illegal immigrant’s rights.
9.) Attempts to circumvent immigration laws are evidence that the illegal immigrant is morally correct.

Dave

1.) You don’t understand

1.) You don’t understand the meaning of the word we.

I do, you are just being purposefully vague. We doesn't refer to an identifiable set of people agreeing on something but on an abstract collective.

2.) You have the same right to refuse to feed your children as you have to turn down a dinner request from an uninvited guest.

Yes.

3.) Other than withholding dessert you have no right to discipline your children.

You can withhold many things, but not you cannot hit your children if that's what you meant.

4.) You have the right to dump garbage and sewage on public streets.

That is a most unfortunate consequence of the state occupying the streets.

5.) There is no community authority over public places.

Correct.

6.) I advocate murder.

Indirectly, yes.

7.) Enforcing laws approved by the electorate is a warrant for the authorities to use deadly force as the default method of enforcement.

Custom officers are allowed to use deadly force on immigrants.

8.) Attempts to enforce immigration laws are by definition an abridgement of illegal immigrant’s rights.

Yes.

9.) Attempts to circumvent immigration laws are evidence that the illegal immigrant is morally correct.

I didn't claim that.

No Common Ground Here

I find that my tactic of reduction to absurdity does not work with you. I know that you are a smart guy in reality but you are just feigning extreme cultural naivety and the inability make distinctions a child would be expected to make.

Dave

collective interactions

collective interactions within the collective outside of the collective common property protect the collective right of people person’s rights end and collective rights begin.

это хорошо товарищ

That's pretty much what sets libertarians apart

I am always amazed at the way some libertarians who sanctify private property, deny that the citizenry has any valid collective interest outside the bounds of the personal physical property they own.

There are those who are highly receptive to arguments from so-called collective interest. But libertarians are among the pickiest about when, if ever, they accept such arguments.

Aside from this, as an individual I believe I benefit tremendously from immigration. I believe that the economy around me is greatly enriched by the presence of immigrants, and that this benefits me. So if you are trying to appeal to my interest as I understand it, either by itself or as part of a larger "collective interest", then I think my interest is served by throwing the border open wide.

I am always amazed at the

I am always amazed at the way some libertarians who sanctify private property, deny that the citizenry has any valid collective interest outside the bounds of the personal physical property they own.

And I am always amazed that people confuse private property and collectivism. The two could not more extreme polar opposites:

The immigration debate is implicitly – and almost never explicitly – grounded in the property principle. The rationale for the government being able to exclude foreigners from entering the country is that such persons are "trespassing" upon some presumed property interests of "America." Clever speakers will often try to analogize people coming into America without the permission of the government, to someone camping out on your front lawn without your consent. The problem with this analogy is that it assumes too much, namely, that the state enjoys the same property rights within the territorial boundaries it has established, as do individuals regarding their claims to their lands. But what is the basis for either set of claims? Can the state be an "owner" of anything in the same way that an individual can? [...]

It is within my authority, as a property owner, to prevent another from moving onto my land without my consent. If, however, I try to extend such authority to prevent others from moving into territory that is not mine, I overstep my boundaries and no longer behave as an owner. I then become a trespasser of the self-ownership claims of others. So, too, with the state, when it acts to prevent others from entering the country. Or does the state have an ownership interest in the entire country? If so, how was this interest acquired, and how far do the state’s boundary claims extend?

State not the Same as a Property Owner

“It is within my authority, as a property owner, to prevent another from moving onto my land without my consent. If, however, I try to extend such authority to prevent others from moving into territory that is not mine, I overstep my boundaries and no longer behave as an owner. I then become a trespasser of the self-ownership claims of others. So, too, with the state, when it acts to prevent others from entering the country. Or does the state have an ownership interest in the entire country? If so, how was this interest acquired, and how far do the state’s boundary claims extend?”

The fallacy here is to look at the various property owners as unlimited entities and to look at the State a qualitatively similar entity unconnected to the property owners. In fact ownership of property entails rights that accrue to the owner but denies the owner other rights.

The state, at least ideally, has rights that are obtained by the consent of the governed by way of elections. The elections are the way the State acquired its rights over the collective. The extent of the rights and their boundaries are settled by law. Law gives the property owner certain rights that the state doesn’t have. It also gives the State rights the property owner doesn’t have.

Disputes perpetually occur about the various boundaries of laws that control the rights of property owners and those that extend beyond the individual owner’s boundaries. That is why we have lawyers, judges and courts.

There could be no State. Then if I owned property I could do any thing I wanted.. Hee Hee that would be fun. But it doesn’t work that way.

Dave

The state, at least ideally,

The state, at least ideally, has rights that are obtained by the consent of the governed by way of elections. The elections are the way the State acquired its rights over the collective.

If elections for policy X or politician Y provide evidence of consent for X or Y, what about the consent of all the people who voted against X or Y? What about the consent of all the people who didn't vote at all? How exactly does might makes right (might measured by electoral power) equal consent in any meaningful way?

I have in the past, and at

I have in the past, and at several occasions, purposefully violated many U.S. immigration laws, regarding work permits. I have also encouraged and helped other people to do so. Although my identity could seem obvious, I am posting anonymously to avoid incriminating myself. My identity may or may not be obvious.

Do you think anyone has a right to deport me or put me in jail for doing so? Will you look at me with a straight face, right in the eyes and tell me I should be forced on a plane out of the U.S.? Would you be willing to participate in my arrest? How Would you do it? Would you knock me out and wait for the police to arrive?

I do not interpret your message as merely a "viewpoint". You are clearly saying you find it moral that I be kidnapped by the DHS. It doesn't get more personal.

Voting corrupts. And so does moral philosophy.

Our moral intuitions are acquired and reinforced in actual face to face encounters with other humans. Our moral intuitions become corrupt when we are given the power to make morally significant decisions while remaining shielded from the consequences of our own individual decisions - either actual decisions, as when we participate in mob violence, or imaginary decisions, as when we practice moral philosophy (or, for that matter, vote, since the impact of an individual vote is nil even if the collective impact is significant).

Arthur and "immigrant" attempt in recent comments to restore the reader's sense of right and wrong to its non-corrupt state. They do this by asking the reader to imaginatively place himself in a situation in which he is in an actual face to face encounter with another human.

Arthur:

If you have any self respect, grab a gun and shoot immigrant children crossing the border. If you wouldn't be willing to enforce a "right", how can you seriously claim it exists?

Immigrant:

Will you look at me with a straight face, right in the eyes and tell me I should be forced on a plane out of the U.S.? Would you be willing to participate in my arrest? How Would you do it? Would you knock me out and wait for the police to arrive?

This deserves its own post,

This deserves its own post, Constant.

This is, in my opinion, the

This is, in my opinion, the best argument to claim that anarcho-capitalism is libertarian. When people have to pay for the enforcement of laws, they are more likely to face a correct moral intuition.

Don't change the subject!

I couldn't read all of the NYT article, but it appeared to be about environmental matters.