I am currently in Iran due to my visa not being issued despite the 7 months I have waited for it. I was able to defer my admission to Spring 2017 semester, but then _this_ happened.
I am quite sure that I will never be able to attend this program. I had very high hopes for my future because of this admission.
I was very sad today after hearing this news. I have to come up with a new plan for my life, since it never occurred to me that I would not be able to attend.
Edit: Thanks for all the support from the HN community.
Waterloo itself isn't a particularly large city, but with two universities it has a significant student population, and it's not far from Toronto for anytime you're interested in more of a big city cultural experience.
Of course there are a number of excellent universities here in Canada; if Waterloo isn't to your liking, maybe check out UBC here on the west coast.
I really hope, as Scott suggests in the post, that a silver lining to this situation is that we have an opportunity to welcome more people like you into Canada.
Edit: I could even put you in touch with my old supervising professor (who's also from Iran) if you like; he's in the Engineering faculty as opposed to CS, but I'm sure he would know who to refer you to.
Or if you are into AI, university of Montreal is also a hot bed right now with Mr Bengio.
Canadians will gladly take you, in fact I know an Iranian who just finished his math phd...
Now I am not sure what to make of our President mentioning "citizen, good citizens" in his remarks to DHS. After all, "no one expects the spanish inquisition".
You say that, but I'm afraid the implication might be "short of doing anything that matters". Where are the protests? Why aren't people in the streets? Don't make the same mistake Germans did under Hitler. The government relies on each step affecting few enough people that nobody will be bothered enough to march, and after a thousand little steps, you have a totalitarian government.
If Trump's draft executive order had said something like "permanent ban of all Muslims" then I have no doubts people would start protesting immediately. Careful reading of the draft though shows the following:
1) It's limited to seven countries. Notably missing Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan.
2) The ban on entry from these countries is 30 days to "reduce investigative burdens".
3) After that point all countries on that list need to provide additional screening info in order for visas to be accepted.
4) If the countries do not agree to provide said info after 60 days from notification, all nationals from that country will not be allowed entry unless under certain circumstances. Compliance will reverse this.
5) More countries may be added to this list based on recommendation by SecState (Tillerson) and SecDef (Mattis).
6) On a case by case basis, visas may be granted to nationals from banned countries.
I wouldn't call any of the above great, but calling this the precursor to Kristallnacht is a reach. Instead of losing your mind over everything objectionable that Trump does, it might be best to conserve your strength. Remember that fatiguing the people you want to support you with a constant state of emergency is a real thing. Proportional responses are best.
That's why it doesn't say that. You start with seven countries, then add five more ("I didn't protest the first seven, why would I protest five?") then a few more, and pretty soon, you got all Muslim countries. It's barely been a week and it's already seven, I imagine the entire set of Muslim countries can't take more than a month or two.
> The ban on entry from these countries is 30 days to "reduce investigative burdens".
For now, yes. That gives the government a month to extend the duration, if they want to.
> After that point all countries on that list need to provide additional screening info in order for visas to be accepted.
It takes months to organize a protest, how long do you think it will take a country to institute "additional screening" for the single other special snowflake country that demands it? Meanwhile, none of those countries' residents can travel (or return) to the US.
> If the countries do not agree to provide said info after 60 days from notification, all nationals from that country will not be allowed entry unless under certain circumstances.
And that doesn't bother you?
> Instead of losing your mind over everything objectionable that Trump does, it might be best to conserve your strength
Conserve your strength for what? There won't be a single incident that's worse than this. Germany didn't go from Socialist utopia to Kristallnacht in a day.
One of the things I noticed is you passed over the people who are responsible for implementing and reporting to the President on this: Tillerson and Mattis. Neither of these men is anything remotely close to a Nazi. Mattis has far too much integrity, Tillerson as well.
Mattis is unlikely to support a full ban on all Muslims as he is on record saying that we need our Middle Eastern allies. It's one of the reasons he's against the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Tillerson strikes me as far too ethical a player to subscribe to the notion that we need such an approach. If he's that fair minded at Exxon Mobile, I doubt much will change when he's SecState. Remember he's backed by people like Condaleeza Rice, someone I hardly consider a Nazi.
If you're worried about Trump deciding to just add all the countries, I doubt he will. Trump is known for not being a deep policy wonk (unlike Obama and W) and mostly an instinctual leader. He can get away with this because he relies heavily on his subordinates for advice and gives them a large amount of leeway. This is not necessarily a bad leadership style and in this case, I think we're pretty safe considering the people who need to make these decisions.
Should Trump add every majority Muslim country in the world to the banned travel list, or it extends for a period of time that is significantly longer than he initially established, I think going nuts is probably warranted. That would be a single incident worse than this. There's four years of Trump, if you don't agree with him it might be best to not exhaust your people too early. Remember what Kasparov said:
"The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth."
Mostly that list reads as countries full of people that probably don't like us much and have reason to for better or for worse:
"What all seven countries also have in common is that the United States government has violently intervened in them. The U.S. is currently bombing — or has bombed in the recent past — six of them. The U.S. has not bombed Iran, but has a long history of intervention including a recent cyberattack."
I hope you're right.
> That would be a single incident worse than this.
You're assuming he wouldn't be adding them little by little, which would be many small incidents, each about as bad as this one.
> There's four years of Trump, if you don't agree with him it might be best to not exhaust your people too early.
Yes, but you also need to take care to not wait too long before you act. I'd err on the side of protesting on this one.
> Mostly that list reads as countries full of people that probably don't like us much
I'm not sure many countries in the world are crazy about the US right now. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we don't ban travel based on who likes whom. There haven't been any US terrorists who came from Iran, so what's Trump's intention with this move?
> What all seven countries also have in common is that the United States government has violently intervened in them. The U.S. is currently bombing — or has bombed in the recent past — six of them.
This move isn't going to mend any fences either.
Without further evidence that this is a stable pattern, you appear to be succumbing to this: https://www.xkcd.com/605/
It's useful to look at what Hannah Arendt said about the Nazis.
Trump is saying what he needs to be true for him to start building his walls; deporting people; etc.
Here's another way to look at it:
"I know you've taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall. It always gets bloody, always. It's the threat of not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it's threatening the game. But really what it's threatening is their livelihoods, it's threatening their jobs, it's threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens, whether it's the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people are holding the reins, have their hands on the switch. They go bat shit crazy."
I don't understand how people who can understand and believe in things like quantum and multiple realities think that the only outcomes our world are strictly binary: Nazism or Progressive Liberalism.
That's a bit of a strawman, I think; no-one I've heard of, who thinks Trump is a fascist, arrived at that conclusion by saying "well he's not a progressive liberal so all that's left is nazi". It's been more like (whether correct or not) "his policies and views are similar to the historical policies and views associated with fascism, so he could be a fascist."
I know a lot of people who fervently believe that Trump is the second coming of Hitler. If you dig around on Twitter it won't be long before you find this sentiment practically everywhere. It's not "could be a fascist" it is "actually is a fascist and we need to actively resist".
This is not unique to Donald Trump. W Bush is the most recent example where Bush=Hitler was practically a slogan for liberals. Again, people claimed the same thing. "Policies and views are similar therefore" and went straight for the extremes. They didn't go for the benefit of the doubt at all, despite there being a lot of evidence that Bush was in no way at all a Nazi. I think it's fair to argue that it's a tenant of faith for liberals that all conservatives hate gays, hate minorities, hate women, etc. That these people exist in the Republican party is impossible to deny. To tar and feather the entire Republican party as this way is how we get to this binary world view.
As far as Donald Trump is concerned, I think if you've really dug into Donald Trump and done your homework on him, I think that calling him a fascist is grossly unfair. Let's take this article from 2000:
"Do you think gay people should be allowed to serve in the military?"
"Yes, if a gay person can be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or take another position of responsibility, why can't they serve this country in the military? “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has clearly failed. Gay people serve effectively in the military in a number of European countries. There is no reason why they can’t serve in the United States. Frankly, the state of our military is a wreck. Military pay is a joke, military benefits are ridiculous, and we can’t attract the kind of quality people we need to have an effective fighting force. The Pentagon is wasting millions on weapons they don’t need instead of focusing on the military needs in the changing world situation. The truth is, our nation defense is in the weakest state since Pearl Harbor. I favor a total reorganization of all branches of our military, and I would address the gay question more forthrightly within that reorganization."
"Are you running just to beat Pat Buchanan?"
"I used to like Pat. I was on Crossfire with him. I thought he was a nice guy. Then I read the things he had written about Hitler, Jews, blacks, gays, and Mexicans. I mean, I think it’s disgusting. That speech he made at the ’92 Republican convention was a disaster. He wants to divide Americans. Clearly, he has a love affair with Adolf Hitler, and that’s sick. Buchanan actually said gay people had chosen “satan[ism] and suicide.” Now he says he welcomes gay people into his campaign. The guy is a hypocrite."
Note that these views are not in a vaccuum. If you go back and read his views before the 2016 election, you get the picture of a Donald Trump who reads like a liberal. Nothing like a fascist at all. And yet many people have practically jumped at characterizing Trump as the second coming of Nazi Germany. The reasons why are a much longer discussion. I'm not saying any of this disproves that he is a Nazi. I'm saying that this decreases the likelihood that it is true. This is why I say people are expressing a binary worldview. From what I can see, many are not expressing that there could be a third possibility. Or fourth. Or a myriad of options.
Well, to paraphrase your next sentence: "that these people exist in the Democratic party is impossible to deny, to tar and feather the entire Democratic party as this way is how we get to the binary world view."
In particular, I am a liberal in a rural Pennsylvania county that voted 75% for Trump, and I know that my conservative neighbors do not hate gays, minorities, and women. (Most people I've talked to were responsive to his position on coal mining; I'm not sure what will happen in four years if those jobs don't come back.)
>This is why I say people are expressing a binary worldview. From what I can see, many are not expressing that there could be a third possibility. Or fourth. Or a myriad of options.
You mentioned Twitter; if Trump being a Nazi is one bad option, and there are x-1 other good options, I think it's only natural that the kind of people who like to tweet are going to tweet about what they think is the most dangerous one.
That's fair, I should have included that point as well.
>You mentioned Twitter; if Trump being a Nazi is one bad option, and there are x-1 other good options, I think it's only natural that the kind of people who like to tweet are going to tweet about what they think is the most dangerous one.
I mentioned twitter mainly because it's what comes to mind first. Here's a tumblr example:
"I have seen a lot of people talking about the issues that were removed from the White House website. What I have seen little discussion of (or any, tbh) is what’s gone up in their place. There are exactly six issues now listed:
America First Energy Plan
America First Foreign Policy
Bringing Back Jobs And Growth
Making Our Military Strong Again
Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community
Trade Deals Working For All Americans
Just those headings should be terrifying enough: between the focus on state violence and the coded “America First” white ultranationalism, this is an unabashedly, literally fascist platform."
In the county and state where I live (Somerset County, PA) the majority of coal production is metallurgical, so we are more sensitive to the demand for steel than to the price of natural gas.
That demand is on an uptick, so there are 4 new mines planned for PA (2 in my county). But there was a similar spike in demand back in 2008, which didn't end up making much of an impact on employment. For example, PBS coals, whose headquarters I drive past every day, had ~600 employees in 2008 when they were bought by Severstal (a Russian steel company), who planned on adding ~150 more jobs. In 2014 they were acquired by Corsa Coals (from Canada), who laid off about 130 miners in 2015.
TLDR: no I don't think those jobs will return.
Be in no doubt that such missteps will form the hadokens by which conservatism's will be k.o ed by the libs.
Have you seen the 2018 Senate elections map in particular?
1. It's not a draft, it's an issued order.
2. People did start protesting immediately.
> It's limited to seven countries.
Well, the initial 90-day ban in the order is. The order itself is much broader.
> The ban on entry from these countries is 30 days
30 days is the timeline for the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to decide on information that countries (not limited to those covered by the 90-day ban) must provide in the future in order for immigration to be allowed from their country.
> 3) After that point all countries on that list need to provide additional screening info in order for visas to be accepted.
No, all countries period must provide the additional information once it is determined what that information is, within 60 days of the rules being issued. A list of countries (again, not limited to those in the 90-day ban) will be maintained, and entry from those countries will be banned; the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security are to recommend countries based on non-compliance, but the order neither indicates that non-compliance will consistently result in inclusion on the banned list, or that the list will be restricted to non-compliant countries.
Also, if this really were just to reduce investigative burden, why not halt all refugees from all countries for 30 days?
Refugees from all countries have been halted for 120 days by the order. The refugee provisions are different than the general immigration ones.
Needless to say, I'm not optimistic.
It might be the largest street protest in Philadelphia's history.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/riots-break-out-wash... http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/inauguration-2017/anti-trum... http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/08/hillary-supporters-c... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/0...
In addition to violent (and some non-violent) protests, you also have direct action targeting his supporters. People who support Trump, or are mistakenly believed to support him, or just random passerby, are being assaulted (and in some cases, kidnapped or shot).
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/politics/richard-spenc... https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/04/facebook-liv... http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/police-releas...
Do these things count as "anything that matters"?
As for the rest of it, it's a little hilarious to act like the non violent protests aren't the majority of activity. Just the Women's marches (which aren't just about Trump but are obviously responsive to his presidency) were more in number, both location wise and participation wise, than any violent actions that have happened. If you want to limit it to immigration protests, the non violent protests yesterday had higher participation than the totality of anti-Trump violence (http://dcist.com/2017/01/theres_a_rally_planned_at_white_hou... ).
Sure you can.
No. Those aren't protests, they're vigilantism.
america's loss, some other place gain (judging from OP description, he won't have big troubles getting someplace else).
to OP - don't worry, seeing where US us steadily going after 9/11, without any attempt to even slow down, there are much better places to live, if you value things like true freedom. as somebody coming from Iran, I would presume so...
You get 800€ during your master and about twice that during your PhD. The institute is really good and there are two Max Planck Institutes (Informatics and Software Systems) right on campus. The program is entirely in English.
If there are no leads on those fronts, I suppose I can just wish you good luck. Germany and Canada come to mind. There is France too if you can speak French.
Please know that the majority of people in the US do not support this policy. We want to see you reach your potential. We want to benefit from the talent you would bring.
Many of us will be working hard to fix this for the next several years.
I'm sorry I couldn't do more to prevent it from happening in the first place.
This seems to be false:
In the poll, 54 percent of Americans, including about three-quarters of Republicans, about half of independents and over a third of Democrats, said the United States takes in too many immigrants from the Middle East.
Among all voters, 46% favor a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, while 40% are opposed. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
As for why? Because this blanket ban is not useful, it violates the spirit of religious freedom, and it's going to cause a lot of real harm both to people who want to come here, and to our own country due to excluding people who will make us better.
Iranian-Americans have been making serious, world-class , contribution to American society in a variety of fields. America's loss is some other nations' gain.
Just a small sample:
Decent people in the world are simply more likely to boycott the US as a result of xenophobic "America First" actions like this. As you said, it's the USA's loss; the world is a big place.
 On top of the already established bullshit, described in threads like this:
Here are the words of one of our noted poets. He was a ("scary") Muslim, living in 13th century. This is what he had to say and this is our creed:
Adam's sons are the members of the same body
Their creation from the same clay
Should one organ be troubled by pain
Others would suffer severe strain
You who are careless of people's suffering
Deserve not the name, "human being"!
Iran executes over 1000 people every year using very barbaric methods every year: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/07/irans-stagger...
It does speak for itself that after thousands of years you ended up in one of the most backwards forms of government possible, though I'm not sure you realize the implications of what it speaks of.
You could visit the country and get a feel for the people. Or if are averse to it -- which in your valiant case can not possibly be due to a deficit of courage -- you can google for travelogues of people who have and see what they say. 
Or, you can take off your battle headdress and put on a scholarly cap, and reflect on whether cultural, intellectual, and spiritual values and artifacts passed faithfuly from one generation to another are in any way significant in determining the character of a people.
Or, you can pause a bit and wonder why the regime in Iran is called "authoritarian". If a regime reflects the true character of the governed, would it be called "authoritarian" or "representative"? As our president likes to remind the nation, "torture works". It sure does.
But I have to hand it to Iranians back in the old country, they haven't just rolled over and certainly don't need people like you to be prompted into protesting against the regime's outrages. But you know, Iran has its neanderthal subclasses just like we do here in good old USA.
(How do you like it, my little warrior, getting groped by TSA agents? You enjoy that? Do you feel filled with the spirit of "the free and the brave" when you censor yourself on social media so you won't get harrassed at the border? Yes?)
> It does speak for itself that after thousands of years you ended up in one of the most backwards forms of government possible, though I'm not sure you realize the implications of what it speaks of.
There is some truth to that! I was a kid myself then but people who should have known better made some critical and catastrophic errors in judgment back in '78. Propaganda works wonders.
But you know what my sweet little warrior, it also doesn't speak well of the nominal allies of the prior regime that worked hand-in-hand behind the scene with the elements that are now ruling over the Iranian people.
And there is this thing about civilizational ebb and flow but get back to me in a thousand years or so and we'll compare notes!
: per your profile: "As battle approaches, decorum departs."
: here, let me google it for you: https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=visit%20to%20Ira...
Sorry to disappoint, I have never been groped by the TSA agents. Probably has something to do with the fact that I'm Russian and my travels to the US were strictly business, sponsored by a respected company.
That is also why I know a thing or two about authoritarianism and people that allow it, all the while suffering it's oppression.
> And there is this thing about civilizational ebb and flow but get back to me in a thousand years or so and we'll compare notes!
I'm back to you and we can start now since my country's been around for more than a thousand years. We both mainly export oil, we both live in countries under sanctions by the United States.
Mine is an authoritarian shithole, yours is even worse, and it shows right here - you resorting to ad hominems like "little keyboard warrior".
That about sums it up.
Have you thought about coming to Germany? Not the US, but not bad either..
Canada, Australia and New Zealand are viable options for me, and I've already been invited by 2 of these countries.
Don't be disheartened. You're smart (you got a fully funded PhD), and the world is very big, with many opportunities. Good luck!
Compared to the USA, universities in Sweden, offer far more support to for patents and starting your startups. You essentially get all the support and university won't own your work.
You may think what happened to you is bad (and it is) but sometimes it turns to a new and better opportunity.
The winters sometimes suck, but I find that brings us all together because nobody likes -10C.
Remember: Donald Trump does not represent the will of the American people. He won the electoral college, but around 2.8 million more people voted for Clinton than voted for him. He does not represent our values, our morals, or our view of where the country should be going. He represents those straight white males who don't want to adapt to the future, who don't want to give up their power, and who don't recognize that America can only be successful when we help the world be successful.
I'll be honest, I think Trump is going to cost universities, labs, and businesses a lot of very smart people. I hope we'll be able to recover from the damage he's going to do, but I honestly don't know just how bad it will get.
You say Trump represents straight white males (you imply that's all he represents). Trump won the vote of 53% of white women.
Trump won the popular vote in 30 of the 50 states. The popular vote in just two states - NY & CA, neither of which Trump could have ever competed in - determined that popular vote gap.
The facts don't support your premise at all.
(Left percent is Clinton, Right percent is Trump)
White men 31% 63%
White women 43 53
White women college graduates 51 45
White women non-college graduates 34 62
White men college graduates 39 54
White men non-college graduates 23 72
Like it or not, the fact of the matter is that claiming that only white men supported Trump is incorrect. Going further and trying to dodge the point by claiming that only numbers matter is reductionist and doesn't address the kaleidoscopic issues that a diverse socio-economic-regional population has.
Glenn Reynolds and his cadre of right leaning bloggers have a decent finger on the pulse of conservatives in general.
I try to read from as many opinions as possible from different sides. You'd be surprised how different the world is from another's eyes.
If you're a college educated person and/or a tech person and you live in a big coastal city the past few decades have probably been pretty great, these cities have boomed, there are all these new industries that have sprung up, they've produced great jobs, you are smart and you work hard, same as the people around you, and everyone has gotten more conscious about big picture issues like the environment, gender equality and multiculturalism.
If you are non college educated, you don't live in one of these booming cities (or you live in a shitty part of town), and you haven't gotten involved in the new economy the picture may be very different. A lot of people in this category have witnessed the decimation of the manufacturing base and the communities around it. They've watched meth sweep over the country and ruin lives. They've dealt firsthand with the ramifications of teen pregnancies, broken homes, perpetual joblessness. All problems which affect "non college" people much more than they affect those with college degrees and stable white collar jobs.
So a lot of these people have seen the world get worse, not better. Their focus is on stability in their personal lives and it's getting harder. When you take that as a given and you start talking about issues of morality and idealism they might even get offended - what makes you so great that you spend your time worrying about this stuff instead of the practical concerns of keeping your job, covering rent and food, and staying away from shit that'll ruin your life (booze, drugs, bad people, whatever)?
They have no idea what to do other than vote for someone who at least sounds like them and sounds like he wants to help. That definitely wasn't Hillary. It wasn't Obama or McCain or Romney either but when Trump came on the scene they perked up and they went to the polls. And in fairness if he ends up doing stuff like building oil pipelines and cutting funding to the EPA, then he's creating jobs they can do and giving the finger to the comfortable asshole academics who've never had to worry about these problems.
They are not morally deaf IMO. They just have more immediate problems to worry about in their lives (or perhaps did at some point and still maintain those attitudes).
The difficult but clear solution in my eyes is to help them get what they deserve as fellow citizens, and which "college people" have, which is jobs, safe neighborhoods, and stable lives.
These people are morally deaf. They want to blame others their choice not to work, their choice to do drugs, their choice not to use a condom. Trump isn't proposing to fix the problem of people making bad choices. He's just telling these people that he's one of them and he blames others for their choices.
(Note: the same critique applies to many solid-blue subgroups, including groups who's inherent virtue is treated as a sacred cow within Blue America. I am explicitly NOT claiming Trump voters are somehow uniquely bad in this way.)
I think it's true and can explain behavior that is both self-destructive and selfish. To solve the problem you have to figure out how someone like that can get themselves out of the vicious cycle. Even if they are morally deaf I don't think much gets accomplished by focusing on that point.
Add to this the fact that certain behavioral strategies may seem self-destructive from one perspective but necessary from another. Drug use for example has nasty consequences but is frequently a mechanism for coping with some other very nasty problem. And you have... well, I don't know what, but a complicated world.
I am not saying Trump supporters are all jobless drug addicts but I absolutely think lower education, lower income demographics swung toward him because they have more direct experience with the dark side of modernization and the political establishment was tone deaf to this.
(Also, of the factors I mentioned I think the lack of college degree is the one most heavily correlated to lower income, lower employment, higher addiction, higher unintended pregnancy etc. not which city they're in.)
I think they fail to explain the majority of the behavioral differences. Specifically, they fail to explain:
1) why the children of upper class parents do not start behaving like poor people when they are broke (e.g. during college or grad school).
2) why Mexicans make good choices like sneaking into America, working hard, forming stable family units and saving money.
3) why Indians make the same good choices even when they don't have the option of sneaking into America.
4) why unskilled Chinese immigrants (or folks back home) make the same good choices.
Of course, if people internationally can be "the best", then perhaps domestically people can be "the best" (or not) as well. For example, perhaps bad inner cities and Trump-voting rust belt regions are full of people who are very much NOT the best.
I think you're agreeing with me.
Words are difficult to convey this sort of thing so I'm going to do my best:
1) The primary source of jobs in the region leaves due to macro issues that have nothing to do with the population. Since people have bought homes, their capital is fixed and they can't move. (Societal networks exacerbate this) 2) and 3) make leaving even harder.
2) Loss of jobs and no other options lead to deeply depressing situation. People turn to drugs in order to escape the crushing hopelessness. This feedbacks into 1) by making investment unattractive (which then feedbacks into 2)).
3) War on Drugs means that families get broken up as people inevitably get arrested and sent away for ages. Crime rate goes up. Feeds into 1) and 2).
Note that is vastly simplified and that the problem can begin anywhere on this three point system. As such the culture of the area transforms to reflect this new reality. When you are born into this kind of system and this is all you know, the chance of escape diminishes rapidly. I remember reading "The Corner" and how black males growing up in Baltimore had accepted that they would be dead by 20 and that having a kid was the only way that they were likely to have any kind of legacy. I don't know if it's easy to appreciate how haunting that must be.
I mean to some extent you are right. We all should be moral superpeople and be able to withstand every test of character than comes our way. Frankly though we are not all built that way and that's just reality. People are going to falter and people are going to fall into a morass and not get back up. Whipping them with their failings is not going to get results from everyone. Everyone needs different things. And some people just can't overcome their circumstances.
It kind of reminds me of the Ouroboros: where one thing ends and the other thing begins is unclear and possibly impossible to discern.
Furthermore, I claim it does not require us to be "moral superpeople" to get past this situation. There are many populations with vastly worse problems than (1) who don't turn to drugs, unplanned pregnancy, abandoning their wives and refusing to work. For example, the population of rural Mexico.
In fact, it's this tendency for rural Mexicans to be "moral superpeople" that created one of Trump's key platforms. Mexicans are willing to move, abandon their societal networks, find a job and work it. Isn't this why Trump wants to build a wall?
Of course there are people with problems who don't turn to drugs that are also poor. The point I'm trying to make is that saying the best and only solution isn't necessarily to say that people are lazy and that they need to shape up. Or build a wall for that matter.
It's also worth noting that the reasons why Mexicans can move and abandon their societal networks is because of the strength of the dollar versus the peso, the cost of living they are willing to put up with, and the work they are willing to do. Where is an American going to go that gets a similar instant upgrade in purchasing power? What about the societal reality that people in America are not willing to do backbreaking labor like picking fruit?
And who says rural Mexicans have it any better?
Yes, Mexicans are willing to do what it takes, while many Trump voters prefer to sit at home refusing to work and doing meth.
I was making the following core points: 1) the Trump voters apatters was defending suffer mainly from self-inflicted problems and b) Trump is exploiting their desire to blame others for their own bad choices in order to take power.
You haven't disagreed with me at all on this point. All you've said is that this behavior is somewhat predictable. I agree, it can be predicted. So what?
Is there a segment of the population blaming others for their problems? Yes.
Are they totally wrong? No. They're not entirely right but they aren't entirely wrong.
Is it all self inflicted problems? Hell no. There is no way I would argue that. It is simply factually incorrect. People working in the auto factories with a high school education aren't responsible when the price of steel craters. Assuming that everyone has to go college is a tenant of faith that needs to change.
Characterizing a significant portion Trump voters as lazy meth heads is an incredible generalization. From a sheer numbers perspective I don't doubt it's sizable, but that would be in the sense that 100k is a large number. I think people want to work. I don't think people know where to look or what to do.
Is Trump exploiting these people to gain power?
As far as I can tell, in the usual way that politicians do things. Whether or not Trump can solve their problems is not something I feel I can predict. That's not to say I think Trump will be some kind of economic Jesus. I mainly feel that the future is incredibly difficult to predict and usually it's the result that no one expects that ends up being true.
Fair enough. What conclusion -- be it a policy decision, social structure, general attitude toward the world or whatever else -- does this line of thinking lead you to?
Specifically, those people are morally deaf, and we should recognize that their immediate problems are their own fault. The difficult but clear solution is for them to fix their own problems, and the rest of us should feel no particular obligation to take any action to help them (particularly if they are unwilling to help themselves).
Textbook case of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias
I also think you are speaking for other people with whom you seem to have no connection too. Maybe you think they're just voting for Trump, because they like his promess of bringing jobs back, or maybe, they're voting for him cause they want Iranians out of their country based on pure racism.
And a lot of them voted for Obama twice and then trump.
For approval ratings, the same goes. Both candidates had the worst approval rating of any candidate in US history. A rather clear message that neither of the two dominating political parties in the US represent the people.
No. We did not have a popular vote.
Trump's approval is 57%
The notion that it's useful to pretend Trump represents a tiny group of supporters, for personal emotional comfort over facts, isn't going to be useful in actually trying to counter bad policy. Step one is recognizing that Trump has a very large base that put him into the White House. That he only lost the popular vote by 2.8 million (2.x% of all votes) with California and New York included, is astounding and points to just how large his actual base is. Not to mention the fact that Hillary didn't manage to pull a majority of votes, versus eg Obama's 51.1% in 2012, Obama's 53% in 2008, and Bush's 50.7% in 2004.
Interestingly, Fox gives him the second worst result (only ABC/WashPost gives him worse)
We can, of course, argue with who Trump represents, because depending on who we are, his words and his actions are going to be interpreted differently. My interpretation is that he represents straight white men. More specifically, wealthy straight, white, men.
New York and California make up over 18% of the population. Those citizens are absolutely just as important as citizens of any other state when it comes to discussing the popular vote. While Trump might have won the popular vote in 30 states, that does nothing to diminish the fact that Clinton won the popular vote by close to 2.8 million votes.
While I'll admit that some of what I said can be considered opinion, the other parts of what I said are VERY clearly supported by fact.
It's not only ridiculous, it's rather offensive. It pretty directly implies that Californians and New Yorkers should somehow count less, and more indirectly implies that Democrats aren't worthy Americans the way that people in flyover country are.
This counts for everybody by the way, I lean left but am not particularly enamored with the approach the Democratic Party takes to governance.
Edit: I'm not a trump supporter.
In short, read the entire statement, not just three words.
I too think this language is a little divisive, even if it's mostly accurate. Plenty of straight white women voted for Trump too, and more than enough non-whites, sadly. Maybe a better way to phrase it would be:
"He represents those people who don't want straight white males to give up their power"
This is absolutely terrible for the OP, but is there really a shortage of smart and skilled people? Given the low pay for many scientific positions and notoriously awful conditions for postgrads and the like working in labs, I have my doubts. Maybe the upside is that with the tap of smart people turned down a little, conditions will improve for the people who are left.
Hell yes, and there always will be, for the right values of "smart" and "skilled".
>Given the low pay for many scientific positions... etc
The sad fact is that the low pay you mention causes so many really smart people to turn away from science as a career.
>Maybe the upside is that with the tap of smart people turned down a little, conditions will improve for the people who are left.
If you turn down the tap for the smart people going into science and non-zero-sum businesses (like stock trading etc), I am certain the conditions "for people who are left" will become worse than they would have been. Absolutely certain.
There's high pay for brilliant scientists who want to work on weapons manufacturing or oil drilling or high frequency trading or building scalable advertising platforms but not for doing actual science.
Nevertheless, BLS statistics tell a different story.
For most Ph.D.’s, the United States has a surplus of workers, especially in tenure-track positions in academia. The exceptions are certain fields within industry, such as petroleum engineering, process engineering, and computer engineering, and other fields in the government sector, such as nuclear engineering, materials science, and thermohydraulic engineering. Academia tends to absorb the Ph.D.’s who are unable to find positions in industry into postdoc positions. At the bachelor’s and master’s levels, there is consistent demand for employees in software development, as well as in high-growth areas such as mobile application development, data science, and petroleum engineering.
Generally speaking, there is a large surplus of science graduates, and many cannot find a job in their field and are looking to transition into other fields like software development.
How hard is that to understand?
The left-wing in the US is going to continue to lose elections as long as they prefer slander to understanding why people disagree with them and why their racist and sexist platform is falling out of favor.
I am for a lot of progressive policies, but the Democrats jumped the shark in to advocating bigotry, slander, and nonsense.
Recent example: 1 in 10 posters I saw at the women's march was outright sexist, yet 3 in 10 posters were bemoaning the "sexism" of other people for having similar numbers at their marches. Remove the plank from your own eye, etc etc.
Ed: I would genuinely enjoy someone explaining how dismissing the right-wing as sexist is any different than dismissing all of feminism as sexist because there exist sexist feminists.
You just said OP is demonstrating othering and slander and then you expect intellectual honesty? And then you get ferociously downvoted? I think you're better off spending time with the following writer than expecting a serious response to your question.
"Conservatives have made incredible hay out of the perception that liberals sneer at people who don’t live in coastal enclaves. These arguments accept that frame even as they dispute its conclusions, which is not a good argumentative strategy. Additionally, many of these tweets have replies sneering at “rednecks.” Why are you doing that? What is the political value? Aren’t you trying to win elections precisely in the places where these statements would appear most insulting? This is the unfortunate reality: neither the Electoral College nor the Senate are going anywhere anytime soon. They are facts of life. You can refuse to do what’s necessary to win back power in a country structurally designed to make red states disproportionately powerful while Republicans set about implementing an agenda. Or you can develop a strategic political discourse that demonstrates a sensible attitude towards how you frame your appeals. I get it: these aren’t campaign slogans or TV ads for Democrats. But the communal rhetoric of an ideology matters. The day-to-day messaging of the members of a political party matters. What exactly is the political advantage that you think you’re getting from talking like this?"
"His point is pretty simple: as political segregation increases, with people from dramatically different political camps less and less likely to interact, the really bitter political arguments are intra-group, not inter-group. That is, the battles that are most personal and toxic stop being Democrat-Republican but left-liberal, alt-trad, insurgents-establishment.
Alexander names a few indicative examples. Online atheism is a really good one, with battles within atheists of different dispositions being far more frequent and ugly than those between atheists and believers, precisely because the latter groups interact so rarely. Primary season 2016 was the ur-example. The actual presidential campaign was ugly in many ways. But the Sanders vs. Clinton and alt-right vs. establishment GOP fights were more personal, more tiring, more toxic. The perpetual tendency of Clinton partisans to say that Sanders supporters are “just as bad” as the alt-right – a Nazi-influenced far right extremist group, mind you – exemplifies this tendency. Fargroups are further away politically than neargroups, but they don’t live in our shared social and professional spaces while neargroups do, and so they don’t inspire quite the same kind of personal animus."
Fredrik deBoer is a liberal writer who is also deeply dissatisfied with the current status of liberal thought. I thought that the person above me would enjoy someone who holds similar beliefs but is unhappy with how those beliefs are being communicated with people in general.
That said, I appreciate the referral. I'm going to give some of his stuff a read.
But an even bigger problem is going to be the Iranian government, which is really not keen on Iranians consorting with the Zionist entity. Even if the OP by some miracle managed to pull this off, they would run a very real risk of ending up in prison as a suspected Israeli spy.
I don't think the point is about the citizens themselves, it's about how they normalize this kind of behavior by their police / government.
I don't agree with that kind of behavior either frankly, but it's a wonder the country is as safe as it is under constant threat. It's kind of a no-win situation for them. If they don't do that and are overcautious, they get attacked more. If they do, they get attacked for doing it.
I'm sorry for what happened to your Mexican friend and I hope he receives better treatment in the future.
That's a very nasty way of trivializing the use torture.
Methods like that do in no way help with any of the two sides getting closer to each other, they only serve to radicalize both sides even more.
I'm Iranian, but born in the US, work in immigration and can connect you with excellent people (Iranian too) in Australia who can help you walk through all of this.
Even if you get into the US for your PhD program, you face a tangled web to actually achieve a green card, and that was before Trump.
Don't let this hold you back or defer your plans. As a former PhD student in the U.S, I can tell you that you have plenty of options in Canada and Europe. Some of my best professors studied in these areas.
We ought to demand it.
It is unfair to expect the students to put their lives on hold indefinitely. I say they should pursue their education in places that welcome them like Canada or Germany.
Overall, I'd say the model makes it harder for something like Google to be created in Europe, but it makes it easier to get an education that will get you a job at Google.
As another commenter noted, mainland Europe tends to spread their academic resources rather than focusing on a few prestige sites like Oxford and Cambridge, but there are many fantastic CS departments. I don't know the current hot areas, but when I was a researcher in the early 2000s, there was lots of Haskell activity in Chalmers and TU Berlin.
Also even if you got here, depending on where that uni is located, your problems would either be over or just getting worse. E.g. there are periodic waves of violence against foreign students (Japanese in the 80s/90s; Middle East and Sikhs (??) in 00s and 10s) in certain states.
Things do change. When we first came to the US we landed in D.C. and drove north to find a hotel. My parents would not have been allowed to stay in the same hotel in Virgina. But now I live in the States and don't worry about that. I worry about other things but do believe that things will change for the better. This reaction is the last gasp of the old people.
And my field was System Software (I am particularly in love with Operating System Security).
But as long as Saudis are omitted from this regulation, it's pretty ineffective. Then again, how much of "terrorism legislation" is actually preventing terrorism, as opposed to extending the powers of police and prosecution, or just being populist "I'm doing something"?
Saudis have a looooong history of funding all kinds of terrorist groups across the whole muslim world.
I personally know a man who lost his wife (mother of their 3 kids) when Hezbollah bombed the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires. 85 civilians were killed, but then again mostly Jewish so not exactly "random" either.
It always amazes me how many Western activists approach the world like a Hollywood movie. If Saudis are bad, and Trump is bad, then obviously their Shia rivals must be good!
Although I think if only west could stop buying their oils then they both will suffocate. There is not a single country with rich oil in the Middle-east that uses the money from oil for their people. They all have first and second class citizens.
What you hear in the news about Iran is not its everyday life. Imagine if you lived in a country where the only news you saw in the media about the US was violence and police brutality and just all the bad stuff. How would you have imagined it would be like to do something mundane, for example go down the street to buy some milk? You would have imagined that you would get mugged for sure, maybe shot during mugging, then tased by the police that decided to arrest you when you called 911 for an ambulance, and handed a million dollar bill for the hospital stay, and then you have to spend the next 30 years in a for-profit prison as a slave getting constantly sexually assaulted.
The interesting thing is Iranian media portrays the US in the same caricaturistic manner that the US media portrays Iran. My family were legitimately concerned about my safety when I announced my intention to go to Texas for a PhD. Probably as worried as you would be if you had to move to Iran.
(I ended up going to Canada instead, so it's all good.)
by no means are they some altruistic peace lovers, but considering other countries in the region, US could get much more if they would be allies since technically there are no obstacles (apart from 1979 US embassy issue, but nobody got killed, all released eventually... worse things happen, ie Behgazi and nobody cares if it serves some agenda).
If you go there nowadays, all the signs are in 2 languages - Farsi and English. Everybody speaks at least a bit English. Compared to say France :)
It's weird, it's almost like pioneering and supplying technology (VBIED's) to kill American troops, and founding terrorist organizations to kill American allies somehow sours the relationships between the two countries.
If blowing up random civilians is the definition of terror then I'm sure the Syrian government would qualify.
I think that Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest problem in the world. In fact, I wish Trump would have banned them too or even suggested a regime change:
For Iran I have high hopes. They started the fundamentalist bullshit and I have the impression they may be the first to get rid of it. In fact, there are first signs (German link, try google translate):
Please try to learn even the slightest thing about this subject before you make statements so confidently. Wahhabism started in Saudi Arabia in the early 20th century and spread due to Saudi oil money in the 30's and 40's. Meanwhile Iran was a pluralistic society right up until 1979.
While there is a tiny bit of truth in your statement, Saudi Arabia changed a lot in 1979
Saudi King Khaled however, did not react to the upheaval by cracking down on religious puritans in general, but by giving the ulama and religious conservatives more power over the next decade. He is thought to have believed that "the solution to the religious upheaval was simple -- more religion." First, photographs of women in newspapers were banned, then women on television. Cinemas and music shops were shut down. School curriculum was changed to provide many more hours of religious studies, eliminating classes on subjects like non-Islamic history. Gender segregation was extended "to the humblest coffee shop". The religious police became more assertive.[
So it is up to debate, if Wahhabism really predates Islam extremism so far or at all. But regarding for Saudi Arabia I have little to no hope at all.
Again, to use your wording, Please try to learn even the slightest thing about this subject before you make statements so confidently.
Need a passport? Just pick up a Somali passport on the street for a few bucks. They are not biometric:
Syrian passports, real and fake, are for Sale in Syria. The ISIS has its hands on real documents in occupied countries.
Sounds like a very reasonable decision for me. Should have banned Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Wahabist terrorism. too.
Not everybody has to go nuts like Merkel and open the borders for millions of illegal (by law!) immigrants.
In the specific moment you're alluding to she made the decision to suspend the Dublin rules because they were clearly failing (i. e. refugees were clearly being mistreated by the Hungary regime, and the situation in Greece was deteriorating to the point where both the country and the refugees urgently needed relief). At that point, the basic right outlined above and the Dublin rules were in conflict, and human rights generally trump implementation specifics such as Dublin in these circumstances.
In any case, the Dublin convention governs the burden-sharing between nations and does not impact an individual's relation with these states, or their basic rights. That's comparable to, for example, medical care in an emergency: your insurance company may have all sorts of debt with the hospital, but the doctors are still required to treat your compound fracture.
The problem with "making the decision" is that there is no executive order for the German chancellor, as apposed to the US president in the German constitution. Ruling by chancellor decree had fallen out of favor in Germany in the last 70 years. Ms. Merkel with her dubious past with East German state security ("IM Erika") does not need to be re-elected. She needs to stand in front of a judge!
And before you accuse the system of justice of just being part of some sort of conspiracy, I'll add that there are plenty of examples of courts disagreeing with the administrations. Most recent examples I can think of is the failed bid to ban the right-wing NPD, and their verdict regarding the ban of muslim headdresses.
He sort of, fairly timidly, questions it, with the flimsiest of legal analogies: the legislature has to agree to military missions, e.g. participation in UN missions, and thus (?!) something something Merkel. It's a complete non-sequitur.
Now if you look into this Kopp Verlag, you will find that the Verfassungsschutz is keeping an eye on them because they might be spreading right-wing ideology which seeks to overthrow the constitutional structure of Germany.
Interesting source for claims of unconstitutional behavior by Merkel ^^.
Now I'm not saying that any of this necessarily makes what they say untrue, but I guess your choice of sources makes one thing clear: Nobody here will be able to convince you.
Here's the paper: http://bayern.de/Gutachten_Prof_Di_Fabio
Here's a rebuttal: http://verfassungsblog.de/dem-freistaat-zum-gefallen-ueber-u...
My guess though was the omission has more to do with energy price stability and/or arms exports.
Dubai is a city in a different country. Same peninsula, but there's like seven countries dividing up that chunk of land.
Race and religion matters, if you are not in the league, you better make sure you have power or money, or something to offer. At least to me, that is what Trump believes.
If Lockheed is successful and able to fund itself well, fund new weapons programs, the military is happier for obvious reasons. Not to mention the crossover between the public and private spheres when it comes to careers.
I suspect this sort of generalization is what caused the student visa problem in the first place.
As oil goes, so goes the world.
> U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) who are outside of the United States may be barred from reentry.
That's huge. I don't mean to diminish the importance of banning new immigrants and visitors on a religious basis, that's bad too. But banning people who have already legally immigrated from re-entering the country is completely nuts. There are no doubt people who have lived in this country for decades who happen to be abroad at the moment and are now stuck away from their homes for an unknown period. There will be people who have lived in this country for decades who will be faced with an illness or death in the family and will have to make a choice between going to visit or retaining their ability to stay where they live.
I would also question if the President can ban legal permanent residences of the country from re-entering simply based on where they were borned.
"I hereby find that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries designated pursuant to [law], would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 30 days from the date of this order."
I don't know just how entering with a green card qualifies, but "immigrant and nonimmigrant" would seem to cover everything.
As far as actually having the power to do so, everything I've read indicates that the President has extremely broad powers to determine which noncitizens are allowed enter the country.
You're right that CBP can fuck you over at their discretion. But as long as you keep your nose clean, they don't. Having green card holders get suddenly screwed over like this just because of where they're from is new.
In addition, due to the suspension of Visa Waiver Program to nationals of these countries last year, an Iranian-Australian, (or Iranian-German, etc.), living in and a citizen of Australia for 30+ years and hasn't even visited Iran in that period, cannot visit the US visa-free any longer. So that means they need a B-2 tourist visa. Problem is, this E.O. suspends issuance of nonimmigrant visas to these people, so they now no longer have a way to enter the US.
Will he actually sign this E.O.? Apparently it was supposed to be signed yesterday, but didn't happen. He is in Philly right now so I'm not sure if this one's going to happen or not.
> To the Trump regime, I make one request: if you ever decide that it’s the policy of the US government to deport my PhD students, then deport me first. I’m practically begging you: come to my house, arrest me, revoke my citizenship, and tear up the awards I’ve accepted at the White House and the State Department. I’d consider that to be the greatest honor of my career.
Given the pedestal that you (presumably, by the amount of points this has gotten) are on, there are more actionable ways to be useful, rather than be a martyr. No mention in the post on how to stop Trump. For example, telling your readers how they can take action to stop Trump. I'll share some of my own thoughts on how to do this. Feel free to respond to this if it's not exhaustive enough.
To follow my own advice, if anyone sees this:
- Local congresspeople (http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/)
- Senators (https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/)
- Local officials (https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials)
- Get involved in local elections (this is a decent start - to become informed locally http://www.npr.org/stations/)
- Attend town hall and city council meetings (see npr)
- Tell your friends
6. Stop reading and start doing one of the other things.
And in this current world awash in pithy slogans, short attention spans and social media generated activism, it may actually be more effective.
Actually mass protests to the level of e.g. the French May of 68 might very well bring down a government.
But that is for a determined population.
But then there are frequent examples of protests accomplishing everything from regime change (arab spring) to less-obvious but still substantial changes (see for example the G7/G8 agendas from before and after the meetings started to be a focus for mass demonstrations). Even Occupy, which has probably been the subject of more derision than any other movement, has actually had a major impact: The 99%/1% has become one of the leading narratives of politics in the US and Europe.
That's probably why the protests didn't work. People in power are incredibly well informed and can predict those things reasonably well.
> if Mr. Trump enters office in what would obviously constitute a knowing and indeed intentional violation of the Emoluments Clause and then declines to cure that violation during his tenure, Congress would be well within its rights to impeach him for engaging in “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
So, it is conceivable that he could be removed within the next four years if he loses the support of Congress.
Ultimately, all that matters is whether Congress decides to do it. If they do, then it happens. If they don't, it doesn't. The specific offenses and wording of the Constitution will no doubt matter when it comes to how the individual members of Congress think about the issue, but no more than that. In particular, it doesn't really matter what the Constitution says or how a judge would interpret it, only how the various members of Congress understand it, or choose to interpret it.
I think it's fairly likely to happen, in any case. He and Congress don't see eye to eye on many things, and it may not take too long at all before he pisses them off sufficiently to have them get fed up with it. I imagine they'd rather be dealing with Pence anyway.
They dismantled checks and balances for temporary tactical advantage because they thought their opponents were a "rump party, mainly confined to the South".
I think it's more than that, it has to be impeachable AND Senate Republicans have to dislike it enough to upset their boss, right? Without Senate Republicans' support there can be no impeachment hearing can there?
Citizens could file civil lawsuits against the federal government to get injunctions against him. But even then I believe the only repercussion for him not following those injunctions would be Congress impeaching him.
Basically, in order to get charged with a crime the executive branch has to do it. Since the president is the head executive, there has to be a special case for him/her: Congress can bring charges I.e. impeachment proceedings.
More broadly, I talked to one person at the office of one my state's reps. I complained about this order and said I hoped the rep would voice his opposition, and the person said the rep would. But how much does that matter, especially since the rep is in a heavily Democrat district already? Is targeting swing Republicans a better idea?
It does neither. Warning that "that's how Germany started" doesn't mean that banning visas is as severe as burning people, or saying that trump will burn people. It means that one should be careful because these are warning signs, and one should act cautiously and nip them in the bud.
You don't see doctors saying "you probably have a cold, but it might be pneumonia, but I won't prescribe strong medication because that will trivialize pneumonia or unfairly characterize your cold". Just be careful with what's going on, and protest all these changes that bode ill in addition to writing blog posts.
I feel that people shouldn't be extending an analogy without being clear on how it relates to the original point.
I think of Mr. Rogers a lot these days and how he called everyone his neighbor. In a sense, we live in a world now where we actually all can be neighbors. And good neighbors don't treat each other like enemies.
If people truly believe that "Love Trumps Hate" and that's not just a slogan, people need to start acting that way.
There have been many populist governments around the world over time. Hitler wasn't the first to do that sort of thing. Unfortunately, not everyone remembers all the names or knows the history - so comparing him to a lesser-known leader (which he might be more comparable too) just doesn't work. It is like reading a literary reference to a book you've never read - it is easy to miss the context, even after the reference is explained.
So we use Hitler because we understand the Holocaust (and the like) was far too horrible for words to describe and we'd like to avoid going near anything of that manner. We draw comparisons between the early Hitler days and now because we notice them. Coincidentally, it follows a general pattern of authoritarian and fascist leaders and it scares the heck out of us.
And you think, surely, that can't happen here. This is the United States, after all. And at the same time, Trump is up there talking about how we should be using torture and waterboarding more because he's convinced it works. And we aren't sitting here appalled because we've started to become immune to his rhetoric. He's been saying this sort of thing for months. What else are we going to be sensitized to?
Furthermore, what does it mean for me when I go to visit family back in the states? If I get a tan and look "middle eastern", will I get harassed? Are they going to bring up that a portion of my family is Syrian, even though my grandmother was born in the US to immigrant parents? What of my family that still lives there? I know this stuff isn't an issue right now, but I'm afraid of what happens if it escalates. It isn't like we can trust the things that is being said from the top at this point.
This "unhelpful" hyperbole is the only thing we really have to be able to express this stuff to others.
I'm also reminded of Hannah Arendt's theory of the "banality of evil". She basically warned against considering the Holocaust as the result of a singular set of circumstances, describing it instead as a process of many steps, by many (often unremarkable) people, with each step small enough not to trigger significant reactions.
The US is obviously still far, far away from death camps. But the changes in what is politically accepted are already gigantic if you step back. That's a process that has been going on since long before Trump, maybe since Nixon or at the very least GWB. And it includes not just the federal government but also, for example, recent developments in North Carolina.
As a somewhat tangential factoid, that may help to break the shell of the Nazi-cliche and give it back some meaning: I was recently at a festival in Poland and, in the midst of the usual atmosphere created by the beats of electronic music and the somewhat unusual diet that goes with it, I stumbled upon a plaque commemorating the place as the site of "a concentration camp for children aged 6 to 12". You really start to wonder: how much has to happen to a person until they get to the thought, "yeah, those 6 to 12 year olds, we really need to do something about them"?
And yet, from the very source linked in the article--
"Details about the forthcoming executive orders are still unconfirmed. But here’s what we can say with high confidence."
If you trust AP, then sure, it's likely that it will happen. But it's still important to draw a distinction between "has done" or "is doing" and "is expected to do". Articles like this, posted before any official announcement, are merely adding to the Trump hysteria.
The uncertainty expressed in the piece does not mean that the AP is unsure if the document is real. They usually get such material from sources they know, and have experience with. They are firstly hedging against the possibility of the administration changing its mind, and – specifically for the current flurry of executive actions – there is a lot of legal uncertainty because it isn't always clear how they are to be interpreted, if they fall within the executive branches' authority, and how they fit into existing laws.
I firmly believe anyone with a brain should begin making contingency plans to regroup somewhere like Australia or Japan, outside of the reaches of far-right populism. An Erdogan-style academic purge may be on the agenda and sooner than we think