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I'm Loyal to Nothing Except the Dream (codinghorror.com)
411 points by hkailahi on Jan 30, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 262 comments



Wonderfully written, giving my thoughts a word. For me and my wife, the USA, despite all their shortcomings, are a country we really want to live in. It stands for many good things. It is not a country you want to mess with, and we are fine with that. We embrace American culture, we love American companies, we so far respected American politicians. For stuff we as individuals are interested in (which might not be what everyone is interested in), the USA is perfect. So far, we live in Germany, but to prove our love, we tried to find ways to at least spend some years in the country we like to visit so much. Until Friday. Now we are banned. My wife is Iranian. This is always a burden because of some extensive visa requirements, but we accepted the fact. With a bit of planning, we could go anywhere we wanted, go visit NYC, enjoy the plains of Texas, visit houses to buy in Dallas. All gone. We already are "extreme vetted". But now, our trust is broken. We wanted to tour Miami and Washington with our little daughter in April. Thank god we had not yet booked. This situation feels very strange. Empty.


As an American (and German as a second language speaker) I'm very sorry. I hope you will consider coming back to visit when this nonsense ends. I've lived here my whole life and have hardly had a chance to explore 10% of the land. We need good people. We need smart people. We (most of us) want you.


Honestly, as soon as it is safely possible for my wife to travel again, we'll come to visit the USA again. Even Trump probably can't kill the spirit we feel in so many places. For me, the USA is a brother country (not only because there are military bases all over in Germany). I'll do my American Amateur Radio License in March (you can do this here in Germany) and I would have even done my American Private Pilots License in the USA in summer (the USA are a great place for flying and the American License can be easily converted into a European one at a lower total cost). So I will not close my relationship anytime soon. But... I am disturbed anyway.


Damn I'm sorry. This is truly the opposite of making America great.


"Make America great again" never stood for making America actually great, it was all along an euphemism for "Make America go back in time 50 years again", and sadly a lot of people wanted just that.


> for "Make America go back in time 50 years again"

Or 100 years. There were culture wars in the 1910s that were as fierce as those today. That's how we got the Harrison Narcotics Act for one example. I certainly don't mean to belittle the present crisis, but we should realize that these battles have been going on for a long time. As long as people like Mr. Atwood continue to speak up, we will weather this one as we have since this great nation was founded.

For evil to win it is sufficient for good to remain silent. Let's not be silent.


As an American, I have a lot of respect for Iran. It's a beautiful country with great people. But when I turn on the news and I see "Death to America" being chanted or Iranians trample or burn the American flag the rust is broken. Not to mention the 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing which killed hundreds of Americans and was committed by a group directly funded by the Iranian gov't. The situation feels very strange. Empty.


That is why it is ok to check Iranians more closely. Which is what all but a few states do with Iranians. We accept that (and even me as a "pure" German have to go through those checks because I travel to Iran from time to time). And while the TV cameras capture some fools on Iranian streets, I have never heard someone telling me "Death to America" when I was there or similar stuff. In contrary: all were only talking about the great "Azadi" in the US (Azadi: Freedom) they all long for. They like Germany, but they love the US. I also remember you of the 50 Million deaths Germans caused in the world last century, yet we are allowed to the USA without visa at all.


Think of the most idiotic people you've seen in America. Maybe it's the "God hates fags" protestors. Maybe it's the 9/11 truthers. Whatever. Now think how you would feel if people halfway around the world judged you and affiliated you with those people, just because you're from the same country.


Funnily enough, that's a little bit what's happening with America now. A lot of Europeans can't help but think that the entirety of the US have lost their senses electing Trump, when in reality the country could not be more divided.


Many of the Iranians who are living in the US and trying to live here are those who most hate that rhetoric and the theocratic regime now in power.

We're deporting people back to the autocratic regime they've opposed.


Holding individuals accountable for for what the government of their country did three decades ago is a slippery slope.


That cuts both ways.


> As of 2017, the United States, through a sequence of highly improbable events, managed to elect an extremely controversial president.

I think it a mistake to see this as a random fluke and chuck it up to chance. It seems like chance to those who were asleep or were watching news from their own bubble.

Trump is a symptom of something that was already there probably decades in the making. If we ignore the conditions which created Trump, if we only pay attention to what is in our own Facebook feed we'll end up with another Trump, and another. Every time assuming it was random or an act of God or Russians or whatever.

Also where were all these prominent tech people and CEOs when Obama was Hillary were busy destabilizing the region, bombing civilians and arming rebels in that part of the world. I find a bit hypocritical everyone being upset about a travel ban and not upset about much worse stuff. But this is about waking up so it is a good first step.

> And he signed an executive order that literally, not figuratively, banned Muslims from entering the US

It was a list created by the Obama administration for largely the same purpose. And was even used for a while to actually ban people from a Muslim country. Was there any outrage, how many tech leaders pledged to oppose the unfair blocking of refugees then? Also why didn't Trump block Indonesia instead if this this infamous Muslim ban. If this was a general Muslim ban it doesn't seem very effective just based on the countries it covers.

Let's criticize Trump and his politcies but is this the main and most serious thing to expend all the effort on? We should be paying attention to his cabinet picks, trade deals, economic and military policies.

And also, to be effective it is important to have well defined and realistic goal. Goals such as "removing Trump" are probably not realistic for the next 4 years. But in this case maybe trying to remove some countries from the ban like Iran for ex., or lobbying and campaigning to allow green card holders to be unaffected by it is better.


I think I'm taking crazy pills but...I distinctly remember watching TV back home in India in 2003 and seeing how everyone was cheering when American troops invaded Baghdad.

I don't know what's the right thing to do here honestly. You can spend 10 more years trying to "fix" Iraq, or you can just pull out, say "go to hell" and try to fix your home.

This situation should have never happened in the first place


Best post by a mile. Not only did America elect Trump, Sanders also did mighty fine for someone who in years past would be considered unelectable.

People pass around figures about GDP and low unemployment to prove to themselves things are absolutely fine, but then you dig further and you find that many feel lost and desperate.

Obama said "America is already great", and many people found it a vomit-inducing quip. In many ways liberals brought this upon themselves.

I find similarities in how liberals deal with Trump and how americans in general dealt with 9/11. "They hate us for our freedoms" is a much more palatable idea than thinking about systemic dynamics.


I think both trump and sanders were symptoms. The people wanted change (which is why Obama did so well). What they got was very moderate change. Government doesn't change as fast as people want, so they continue to vote more extreme for change. As others said, just about every other candidate in the running, aside from those two, were about the status quo.

So I agree: the last decade was about change. The downside I think is, we spend waaaay too much time working about the executive, when it's the local/state folks which can really drive the narrative. We need more principled folks running there, and leading from those levels.


> Not only did America elect Trump, Sanders also did mighty fine for someone who in years past would be considered unelectable.

Oh yes. Here was someone very leftist (by American standards), almost unknown, old white male who almost won over Hillary in the primaries. Even with all the mass media ignoring him. Have you seen his followers and his rallies... It was breathtaking. So much consistent enthusiasm wasn't a fluke. People have been saying stop talking about Sanders he lost fair and square... Sure, but I an still stunned how many votes he got, not how few (a bit of both in a way).

DNC should have stopped everything and reevaluated their strategy right there and then. Oh well


> Trump is a symptom of something that was already there probably decades in the making. If we ignore the conditions which created Trump, if we only pay attention to what is in our own Facebook feed we'll end up with another Trump, and another. Every time assuming it was random or an act of God or Russians or whatever.

Yes, Jeff's post is notes from the filter bubble. Someone I know on Facebook was posting proudly after the election about how his son was spending the weekend reading The Atlantic and other mags to understand the Trump voter.

I said no, you get in a car and drive to a red state and talk to people. Mediated communication is not serving us.


Exactly a short time with people from the Rust Belt would be very informative. Stuff I get from my friends and family on the coasts makes it sound like all those other who voted for Trump do is wake up and first thing start thinking how they can hurt minorities that day better. That points to a lack of analysis and understanding of what happened and it will just result in Trump being re-ellected.


> Trump is a symptom of something that was already there probably decades in the making

And the something is: Democratic entitlement. Larger population is feeling the world owe them happy life, free healthcare and the all the things that successful have "took" from them.

And ofcourse its not sustainable. Democracy is done. I give it at most two more Trumps.

PS: I preassume its ok to talk politics in political threads.


Nice post, though there are some caveats. As a Pole (as some of you know, we do have some issues here too, though many would disagree) I feel at least a bit competent to give you a bit of advice, so you can get out of it better than we did.

1. Donald Trump is not your enemy, nor a problem. He is a manifestation of the problem, which is current state of your society and problems you have. Do not believe that you can just impeach a guy and call it a day.

2. Don't even try to just get back to status quo. That's basically what happened in Poland in 2007 and problems came back after 8 years, worse than ever. The status quo you had created the Donald Trump and would continue to promote similar politicians.

3. Do not hate Trump supporters, do not be mean to them, do not laugh them off. They are people who live in different US than you do. As far as I can tell, most people on HN could retire in their 40s if they wanted to. This is not the reality of average American, as are your salaries and life opportunities. You live in a bubble and you need to accept it and reach out to learn what the world looks like for an average Joe.

4. You have a lot of power now, do not lend it to random politicians, as they will try to capitalize on your emotions. Hillary Clinton was not some heavenly figure, she had her bunch of issues too. Those issues were just of lesser importance to you. It is quite likely, that if Democrats nominated Sanders, he would win with Trump. They did not nominate him for the reason - he also wanted to change quite a lot, just in different direction than Trump. No matter what your political views are, his popularity showed that what your people expect is change and they will fight for it, because they have much less to loose than you. Acknowledge that and find a way to deal with it.

5. Do not expect the situation to just calm down. It won't. It is not some kind of mistake that can be solved by moving to popular vote. Life ain't that simple. You have people working full-time who cannot afford the living. You have one of the most expensive and unreachable for many healthcare systems. You do have degressive taxing systems. You have much smaller middle class that you are used too. Those problems need attention, you cannot just swipe it under the rag and pretend it's just some kind of national outrage. It isn't.

What you're seeing is your society stopping to work as it used too. It won't bounce back until you decide to do something with it and it might not be pleasant to you. It may mean higher taxes for example. Or some other change you will not be happy about. Trust me, the alternative is much worse.

Good luck!


> It is quite likely, that if Democrats nominated Sanders, he would win with Trump.

I haven't seen a single political analysis which shows a path for him to do that. Do you have any examples?


Massive Clintonite, but here's the way I see it:

Would Sanders have lost any state that Clinton won? Probably not.

Would Sanders have worked better in WI, Pennsylvania, Virginia? Probably.

Clinton was 77k votes from being President. Sanders might not have had as much institutional backing in the primaries, but considering that this seemed to have been decided on turnout, and Sanders had a strong grassroots following...

Basically no Clinton voter would not have voted Sanders in Sanders v Trump.


Agreed. And Clinton was so unpopular on the right you would have had some Trump voters going for Sanders. I've said before that Clinton was the only politician unpopular enough to lose to Trump.


During his campaign he has paid for numerous polls to check the scenario. As far as I know, he won every one of those, which was not the case for Clinton.

I believe that it is actually highly plausible, as in my opinion the whole election was spinned to one question - "change or no change". It was damn hard for Clinton to prove she's for change, which would not be the case with Sanders.


Given that (I think) every poll up to November had Clinton handily winning the presidency, I think we can probably take those polls with a grain of salt when it comes to "proof".


Bernie did use those polls throughout his campaign to paint himself as better oponent to Trump, so I do not believe those were without merit. His main argument then was that he wins with Trump every time while Clinton does not. We can of course discuss merit of those polls, but as I have written earlier, it fits with my view of that election and the reasons Donald Trump became POTUS. You are free to disagree of course, this is my opinion, not a fact.


The GOP had a ton of dirt on Sanders that they never used. If they had, he likely would have done much worse than Clinton. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/12/the-2016-electi...


That was a very informative article. Thanks. I'm still not sure how bad it would have looked like compared to Hillary's email server but that article makes a good argument that Sanders wouldn't have been a guaranteed win.


How could that dirt be worse than what we have/had on Trump? Does it even matter?


The question (and it's obviously an Earth-2 counterfactual), is how the dirt on Sanders would have compared to the email server calumny on Clinton.

Anyway, my whole theory of the election is that since they turned on the Large Hadron Collider we've been living in one of the "bad" multiverses.


I've heard similar arguments from Russians about the state of politics in Russia - That the government is ultimately just a manifestation of the character of the population.


> problems came back after 8 years, worse than ever

Please give some real examples what problems came back after that 8 years. In live in Poland and haven't noticed any particular change to worse in last year.


>You have people working full-time who cannot afford the living. You have one of the most expensive and unreachable for many healthcare systems. You do have degressive taxing systems. You have much smaller middle class that you are used too.

These are all very, very real problems. The problem is, they're not solved by voting Republican, but a lot of people simply think of themselves as Republicans. So there are a lot of people who voted to wreck everything rather than to fix their own problems.


There is a fallacy there - you believe, that if voting Republican does not improve situation, but can likely be detrimental, its better to stick with alternative. The caveat is that this is the reasoning of people functioning reasonably well in current society. If you put yourself in shoes of those who are definitely not happy now, for them the choice is quite different - status quo, which is unacceptable, or change, which may be good or bad. They will choose change most of the time, because they don't perceive how it can come out worse for them. Or, at the very least, change will make those higher in the ladder in trouble too, which can be actually attractive as "bringing justice", even if it does not improve situation for anybody.

People tend to prefer being miserable with everybody else than on their own.


>There is a fallacy there - you believe, that if voting Republican does not improve situation, but can likely be detrimental, its better to stick with alternative.

No, I don't believe in the two-party system. If someone voted Green, Libertarian, or otherwise because they believed a third-party vote (especially down-ballot) would actually help address their problems, more power to them.


Here's the thing, they're not solved by voting Democrat either.


Quite right. I much prefer when people vote third-party on principle.


> Trust me, the alternative is much worse

The alternative is French Revolution. Hopefully for leftist elite democracy is still working.


You know what a lot of people consider worse than Donald Trump? The status quo.

That's what I feel is missing in all this indignation - where were you before? The political system has been deeply broken for decades, with the same unjust policies being pursued regardless of which public face was on it - imperialist militaristic foreign policies abroad, economic inequality at home. All sold to the public with glib marketing campaigns through a monopolized mass media. The whole democracy road show feeling like a sham for the gullible to eat up.

There's a lot not to like about Donald Trump, but for one thing he is an outsider to the established system (I believe in this because of how hard the mainstream media is bent on pulling him down). It is hard for me to see that as anything but an improvement.


> he is an outsider to the established system

He's a billionaire who inherited around $750 million. He didn't pay his taxes. His chief of staff was chairman of the Republican party. His cabinet have a combined net worth of $6 billion. If anyone represents the powers-that-be, he does. If anyone has a glib marketing campaign, it's the Trump presidency in claiming to be 'outsiders'.

And if you think the political system is broken, well, you haven't seen nothing yet.

> how hard the mainstream media is bent on pulling him down

Maybe the media is criticizing him because, you know, he does things that deserve criticism.


Just because you're part of one club (business leaders) doesn't make you part of another club (political elite).

America is a very odd place, there's cheerful talk about being the most democratic place in the world, but you have all these really bizarre ruling families who keep winning powerful positions.

It's not normal to have two Bushes, let alone 3 in power in the space of a couple of decades. Or Clintons. Or Kennedys. How can you not look at your own politics and wonder, with 300 odd million, how do the same families keep winning? That the whole thing's not a stacked deck?

It's really weird. To outsiders, there's obviously something deeply corrupt in America where a tiny ruling dynasty keep getting themselves elected. There's a 'queue' and Hilary was at the top because of her connections. SNL even joked before the election that if she wasn't elected, she'd be back next time as it was still her 'turn' to be president.

Trump is not part of that club, that's what he's talking about.

By supporting that corrupt status quo the democrats helped a monster like Trump be elected.


>He's a billionaire who inherited around $750 million

He didn't inherit it with a bunch of strings attached from lobbyists. The Clintons have been pulling money into their foundation leveraging political connections built up over decades. People don't care that he's rich with daddy's money, they care that it's not "decades of political speeches and political fundraising money".

>He didn't pay his taxes

He would be a moron if he didn't pay the legally required amount. The fact that people think taking a loss write-off is some kind of black mark shows how stupid many people really are.

>And if you think the political system is broken, well, you haven't seen nothing yet

You may be right, but many people were voting in a massive change to the system. "drain the swap" was the slogan


> He didn't inherit it

That is not the point.

Why is Clinton owing the wealthy for their donations a problem? Because it makes her more likely to yield to their demands. Corruption creates a pay-to-win game.

But putting the wealthy in power cuts the middle man, worsening the situation: now they don't even need to provide donations, they are either on the President's cabinet, or are the President himself!

> "drain the swap" was the slogan

Populism at work; there was no need for it to be honest. It is a true issue, but someone that points it out does not automatically become an outsider of the system. He was very much part of the system, and was open about it, bragging about his political donations.


>You may be right, but many people were voting in a massive change to the system. "drain the swap" was the slogan

You know who first said, "Drain the swamp"? Benito Mussolini. You know how that turned out?


> People don't care that he's rich with daddy's money, they care that it's not "decades of political speeches and political fundraising money".

They don't care about either of those things. His supporters backed him because he said things they wanted to hear, no matter how outrageous they were.


[flagged]


Hacker News is a community, and incendiary partisan comments such as these aren't conducive to the kind of civil discussion that we're effortfully striving for here. It's absolutely not OK to then repost already-flagged comments with new accounts.

We also ban accounts that use the site primarily for political and ideological purposes for the same reason: that's not what this site is for.


To take a note from popular culture, I recall how the primary plot of House of cards - season 2, was the difference between power and money. Power is describe as created by favor and influence, while money mostly creates more money.


"Both parties are the same" is such a tired meme considering what has happened the past 8 days.

Do you think President Clinton would be defunding planned parenthood? Planning a repeal of a healthcare law without a replacement, making 20 million people lose their health insurance immediately? Appoint a brain surgeon to HUD?

Do you think Democrats would set up this muslim ban? Not a 6-month refugee ban, but a ban from people who were already legal permanent residents?

Both parties might share a similar vein of imperialism, that deserved to be fought. But it ends there.

One party wanted to carpet bomb Iran, another wanted to make peace.

And, of course, Trump is the most extreme of this. How do you think someone who advocates nuclear first strike is less imperialistic than the other guys?


It isn't that both parties are the same on all issues, it's that there are important issues that no viable candidate would actually address.

Do you think President Clinton would end NSA mass surveillance? Reduce copyright terms? Meaningfully reform Wall St? Meaningfully reform the tax code or social spending?

Republicans won't either. That's the problem.

You get enough people frustrated enough and they vote for whoever they think will shake things up, even at the risk of burning it all down.


Actually no, none of your stated problems are important to trump supporters or reasons for him to be elected. America first appeals to them, in spite of, or sometimes because of, all the nasty implications of it and the racial and social revolution it requires.

Trump will not stop NSA surveillance, reduce copyright terms, meaningfully reform Wall St (he hired Goldman Sachs alumni), meaningfully reform the tax code or social spending. He is a nationalist not a globalist, that's his agenda not the points you raised.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-22/goldman-i...


America First and protectionism is how Trump won Michigan, not how he won the Republican primary (and thus Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, etc.)

He got nominated by being the candidate most resembling a middle finger to the establishment.

The existing system has been systematically destroying the middle class, and the people see it happening but don't understand why or how to fix it, but they know that voting for establishment candidates from either party hasn't fixed it.

Therefore Trump. Make America Great Again. Exactly what people want to hear. Actual method unspecified.


I honestly don't think he has promised anything to address the points you raised, or has any intention to.


They're not examples of things Trump would do, they're examples of things neither of the major parties give you a choice over.

Nobody knows what Trump will do. Make America Great Again could mean anything. Compare "Hope and Change" -- Obama was the first attempt at this when he defeated Clinton. Change didn't happen so people chose an even more radical option.

It isn't that voting for the protest candidate is especially effective, it's that frustrated people don't know what else to do. They weren't given any good option so they picked the wildcard bad option over the known bad option.


We now have a very good idea what Trump will do - literally what he promised to do, which was all about autarky, closing the country off and bringing industry back to the US, and of course to be the most important man in the world (he was on the cover of time magazine 15 times you know). He has been very clear and consistent in his words and actions. Americans first and I think Trump first amongst Americans in a nation of men, not of laws.

Re a protest vote yes I think there was a certain rage expressed but I genuinely think a lot of people looked at the solutions he proposed and liked them. Listen to Trump supporters talk - they are proud of the wall, proud of banning muslims and their hibbi jabbis and want to bring industry back to the US (doomed as that is for manual workers in this second industrial revolution).

This is the mistake people like thiel and musk are making - they think Trump is playing some clever long game and lying to people, that people can't really take all those crazy policies literally, or worse that they can manipulate him - wrong on all counts.


> We now have a very good idea what Trump will do - literally what he promised to do

But we don't. He promises things like "repeal and replace Obamacare." That's fine, except that the important question is replace it with what? If it's a substantially similar bill that still includes expensive subsidies to private health insurance companies with poverty-trap-inducing means testing, that is not going to help people.

The people who heard "repeal and replace" are presumably expecting some kind of meaningful yet unspecified improvement in their situation. In practice that means somehow causing there to be more money in the pockets of patients/working-class-taxpayers and less for medicine-adjacent companies. The current politics doesn't allow that because those corporations have too many lobbyists. You can imagine people holding out hope for some strongman to come in and lay down the law -- certainly that's what the left wanted Obama to do with single payer.

A free market alternative might be putting a stop to the games medical companies play to evergreen patents and generally thwart competition through regulatory capture. But Congressional Republicans may be too corrupt to let anything like that go through, and it would be all too easy to interpret "repeal and replace" as just cutting back the insurance subsidies (i.e. means testing them even more) so they can use the money to give investment bankers a tax cut.


I think he will do what he said he would - repeal and replace. Note that doesn't mean improve, and why would he care if it helps the little people who scurry about beneath his feet. Smoke and mirrors will do and he'll insist it was a great reform package, a great reform, the best healthcare. There will be no meaningful change but maybe some cuts.

Also I'd note you've picked on only one issue, one that is not a priority for him IMO and thus he'll hand over to congress to make a mess of, then put his name to. He cares about healthcare like he cared about Clinton - useful campaign material.

We'll see more far reaching changes in trade, immigration, foreign policy, infrastructure. I expect at least one accidental war, and some massive infrastructure projects which he can put his name to.


The more important part of this is: what if Trump fails like Obama did despite fulfilling more than half of the mandate.

Suppose Trump bans all Muslim countries from entering US and somehow (dubious) it does not affect American businesses negatively while improving local hiring. What if that is not enough? (it likely isn't)

Whom will the electorate choose next? A full on warmonger perhaps?


None of these problems you state are why Trump seems to have won actually - which seems to symptomize the problem in the US. To people like me on the outside, it appears that a majority of the population is losing hope of bettering their life... and they voted for the person who promised to change the system that made them lose hope.

We had a chief minister in India once like this... darling of the educated classes, highly progressive, deploying technology in eGovernance, attracting Microsoft and Google to open campuses in his state. He lost by a landslide in the next election because during his term, the monsoons failed and farmers fell deep into debt and started committing suicide while he was deploying his middle class focused efforts.


> "Both parties are the same" is such a tired meme considering what has happened the past 8 days.

"Both parties are the same" is not meant literally, and usually people mean "both parties are bad". It's about the illusion of choice.


The idea that the political system was "deeply broken" before Trump is a popular meme these days, one that IMO is utopian, ahistorical, and increasingly destructive.

Rule of law and representative democracy, as we know them today, are quite young, and the modern take on basic human rights is even younger. When did black people win full equality in the US, even in the legal sense? When did Western colonialism in the middle east and India end? When was the last time Western countries opted for total war and incinerated civilians, en masse? These are all things that are today unthinkable that have actually happened within the lifetime of someone who could plausibly be alive today.

Building a just state and society is a slow, delicate, multi-generational project, and we are just at the beginning. We're just now getting to a place where we're moving past barbaric mass violence and mass racist persecution. And you expect us to have a good handle on subtle, systemic problems like inequality and imbalance between state and private power? Have a little perspective and patience!

It's like people look around, notice that we're not in fact in some enlightened Star Trek like utopia, declare that the whole edifice rotten, and decide that the best response is nihilistic glee - why not burn it all down? Get a grip.


Exactly. People look at their government and give it 1/5 stars, then vote for anyone promising change, because they think they have nothing to lose. But the range doesn't start at 1 star. It goes down to minus infinity.


Trump is not doing anything he didn't say he'd do.

I don't suppose there was ever a possibility of Jeff or all the people currently protesting, voting for Trump in the first place.

So, aren't we just seeing the same people who were anti-Trump before the election, protesting now?

The election of Trump came as a shock even during the count because the Trump voters tended to be quieter and/or ignored.

But they won the election and now what they voted for is being enacted.


This is a fair point. I don't agree with your conclusion, though.

I have felt outrage against specific policies in the past. The news media has expressed outrage against specific policies in the past. But political inertia, for better and worse, was a thing that we could rely upon to temper the public whims of any particular commander-in-chief. It meant that meaningful change required constant attention and guidance. But it also meant that the actions of any individual were unlikely to crater our democracy.

The new president has now shown in both tone and action that he intends to directly manifest some of the most extreme positions promised to his supporters. This, in the face of overwhelming ethical arguments, public opinion, and systemic protections that oppose them.

This is not a threat to the local status quo, one which our political system has grown to evolve slowly but meaningfully over election cycles. It is a threat to the maximal status quo, in which we can proudly identify ourselves as Americans because we believe that we aren't perfect, but we're working towards that ideal.


Yes, the unsustainable, burned-out status quo. The last administration could create conflict, but couldn't eke out even modest support for a new ground war in Syria.

The elderly Democratic party has no bench and the same old message. The Republican party has a massive spending problem and too many hawks. Even with a system rigged for the status quo, Trump was able to win. That's what I mean by unsustainable - people chose the deeply flawed naysayer over the alternatives.


"Better the devil you know" vs "Out of the frying pan into the fire"

Maybe change was needed, but this is so much worse than before.


The status quo, such as it was, in 2016, was worse than... what?

I'm just not seeing how my life, or my neighbors lives, are improved by anything that's come so far. Or that is on the promised list of things to come.

It is actually already worse for some of us than it was 11 days ago.


> There's a lot not to like about Donald Trump, but for one thing he is an outsider to the established system

Or from another perspective a billionaire managed to get elected through spending enormous amounts of cash on a huge publicity machine that imprinted a simplistic and repetitive message of being an outsider on large numbers of people as if that in itself is a positive quality. /Serial killers/ are outsiders.


To be fair, he didn't spend an enormous amount of cash -relative to other political campaigns-. Didn't need to because he got a lot of free advertising from the media (eg. his fake-birther/really-his-hotel announcement that got wide coverage.)


https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-electi...

A billion dollars. Less than what Hillary spent sure but it's not as if he coasted into Presidency by spending a few nickels. Even relative to Hillary's ENORMOUS sum this is no small amount


He spent less than Clinton, no?


> You know what a lot of people consider worse than Donald Trump? The status quo.

Well I hope those people like surprises.


    imperialist militaristic foreign policies abroad,
This didn't exactly happen in a vacuum. A country can't be a major power without trying to gain influence throughout the world; all of the other major powers are doing it too.

Of course, it's also possible to renounce the game of global influence entirely. But be careful what you wish for.

Because that's what we've chosen with Trump: building literal and figurative walls around the country. Apparently we are planning to... isolate ourselves back to greatness?

Perhaps in some ideal world we could be "noble isolationists" and close our borders, eyes, and ears to the world without a populist thirst for xenophobia and racism, secure in the knowledge that other global powers will shape the world (or perhaps become noble isolationists themselves?) for the better in our absence.

I wish I shared that fantasy; it's a particularly nice one.

The United States' meddling in world affairs has ranged from "helpful" to "disastrous." But it's absolute madness to think that others will not attempt to assert control in the power vacuum we're leaving behind. Do you really think Russia will be better for the world than us? Maybe you should ask Ukraine about that one.

    There's a lot not to like about Donald Trump, but for one thing he 
    is an outsider to the established system (I believe in this because 
    of how hard the mainstream media is bent on pulling him down). It 
    is hard for me to see that as anything but an improvement.
A literal billionaire with a cabinet of millionaires and billionaires is now an "outsider." What is wrong with you?

I understand that they are "outsiders" in the sense that they have no experience running any form of government whatsoever.

But these people are not outsiders to the system. They have profited from the system to a degree the average American cannot fathom. They literally are the system.


>The political system has been deeply broken for decades, with the same unjust policies being pursued regardless of which public face was on it - imperialist militaristic foreign policies abroad, economic inequality at home.

Trump ran on making all of these things worse.


One of the sad and amusing at the same time things is watching people not satisfied how things are bravely go and make them worse.


Addressing the concerns of the Trump supporters is the only way forward. Why are they angry?

Silicon Valley - one of the richest sectors of society, is up in arms because the disenfranchised "have nots" are expressing their anger about being "have nots" by just tearing the whole damn thing down. The "have nots" say - through Trump and his actions - "OK, you got everything, we got nothing, here's the payback".

The have nots are angry and simply want to smash everything. The process is only just starting.

The ONLY solution is to bring the "have nots" back to being "haves". When you fight Trump, you simply fight the "have nots". You cannot fight them, you must take away Trumps support base by winning them over, not opposing them.


I bet that there are a lot of Americans who completely disagree with Trump's policies and yet at the same time they feel avenged by them.

The working class enjoys watching the elites get worked up and horrified about Trump.

I think that this election is a manifestation of inter-class conflicts according to "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs ).

On one side, we have the working class made up of people who don't care too much about moral ideals because they can barely afford the "Safety" step on the Maslow pyramid.

On the other side, we have the elites who don't seem to care about the daily struggles of the working class and instead prefer to indulge their need for self-actualization by focusing on convenient moral ideals instead of inconvenient practicalities.

Why weren't any of these celebrities protesting when Washington bailed out the big banks during the financial crisis? That issue had much more significant ramifications on the average American but the elites didn't care because doing something about it would have hurt their stock portfolios.


Man, I'm working out of an office in an industrial area in New Delhi, India.

Literally across my office is a scrap metal dealer. He has about a dozen guys literally hammering metal to flatten it storing it.

This is work that can be done in minutes by a simple machine. But he has 12 people doing it because it's likely cheaper or because he doesn't know that a machine like that exists.

This is happening all across the world and no one is willing to address it. People are angry because there is no "real work" left for them anymore. Even in startups around me, I see so many jobs that don't need to exist. We're just "creating work" by adding jobs that don'tn need to exist, or refusing to adopt technology.

The way the world is right now, something had to give. Trump is just a symptom of that.


Have nots? Trump voters were richer than Clinton voters.


This is "true" in that "you can pull up some statistics that 'prove' this", but it misses the major issues entirely.

Yes, technically Trump voters have a slightly higher income than some Clinton voters if you pull some census data and overlay that to voter data. But income alone is not a great way to measure wealth. Clinton voters earning <$30k are often "wealthier" than Trump voters earning $40k, once you account for non-income wealth.

Clinton voters <$30k here get access to subsidized high-quality urban housing, in the heart of the city, with lots of educational resources, business resources, the experience and culture of many diverse residents, and access to a poor-but-better-than-nothing public transit system. These folks have slightly higher discretionary income, after expenses are paid.

Trump voters in $40k households here live almost exclusively in old suburban sprawl, with poor quality housing (they "make too much" to qualify for the benefits previously mentioned). These areas have little to no educational or business resources, no diversity of residents, and no usable public transit. Many have sick relatives or have children, driving their costs up. Much of the benefits of cities are entirely outside of their reach -- and will remain that way their entire life. After accounting for higher living expenses, these folks have less discretionary income.

In this way, Trump voters have higher income, but have lower wealth, than lower-income/higher-wealth Clinton voters. There is no dollar amount put on any of those mentioned benefits, it does not show up on an census income report, folks will never get to see this from their coastal office highrise. But that is a very real and valuable form of wealth, that some have but many don't.

---

Someone will condescendingly summarize those stats as "Trump voters just feel poorer than Clinton ones", as if they are lying for fun or something. But there is an actual fact-based argument for Trump voters being real-world poorer than Clinton ones, despite having on-paper slightly higher average incomes.

Similarly, if these folks complain about jobs, someone will argue "the US-BLS shows unemployment is actually down, so your wrong". Ignoring how wage growth has been mostly flat, despite inflation. Ignoring the huge 50%+ cost-of-living increases in Housing, Education, and Medical expenses (even in places like Michigan). Ignoring how many people are significantly under-employed. Ignoring the massive over-inflation of job/education requirements for even just entry-level positions. Ignoring that most of these jobs are being created in high-COL markets that none of these people will ever be able to afford to participate in.

---

I live in Michigan. I am not a Trump voter in any way, but I am surrounded by them and live in an environment that tends to create them. People aren't complaining for fun. This isn't entertainment. They are frustrated to hell and back. And while I don't agree with their vote to "trash the system", and I can at least understand why they feel the way they do, and why they feel this is the best-or-only way to lessen the pain.

If we want to solve this, fundamentally we have to take these problems seriously. Right now, I'm not seeing that. I'm seeing "fact checkers" trying to "prove" these problems are fake, or solved, or getting better, and telling people "your wrong" for mentioning them. Shouting census data at people who are struggling will not win you any support, and will not fix any of the real (factually-real) problems many are struggling with.


on average is not actually.


Source?


Probably this: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps...

TLDR: * Households earning <$30,000 were significantly more likely to vote for Clinton. * Households earning $50,000-$99,999 were a little more likely to vote for Trump. * Other income brackets are more or less the same.


The question now: how big is his base?

His approval is in free fall. What's the low point?

40%? 30%? 20%?

The French president was at one point at 8% approval.


The only thing that matters now is Trump's approval in the next election.

If he keeps his voter base happy and is seen to be actually doing more things right than wrong he may even pick up more votes.

I honestly can't think of one Democrat at the moment who can take Trump on. They would have to be whiter than fresh snow and 'straight talking' and pro-economic growth and sensible immigration enough to swing Trump supporters... quite an ask.


There is another way. Trump mostly won because of voter disenfranchisement: It's not that more people voted Republicans than last time, but a lot fewer people voted Democrats than 2008 and 2012. A good Democratic candidate could pull these people back to the polls.


> We lead the free world

i sincerely hate when people from anywhere say that. During the second half of the 20th century, the american government was directly or indirectly responsible for at least half of the conflicts on that planet. Americans need to wake up, they are as much the beacon of tyranny than they are the beacon of the "free world". It's just that most Americans don't care about what their own government does abroad. And it didn't start with Bush II.

> And we do it by taking the higher moral ground,

I absolutely hate that too, this is so arrogant. There is really a disconnect between how some Americans view themselves and how the rest of the world see them for what their government actually is: playing war-games on a constant basis and selling the PAX AMERICANA as something just.

I'm sorry but i'm extremely disappointed by Jeff here, this is just wrong and insulting for the rest of the world.

For all the bad that Trump does, I hope that at least it will tone down this sense of superiority coming from Americans, because that's the source of many problems.

> how negligent and dangerous Trump is as the leader of the free world.

You're not the leader of the free world, not according to most of the rest of the world, because of your foreign policy post WWII. You supported dictatorships, rigged democratic elections, trained death squads in south america, killed millions in Vietnam, spoiled their land with agent orange, invaded countries like Iraq that did nothing to you, all in the name of "freedom" ... freedom for whom?


Please stop creating throwaway accounts to post purely political rants.


Why does it matter? He (mostly) isn't wrong in his political rant


Because HN is a community where people have discussions with each other. Pseudonyms are fine. The community benefits from consistent accounts that others can relate to as members of the community. Otherwise there are effectively no users and no community, which is a very different place.


You should care about the message itself not who is saying it.

There are SJW mobs who downvote every comment that hurts their narrative. You can write factually correct and appropriate comments, they will still downvote it if they disagree. If you don't want to lose your HN points, you either self censor, and let the SJWs win or you make your statement from a throwaway account.


If you're worried about points, I think your focus is wrong. They're just points (as far as you don't lose so many you can no longer comment).

That said, you can use them as a tool to figure out how to craft your comments in a way that's actually read and understood, rather than reflexively responded to. The point should be discussion, not speaking the truth, brutal as it may be, you just have to listen to me.

Please don't read that as me assuming that's what you're doing. I do see a lot of people complain that they're getting down voted when their tone and word choice is very abrasive, or at least not couched in a way that's easy to respond to. Looking at your comment above, labelling people as SJWs is going to create a reaction, just as labels like racist or misogynist are likely to. For example, your comment would be just as effective if you had reworded it "There are mobs" and remove the "and let the SJWs win". Those parts are needlessly inflammatory (even if you think they're true).

Factual and appropriate may be fine for neutral topics; for contentious ones it's not enough. This is all assuming you're not just here for ideological battle, but rather to understand (though perhaps not agree) and be understood.

Believe me, this is something I struggle with myself, and remind myself of nearly every time I write a comment on a contentious topic. Two references I return to from time to time are:

- Rapoport's Rules: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/03/28/daniel-dennett-rapo...

- The Principle of Charity: http://philosophy.lander.edu/oriental/charity.html

As for crappy voting behavior, I see that happen on all sides. Not a lot you can do about it, other than shrug it off and try to write even better comments. Any time I get dinged I reread my comment and ask myself how I could have written it better. While there truly might be no way I could have prevented it, the only thing I really can control is how I write the comment.

Anyway, I hope you find this useful. It's intended to be. I want HN to be a place where people can talk about difficult topics constructively and positively.


One thing that might be missing from this action plan is "get into local action".

If you vote Democrat, there were many uncontested republican seats that voted Clinton. The Democratic party has had its foundation fall out, and its mostly because the local-level stuff has fallen completely by the wayside.

Hell, you can even just run for office in 2018. All the DNC chair candidates agree that there are not enough people offering to run on the Dem ticket for congress (hence uncontested seats).

If you want to be third party, start trying to win local elections. There too, maybe you can present yourself. If 5 people from a third party got into congress through the house, that'd be a big deal. Best way to do that? Concentrated local efforts.

Also, state legislatures are important! Look at California

Just like gov't is more than once every 4 years, government is not just the presidency, or just federal. Every level matters.


As a UK citizen I wouldn't run for elected office here given the level of abuse and "alt-truth" levelled at politicians. I certainly wouldn't run for elected office in the US. If you've ever done anything that could be twisted to cast you in a bad light, even if you haven't, you - and your family - will be put through the wringer.

I keep seeing parallels with the decades leading up to the end of the Roman Republic, except all we have are Caesars and Pompeys with no Cicero's thrown into the mix.


> And he signed an executive order that literally, not figuratively, banned Muslims from entering the US.

Isn't "banned muslims" the wrong choice of words here? You could enter US as a muslim from e.g. Malaysia still.


No. No it is not.

"Trump asked for a ‘Muslim ban,’ Giuliani says — and ordered a commission to do it ‘legally’"

“How did the president decide the seven countries?” she asked. “Okay, talk to me.”

“I'll tell you the whole history of it,” Giuliani responded eagerly. “So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, 'Muslim ban.' He called me up. He said, 'Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.'"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/29/tr...

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9GKL6i38pI


Fair enough, but it is still not a literal ban is it? I repeat my statement as a question: as a muslim from e.g. Malaysia, you can still enter US - right?


Yes, you can. Trump activated a policy invented and signed into law by Obama, he did not choose the countries himself.


Sorry, you fell for an "alternative fact".


Do you know where this "alternative fact" was published first and how it came into existence? And does it have any root in reality or is it totally manufactured? Would like to understand the phenomenon better.


http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/how-the-trump-adm...

Obama had an act in place to make it difficult for people fro these countries or who had visited these countries to get a visa. Trump expanded the "getting a visa should be difficult" part to "let's ban people from these countries regardless of if they already have Green Cards or dual citizenships".

Obama's act, though again not including countries funding and harboring terrorists, only made it difficult to get a visa which sort of makes sense but is still stupid because it didn't include Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. the ACLU protested this act but it was passed through Congress anyway


Still it is not. Because when you leave out China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Pakistan, Germany, Turkey, UK, France ... which each have a lot of Muslims there whether in relative or absolute terms.

The ban is only for arabs in very unstable countries and Iran. There is no good reason to allow entry of people from countries that are at (civil) war and Iran is adversary, so there is no reason for non diplomatic personal Iranians to enter US at all.

They way I see it there is no fundamental right of foreigners to enter US. It is a privilege given by the discretion of the executive branch.


> There is no good reason to allow entry of people from countries that are at (civil) war

There is a very good reason: a humanitarian one. I do not know how a nation where 70% of the population calls itself christian could turn away refugees from war-torn countries.

> there is no reason for non diplomatic personal Iranians to enter US at all.

Top US universities and tech firms beg to differ. The US got the best universities and leading tech firms exactly because of immigrants. Paul Graham's essay about this is interesting: http://paulgraham.com/95.html


> There is a very good reason: a humanitarian one

Well, if we're going all humanitarian, the humanitarian thing to do would be to stop bombing these countries in the first place.


I agree that another humanitarian thing to do would be to stop bombing/droning other countries.

But you are presenting it as if you only get to do one humanitarian thing. That is incorrect. You can do both.

If you are trying to argue that a previous president's mistakes are a justification for this president's mistakes, I disagree.


I am not trying to argue that, I am merely angry that the people protesting today were not protesting at the far worse things that happened before and that ultimately led to the situation we are in now. Your comment got caught in the crossfire of that anger.


What about the humanitarian goal of protecting your own people, your own family, your own culture? Surely they should come first before an abstract "other". Who is willing to kill a close family member to make space for a refugee?


In the world of realpolitik humanitarian is not a valid reason.

Educating the citizens of a country that you may have to go war with soon is also not a way to further your national interest - if we define US interest as unchallenged US might.

It all depends on the perspective in which you view the other countries.


> In the world of realpolitik humanitarian is not a valid reason.

You're moving the goalposts. First you say there is no good reason, then you reframe it 'in the world of realpolitik'. If you want to support your original assertion, you need to argue why realpolitik is the only valid worldview.

> Educating the citizens of a country that you may have to go war with soon is also not a way to further your national interest - if we define US interest as unchallenged US might.

Again, you're moving the goalposts by adding if we define US interest as unchallenged US might and by adding to further your national interest.

Even if you accept those premises, your conclusion would need more arguments. Educating citizens of a country might further the US national interest if they stay in the US after their studies or return to their country and oppose their leadership.


The reapolitik is the only valid view in international relations (outside of one pole empire, but it is impossible on the current scale of the planet with current state). We live in realpolitik world currently - case in point Saudi Arabia on the human rights council. This is possible only in realpolitik world. In any other type of world relations it will be impossible.

Also - any US leaning dictator getting a pass. Like Saddam, Noriega, Pinochett. Which met their demise after refusing to obey their CIA overlords.

For Iran - if Iran us enemy - which the current administration thinks so, giving their citizens education is bad unless you ban them from exiting US after getting said education. And prevent them from taking the know how there.

If Iranian people had the means to overthrow the theocracy they would have already done it.


There may not be a fundamental right, but there are some very practical reasons to allow permanent residents and people who already hold valid visas to enter the country. Those documents are very difficult to obtain, often requiring sponsorship by an American corporation that would presumably be hurt by having their workers turned away at the border with no warning. Further these documents represent promises made by the American people to these individuals, who enter into leases, buy property, open gym memberships and generally build lives in the United States because they had been previously granted permission to stay for a time. What does it say about us that a change in leadership might suddenly invalidate promises previously made by the government for no apparent reason? Given such uncertainty why should anyone invest anything into this country?


Bombing predominately Muslim countries, overthrowing governments and covert black sites where Muslims get tortured. These are things that are acceptable, but a 90-day ban on immigrants coming from war-torn countries, that's a step too far? Has everyone seriously lost their mind?


Imagine you're a person who was strongly against "[b]ombing predominately Muslim countries, overthrowing governments[,] and covert black sites where Muslims get tortured". Now imagine that the US has just elected a president far more conservative (and volatile!) than his predecessor, and a result there is a widespread movement for progressive political change, in line with your beliefs, from people who are normally not engaged in the political process. Do you:

a) bitch and moan at the johnny-come-latelys climbing onto your bandwagon; or

b) accept that society reacts in a non-linear way and use the opportunity to actually achieve something meaningful.


What you call "bitch and moan" can be a useful reminder of how people tent do overestimate what happens in proximity and overlook what happens in a remote location.


c) bitch and moan at the candidate at your side that isn't listening to your ideals?

There's a deep level on hypocrisy here, and that people (against both bombing and closing) are really not trying to fix this, otherwise they would have started sooner.

This is the third time in a row that the US public votes against the candidate supported by the Pentagon. Yet, the non-warmonger is a complete asshole...

(By the way, I'm watching from a safe distance, not participating on this stuff.)


Why does it have to be a and b only. Why not both or add c and d to the list.

He brought a valid point it seems but it was "bitching and moaning". And gave him a binary choice to pick between.


What is the outcome of accepting that point? "You didn't complain when the government did worse things, so now you can't complain ever about anything?" The implication of accepting that logic would seem to be that we just give up. How does that help?


It is possible that this situation would add frustration for on lookers who notice that a large group of people accepted (or did not SEEM to care) about the killing and torturing of people, but all of a sudden are taking the high ground against a 90 day ban on immigration.

For SOME people it would be hard to accept the opinion of such people?

I find myself falling into this sometime... Is it a cognitive bias?

edit: Its hard for me to think about these issues with large fear based reactions from both sides and the hysteria the media is putting out.


> The implication of accepting that logic would seem to be that we just give up. How does that help

Not necessarily it could be also "pay attention harder from now on not to make the same mistake", "this is jumping on the outrage bandwagon more than actual outrage", "let's see what happened before so we don't make the same mistakes", "let's hear what others think about this" (as this is a public discussion forum).


Note that, due to the two-party system, complaining about bad Democrat policy on these issues was always somewhat muted at elections because the likely alternative wasn't some better Democrat but a Republican with a far worse policy. Which is pretty much exactly what's happened.

(The same applies to British politics: yes, the Labour party were wrong over the Iraq war, but does anyone think the Conservative party were in the right, or would have been less keen to support the US in that situation? Especially given the May-Trump summit.)


> The same applies to British politics

Your example is a poor one, and the British electorate have very different motivations when it comes to voting for very different parties with very different backgrounds, in very different elections with a very different governmental structure.


I've seen people arguing that, since Clinton was the "pro-war" candidate (due to her work at the State Department), one should vote for Trump.

It's true that the governmental structure is different; the ability of an incoming administration to sweep away the civil service and security services is much less in the UK. However, the recent R (Miller) -v- Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union case has a useful parallel: to what extent is the executive able to deprive people of rights by simple order?


It's hard to say and would depend on the rights in question. Parliamentary sovereignty would mandate consulting parliament, but our parliament is representative, not direct. It would also be necessary to consult devolved kingdoms, but the extent to which required is not clear.

We don't really have the same segregation of powers. Primary legislation can come from various sources and apply in various ways to various parts of the UK. The judiciary is independent and is generally relied on to determine how those laws are to be interpreted.

In order for laws to come into force nationally, they need royal assent from the Queen. If memory serves correct this relies on the Queen literally saying the word "Approved" at a certain point in the reading of a law. It might've changed, but might still be in effect. As such we don't really have the same concept of Executive Orders. We do have written guidance on laws, but this can be overridden through the courts.


You are arguing strawman. Most people who are anti-ban were also against Iraq war and waterboarding.


Yet people seemed to be awfully calm when Obama was droning weddings. I'm not saying we should've put so much hate towards Obama as well, I'm saying we should put things into perspective.


Social response is rarely linear. Think of it as gaining critical mass. Think of it as the droplet that overflows the glass of water.

What happened before was wrong. What is happening now is worse, and it got more of the public's attention.


No, the sad part is that this is getting so much more attention because it's visible here and it's the result of a new party in charge.

Obama's administration was quietly murdering people without trials in a country we aren't at war with from drones. I fail to see how a temporary immigration ban is "worse" other than the "out of sight, out of mind" effect that applies to those exterminated by drones.


The administration before Obama started a needless war with a country that was no threat to them, that resulted in the deaths of literally hundreds of thousands of people, the destruction of two sovereign countries, and set in motion a sequence of events that has Europe tearing itself apart. All to get an electoral boost for the 2004 election...


And this absolves the expansion of drone killings by Obama somehow?


No, but it's an improvement on the previous state of affairs.

You're making a false equivalence in the first place, suggesting that all Trump is doing is these bans. He's already greenlit a military raid, and children and other noncombatants died in it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-t...


Democracy Now, "Drone Attacks", 152 results, all but two since 2009, overwhelmingly negative.

http://m.democracynow.org/tags/282


Not a lot of people listen to Democracy Now, or read The Nation, or whatever. Unlike the right, the left critiques of (even their own people in) power don't often make it to mainstream news commentary, or interview targets of the mainstream news, so it'd be easy to think there is none if one doesn't consume left news and opinion sources directly.


You're trying to generalize 350 Million individuals, it doesn't work that way. Outrage is rarely about the events, but about how much coverage those events get.


The question then becomes why were the bombings not getting as much or more coverage than a temporary visa ban?

5 of the 7 countries on the visa list are currently being bombed by the US [0].

It's no surprise then that these countries made it on to the Obama administration's list of countries that are sources of terror, which was used as the basis for Trump's visa ban.

From a security perspective it's difficult to argue that countries you are currently bombing won't have people trying to enter the U.S. looking for payback.

0: https://qz.com/895516/which-countries-is-the-us-currently-bo...


Maybe because the bombings were in faraway countries and had scant information about them? In a large enough city, people generally don't hear about murders that don't happen in their neighborhood nor receive outsized public coverage.


I agree that this plays a large part.

People are angry at Trump for the visa ban, but it would never have come to that if not for the destabilizing actions of previous U.S. administrations.


>droning weddings

I chuckled pretty hard at this one, imagining a DJI Phantom filming a wedding. Why not call it what it is, "bombing weddings" - the focus is on what the aircraft was doing, whether it was piloted remotely or locally shouldn't matter in the slightest.


The platform used for bombings is not irrelevant. It's not as if the increase in drone bombings was because the U.S. Military got caught up in the popular consumer drone fad. The very design of drones make it easy to do these operations and to do them in quantity without angering people back home.


> Yet people seemed to be awfully calm when Obama was droning weddings.

No, no they weren't. However it was always pretty apparent that the administration took death of civilians seriously and did all it could to minimise it. That doesn't mean that there weren't screw-ups.


There were never mass protests on this scale. Unless, I missed a huge protest.

What seems to me, like an outside observer, is that Obama's orders didn't ruin lives of Americans. Unlike these.


What's your point? That Americans care more about Americans?


Did all they could to minimize them by classifying all males age 18-49 as militants automatically.

And what about Operation Haymaker [1], showing that the intended target consisted of only about ~10% of the total deaths from drone bombings? How can there be any certainty at all about civilian death tolls in massively war-torn, chaotic environments? I personally don't trust the Obama administration's numbers, which are not all that good in the first place.

https://theintercept.com/document/2015/10/15/operation-hayma...


Not even close. How many of the tech CEOs who wrote blogs about the ban lobbied previous administration to end the war and arming of rebels in that part of the world?


You were listening to wrong people.


Which people should we listen to?


> Yet people seemed to be awfully calm when Obama was droning weddings. I'm not saying we should've put so much hate towards Obama as well, I'm saying we should put things into perspective.

There were in fact people and organisations who spoke up when Obama was droning schools, hospitals, wedings and funerals.

They do exist. People just chose not to listen.


Yoy're right. Democracy Now reported We've bombed hospitals, weddings, even an American citizen. It also looks like we've been at least indirectly arming ISIS in the region. I watching to see if there will be more revelations about that.


Where's 8 year long trail of posts shaming and blaming previous administration and personally pres. Obama for those actions ? I see hypocrisy reigning supreme since Jan 20, from both sides.


Four pages of results right here on HN: https://hn.algolia.com/?query="drone%20strikes"&sort=byPopul...


13 pages in the last week for 'Trump':

https://hn.algolia.com/?query=trump&sort=byPopularity&prefix...

I do however think that Trump is an extreme problem, but also a foreseeable one. I think it's revisionist history to say that Obama's terrible presidency got due attention on HN or anywhere else. Democracy Now! was one of the few outlets that did though, so kudos for posting them.


Four pages of mostly zero comment threads.


FYI most HN posts don't have comments


Because they didn't get enough votes to make it to the front page long enough for attention.


The level of outrage doesn't seem to make sense. If they are ready to donate to ACLU, drive to a protest at an airport, subscribe for more media, over a botched travel ban surely they protesting 10x harder when actual killing was talking place.

I even got an email from Lyft about it. A driving app on my phone is now telling about this travel ban too and how much they are donating to the ACLU.


We must be from parallel universes, because there were massive protests against Iraq war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_15,_2003,_anti-war_pr...


Not parallel universe. That was more than a decade ago. Why go back in 2003. We just dropped more than 26k bombs just in 2016. Where were these CEOs and tech leaders then? Were they blocking the entrance to the Pentagon, or WH? With the resources of Brin and others, surely there is a track of heavy lobbying against such things if they indeed seem to deeply care about the fate of refugees

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/americ...


You realize that you are now shifting the context from original "protesting wars, black sites and torture" - which are Iraq war theme - to a tiny subset of military activity that was protested least, precisely because they were protested least?

Of course you do, and you are using it as rhetorical device only, you couldn't care less about people bombed. If I go and find protests and statements against droning, you'd switch to Delta raids, TOW shipments or whatelse. The purpose of exercise is to show that people opposing Muslim bans are not any better and are simply hypocrites, hence the scrupulous fact-combing.


> Bombing predominately Muslim countries, overthrowing governments and covert black sites where Muslims get tortured.

Who is saying that this is acceptable?

> 90-day ban on immigrants coming from war-torn countries

I think the key issue here is that this ban includes valid Green Card holders and people who have Visas. This means that they have already spent up to two years being vetted. This policy makes no sense.

If the order was just "stop issuing visas", I don't think that there would have been such an uproar.


I believe he is referring to the global hate train (media hype?) being run on Trump, magnitudes higher than any directed at the previous administrations responsible for those actions.

edit: Are military actions against these countries targeting Muslim communities worse than removing immigration privileges of Muslim communities? I dunno how to approach this question...


The media was waiting for anything to crucify Trump. He has done nothing but stoke them. He already has been demonized as a white supremisist. The narrative "Trump will ban all Muslims and turn the US into a fascist state" was already on the press, they just needed an excuse to print it.

And there are many who not only disagree with Trump, but are appalled at his persona. There was that big march and that whole "Not my president" thing. They are already primed to believe that Trump will attempt to turn the US into a fascist state. In that light they say this as Step 1 of the "US turns fascist" and they are reacting as though he is suggesting Step 10 Imprisoning political opponents. Because they "see" the path and are doing everything they can to stop it.


> The media was waiting for anything to crucify Trump. He has done nothing but stoke them. He already has been demonized as a white supremisist. The narrative "Trump will ban all Muslims and turn the US into a fascist state" was already on the press, they just needed an excuse to print it.

Of course it helps that "a muslim ban" is quite literally what Trump asked for according to Rudy Giuliani:

> So when he first announced it he said “Muslim ban.” He called me up, he said, “Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.” I put a commission together with judge Mukasey [Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge], with congressman McCaul [Texas Rep. Michael McCaul], Pete King [New York Rep. Peter King], a whole group of other very expert lawyers on this, and what we did is we focused on, instead of religion, danger—areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion, it’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.


Yeah it is interesting, to me it seems like trump and the protesters are both coming from a place of fear and are trying to prevent something from happening, whether that is terrorist attack on US soil, or Trump turning the US into a fascist state.

Very interesting


Obama got somewhat of a free pass for simply not being quite as bad as Bush. With Trump we're seeing indications of things getting substantially worse than Bush. That is why.

People outside the US are used to the US being far to our right, and it being relatively futile to do more than complain about these things. But Trump is seriously scaring people.


Well put. I wonder if this ban would have been as strongly challenged by the media if it was someone else proposing it.


Considering the huge parade of Republican and Democrat politicians that condemned the very idea over the last year, what do you think?


Yeah that makes a lot of sense actually.


The people he's targeting now are Americans, which for better or worse people are much less willing to tolerate. Green card and visa holders are Americans.


I would have thought one is not American until one is a citizen.


That's not how Americans view it. The notion of belonging to a nation is very different in the New World, as best exemplified by this map. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jus_soli_world.svg...


This map doesn't say anything about visa holders and green card holders. It is only relevant for persons born in the country, which I'm assuming most visa/green card holders aren't.


It was intended to convey the difference in attitudes, not relevant law.


I got that, but the attitudes about the relevant 'jus' may well be different. It may be as you say it is, but I'm not sure if that's not just a subjective opinion - at least from this graph.


Visa holders are not necessarily "Americans". For example holders of G-{1-4} Visas from the proscribed countries are not affected by the ban and remain foreign nationals.


>Who is saying that this is acceptable?

A few, but this is irrelevant to the parent's point.

Which is that whether people say it is acceptable or not, much fewer numbers complained about it when other administrations where doing it, and much less visibly than people do today .

Which gives one the impression that if in 2 or 4 years some democrat or another republican gets into office and does the same or worse, things will be silent again (except for few consistent protestors), and hence that it's all about ousting Trump rather than justice in general.

Case in point: Obama halted people coming in from Iran in 2011 (for 6 months) and nobody said much of anything. Or how about this: Trump said he'll get rid of 3 million illegal immigrants and all went crazy. Well, Obama has the record thus far with 2.5 million deportations, but nobody seemed to care back then.


Stopping issuing visas in itself would be bad for US reputation. I know many Iranians who really work hard to get a visa for the USA to visit the country they long for at least once in their life. As there is no US embassy in Iran (for good reasons, by the way), they usually have to travel to Turkey at least twice. One couple I know came to Germany for two weeks just to get their visa from the American consulate here. They were so freaking happy to visit the USA for two weeks (they just got home a week before inauguration).


>As there is no US embassy in Iran (for good reasons, by the way),

Yeah, the Iranian government tends to get a little "clingy" with US citizens that have good leverage power for bargaining.


Totally agree that it is not the right move. But that policy at least would not have been so strongly contended.


Iran is not a war-torn country.

And this doesn't just ban immigrants, it bans green-card and visa holders too.


So just like Obama did back in 2011 for 6 months and nobody batted an eyelid?



>“Immigration authorities soon began rechecking all Iraqi refugees in America, reportedly comparing fingerprints and other records with military and intelligence documents in dusty archives. About 1,000 soon-to-be immigrants in Iraq were told that they would not be allowed to board flights already booked. Some were removed from planes. Thousands more Iraqi applicants had to restart the immigration process, because their security clearances expired when the program stalled. Men must now pass five separate checks, women four, and children three.”

Sounds pretty similar to me, including a 60% drop in incoming immigrants from Iraq the year that took place compared to the previous and next year.

Let's see how WP differentiates the two cases:

First, they say that Obama "responded to an actual threat" whereas Trump "issued his executive order without any known triggering threat".

So being pro-active in this case is bad? Isn't that the whole idea behind threat prevention? It's not like Trump invented a threat in a new domain where there is known to be none -- we called for potential threats in the same domain (immigration from certain regions) where actual threats have been discovered previously, including under Obama. And ISIS wasn't even a thing back then, nor several big attacks have happened yet in France and Germany.

2) Second, they say that "Obama did not announce a ban on visa applications". And then they excuse that the effective result was similar anyway: "There was certainly a lot of news reporting that visa applications had slowed to a trickle. But the Obama administration never said it had a policy to halt all applications".

3) Third, they say that "Obama’s policy did not prevent all citizens of that country, including green-card holders, from traveling to the United States".

Which is probably the main point they get that can stand on its legs -- though government spokespersons deny that this is the case (even if that was the intention or unintended consequence of the command as issued).

That said, the people accepted as immigrants into the US, either under Obama (and even less now with Trump's order) the last 3 years from Iraq and Syria are an insignificant amount. And that from a region where millions fled to escape, and have been asking for asylum all over Europe etc.



They do however have that whole 'Death to America' thing going on:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iran-marks-revolution-deat...


It's not just "a 90-day ban on immigrants coming from war-torn countries" - the fact that Christians from those countries are exempt makes it explicitly a "muslim ban".


> makes it explicitly a "muslim ban".

No, 'explicitly a Muslim ban' would say 'this is a ban on Muslims'.

Do consider that the list of proscribed countries is compiled between the Departments of Homeland Security and State, not by the President, and is published in the Federal Register. The fact that the majority on that list currently coincide with dominant Muslim populations might have been useful for Mr Trump's intent but is not guaranteed to persist.

The list was last updated in February 2016.


It's also worth pointing out that none of the top 5 most populous Muslim countries in the world are on the list.

In fact, you could argue it's just as much a ban on countries the US is currently bombing, as it is on Muslim countries.


They've actually inadvertently included a bunch of Mizrahi Jews in the ban, too.


I'm encouraged by those who realize that they have a responsibility to our country. Freedoms are not only fought for with guns and tanks. Nor is voting our only responsibility.

And beyond the politics and policy, we all have a role in developing our culture. I hope we will all choose patience and education of one another rather than condemnation and divisiveness.


"We lead the free world. And we do it by taking the higher moral ground, doing what is right before doing what is expedient."

It's at this point that you know for sure Jeff is ignorant of American government policy.

His heart seems in the right place and he's taking some important steps. But along with it I think he needs to educate himself. Can't fix problems you don't even believe exist.


I wholeheartedly agree with this post. We may regret that the wakeup call didn't come through earlier, but late is better than never.


Having the luxury of time and money like the OP has allows for an extensive checklist like this. Kudos for putting it out there and for fighting a good fight. However, many people don't have the bandwidth or financial stability to divert activity away from non-stability generating activities.

Sadly the more I thought about this, the more I'm finding it difficult to see any internet posts as anything other than contributing to a constant stream of agenda pushing and/or humble bragging. FB started it and I fear now we a stuck with everything (including of course these comments) washing away in a sea of noise.


I don't why, but I agree with you. I'm a full-time programmer. The rest of my free time is devoted to my other passions (guitar, music).

I always have arguments with my friends over whether we should take an active interest in politics/policies. I sometimes say, that if you want to, then please join politics full-time, or let the Government do its job.

But the fear exists. You won't do something, until it happens to you. So, people like the OP, have a real sense of empathy which I admire.


I look fondly back on George W Bush, that clever, subtle, wise and compassionate President.


At least he was funny, thats about it. Anybody else saw that video where a lady describes how she works three jobs to make ends meet and he nods and declares it to be "exceptionally American"? So much for GW compassion


>Mexican culture is ingrained deeply into America and we are all better for it.

How is this the case? Multiculturalism is not necessarily a good thing.

I'm reminded of Thiel's The Diversity Myth. We no longer question whether some of these statements are true. Diversity is not necessarily a good thing and sometimes it can actually be detrimental by allowing for the tolerance of mediocre standards in a society.


I wrote this today from a similar place. I've never been more furious at my government than now. https://medium.com/@moultano/they-tried-to-ban-green-card-ho...


[flagged]


This is not the sort of thing we say to fellow community members as part of a civil and thoughtful discussion. Please don't post like this.


what part of that question was uncivil or not thoughtful? challenging their biases? the way it was phrased? using "never?" as a grammitically incorrect sentence? pointing out their hypocrisy?


The reality is that nothing was achieved in helping the poor and those suffering. Empty words and promises. Now that the shit has hit the fan, the well off are actually talking about politics and getting mobilized, because their own interests are on the line.


A very well-reasoned and well-written piece. Thank you.


I have high respect for CodingHorror, which is why I am confused about some of his claims.

Perhaps HN can help me understand a few things:

- why do people claim it is a muslim ban, when really it seems to be a ban on countries that the US is fighting a war with (except Iran)? Whether there is a causality between "at war with the US" and "Muslim" seems to be another question?

- what is the proper US stance on Immigration? Is the "good" line that there should be no borders at all, and everybody should be able to enter at will? Because the wall, crazy as it sounds, seems to be aimed at illegal immigration. So why not fight for better immigration laws, rather than against the wall?

I have read the memes about Jews who were denied entry to the US and then died in the Holocaust. Fair enough, and as a German, I am actually extra concerned about that. I was always very pro asylum laws, because I thought what if one day there is no US to flee to, if shit hits the fan? Still, the examples also show that immigration to the US was never as open as people seem to think.

I am not sure if the temporary ban or the wall are useful measures - I am not a fan of Trump's politics as such (not all of it anyway). But I still think criticism should be reasonable. It seems reasonable for example to ban people from a country you are at war with from entering. Maybe people are just in denial about being at war? It is only droning, not real war? To be honest it reminds me a bit of Bill Clinton not having sex.

I am not sure illegal immigrants from Mexico are hurting the US - maybe they benefit everyone by providing cheap labor. But then, why not change the immigration laws, rather than pound on an arbitrary measure for enforcing the existing laws?


> why do people claim it is a muslim ban, when really it seems to be a ban on countries that the US is fighting a war with (except Iran)? Whether there is a causality between "at war with the US" and "Muslim" seems to be another question?

Because it omits Christians from the ban? Because it bans legal visa holders and (initially) permanent residents, who, I repeat, went through the immigration process legally and now are suddenly banned based on the country of their origin? Because, Rudy Giuliani, the White House Adviser, literally admitted on live television that Trump tasked him to find a legal version of a "muslim ban"? How else are you supposed to see it, "it's not a muslim ban, it's just a ban on people who happen to be muslim specifically because their religion"?


Perhaps the US is at war with Muslim groups in those countries, so it makes sense to (temporarily) ban Muslims? But how do they make sure someone is really a Christian?

Also the ban seems temporary to give them time to improve security checks.

Not saying it was handled well, but perhaps there is no other sensible way to do it? If you announce it beforehand, people you want to filter out will just rush to get through the door?

As for the Giuliani leak, I don't know - why not stick to actual policies, rather than rumors?


> Perhaps the US is at war with Muslim groups in those countries, so it makes sense to (temporarily) ban Muslims? But how do they make sure someone is really a Christian?

That's the entire point, enforcing religious tests is absurd.

> Not saying it was handled well, but perhaps there is no other sensible way to do it? If you announce it beforehand, people you want to filter out will just rush to get through the door?

Yes, shocking enough, due process is necessary. And perhaps we don't grant visas and green cards to people who are considered dangerous then?

> As for the Giuliani leak, I don't know - why not stick to actual policies, rather than rumors?:

I'm fairly certain you're gaslighting at this point, but you can hear from Giuliani on live television himself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF2k11QQW0g.


"That's the entire point, enforcing religious tests is absurd."

Are Christians actually exempt, or are you referring to the "prioritization of people who are religiously persecuted", who happen to include Christians in those Muslim countries?

"Yes, shocking enough, due process is necessary. And perhaps we don't grant visas and green cards to people who are considered dangerous then?"

But that seems to be the goal? I don't understand you?

"Guiliani" - will watch later, can not watch videos right now.


> prioritization of people who are religiously persecuted", who happen to include Christians in those Muslim countries?

Christians are hardly persecuted in Muslim countries.

> But that seems to be the goal? I don't understand you?

A blanket ban is not due process. These people were legally allowed to immigrate, and a ban (thereby leaving them off of American soil) is not due process.


"Christians are hardly persecuted in Muslim countries."

You mean, for example, a Christian family living on IS territory would be just fine? That seems very unlikely to me. But perhaps I have fallen victim to fearmongering about the IS.

"A blanket ban is not due process."

I am not saying it was handled well, but it seems an important distinction to note that the ban is temporary. The assumption seems to be that the checks previously in place were insufficient.


>You mean, for example, a Christian family living on IS territory would be just fine? That seems very unlikely to me. But perhaps I have fallen victim to fearmongering about the IS.

How is this any different from Muslim families fleeing the ravages in Aleppo? Do you really think Muslim families are in any better position than Christian ones?

>I am not saying it was handled well, but it seems an important distinction to note that the ban is temporary. The assumption seems to be that the checks previously in place were insufficient.

Temporary and be to be extended at the sole discretion of Trump, and indefinite for Syrians. Tell the families that seek asylum this is temporary. Hell tell the people who went through the legal immigration process, the ones who have lived in the US for years that suddenly their lives in America was not enough vetting. Do you even realize how hard it is to get a visa to get into America from one of these countries?


"How is this any different from Muslim families fleeing the ravages in Aleppo?"

Not everybody lives in Aleppo.

"Do you really think Muslim families are in any better position than Christian ones?"

Um - yes? If you live in a state were non-believers are executed, for example?

The point is not that no Muslims are worse off than Christians. Just that "Christian" could be a heuristic for checking "persecution status" in certain countries.

"Hell tell the people who went through the legal immigration process, the ones who have lived in the US for years that suddenly their lives in America was not enough vetting"

You mean green card holders? Sorry, I don't know enough about the process. But sure, it seems harsh. I hope they'll get their immigration status back asap.


Minor corrections that we have been in a cold war with Iran, and a hot war with Islamic terrorism, both for a long time.

Walls are only crazy when the USA builds one; Israeli walls are great as is every other wall on the planet. Only USA walls are bad. Why? Donno.

You mention you're German, we treat our illegals as a slave racial underclass. On paper everyone gets OSHA protection, in practice only white people get OSHA protection, Americans are extremely racist. Essentially they hold the bottom social position that blacks had pre-civil rights. They are a form of corporate welfare in that their wages paid by the corporation are extremely low but the programs required for their entire families that are paid for by the citizen taxpayers at immense expense (those citizens are being driven out of work, so in the long run this pyramid scheme of a scam will run out of gas). Sort of the walmart effect (have the government pay the difference between the total cost of living and the pay we're willing to provide) but stronger.

I think the analogy to the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 is useful, why if only we had opened our hearts when the planes appeared on the horizon, then the Japanese refugees would have simply landed their planes and opened Sushi shops in Hawaii, it all our fault that they killed thousands of military and civilians in a sneak attack, and saying anything bad about them or their actions is racist and horrible and especially above all else deplorable. There must not be thought and reasoning about the topic, only Pavlovian conditioned emotional response is acceptable discourse on the topic.


> how negligent and dangerous Trump is as the leader of the free world.

A torture-endorsing leader of the free world is like the meat-eating leader of vegetarians. Trump is simply not part of the free world, and therefore not it's leader.


Jeff makes the point that we are on the verge of a Nuclear DOOMSDAY - Common be serious. Don't make such extraordinary claims without providing extraordinary evidence. Ridiculous.


1) it's a temporary ban.

2) it doesn't target muslims, it targets people from failed states

3) it is a continuation and more intense version of previous travel bans passed by the Obama administration

4) isis has repeatedly said that they are actively sending sleeper agents to Europe and America posing as refugees


Beautiful post, thank you.


While I agree with most everything Jeff says and it's really well written, I'm always a bit irked when I see the the president of the US being called "Leader of the Free World".

Especially when it's stated in those terms: "We lead the free world. And we do it by taking the higher moral ground, doing what is right before doing what is expedient."

I'm not sure the US can still qualify as leading the free world under those terms. Ask people who were tortured by Pinochet, look at the coup in Haiti in 1991, look at what happened in Iraq and the lie around the Weapon of Mass Destructions, look at Gitmo. Are those the actions of "leaders of the free world"?

I do wish that the US could become worthy of being called leaders of the free world but they're not there yet and with Trump, they're not going in the right direction.


The "free world" is pretty meaningless since the Cold War ended. It never really meant "free" anyway -- Pinochet's and Franco's regimes were as much a part of it as Western democracies. What it really meant was the "anti-Soviet world".


Yes, the term "the free world" comes from the Cold War propaganda but it doesn't stop the fact that the US, as an economic powerhouse, has a disproportionate influence on the rest of the world and this is why I would want it to be worthy of the name "Leader of the Free World".

It's unfortunately not and I think that people repeatedly calling them that tends to legitimize the US actions.


I see a browser extension potential here. Substitute Soviet with Russia/China and call it a day.


That's nonsense. Spain under Franco wasn't considered part of the "free world". To a first approximation, it referred to countries in NATO, plus a few allied countries like Sweden and Japan.


This is the second political post I've seen sky rocket on HN this morning. I assume a mod intervened on the last one since it disappeared rather quickly.

Do we really want to start political discussions in HN? Politics creates enough friction between people in real life let alone discussions with strangers over the internet.


I think so.

Communities that aren't willing to deal with this tragedy that's rapidly unfolding in America aren't communities I want to be a part of.


This is a tech community, we aren't supposed to deal with politics.

What tragedy are you talking about? I think what's happening is great, Europe should start embracing a similar policy(assuming you are talking about the refugee ban).

Here is a tip: whenever you feel overly sensitive about something in politics, ask yourself the question: why did this happen? how did we get here? and look up people who have an opinion opposite to yours, not just the ones who feel like you.


That's the problem with political posts. One side sees it as good, one side sees it as a tragedy, and then the remaining 80%+ of the people are subjected to the bickering.


If 80% of people don't care then that's even more reason to have these discussions. There is no excuse for disengagement at a time like this. Disinterest and silence are allies of oppression.


How exactly is watching one group of people call another group racists over and over going to help someone engage? Particularly if they are a citizen of Hong Kong?


I think it straddles a fine line. Some things are so important that it is worth it to get the HN community's take on it. Is Donald Trump one of those things? I tend to think not. I guess the fact that this was posted by Jeff Atwood tips the balance towards it being accepted.


Are we supposed to ignore that our coworkers from these countries can now no longer visit their families or leave the country? Seems a lot more relevant than a point release in some JS framework IMO.


HN has been full of political and sociological discussion forever.


Somebody said it very well in an article not long ago: "Computers are knowledge. Knowledge is power. And power is politics".


ye, this place is for talking about tech or problems and solutions to problems. This is just soapboxing.


a.k.a. keeping one's head in the sand.


its more diplomatic than that. I have very strong opinions I just choose where I present them and where I dont. We're engineers, we're here to share with other engineers and solve problems irrespective of the other engineers beliefs, political alignments or whims. I would not want to turn this place into another spot for activism, there are other fine spots for that sort of thing.

Lets talk about code and business please.


OK. For a while there this weekend, some of your employees/co-workers who had been legally present and working in the United States couldn't gain re-entry to the United States if they happened to have been traveling.

But of course that's "just politics". Nobody should talk about it on HN. No business impact whatsoever. Nope. None. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada. A goose egg. No idea why that suddenly got some tech execs to get up and go out and express their carefully-vetted couched opinion that perhaps hypothetically it might from some perspectives be worth considering the possibility of expressing a hint of tentative questioning as to whether the best policy might not be being pursued.

Here's a hint: there is no separating out the "politics". Whether you realize it or not, what you're really doing is trying to separate "things which I perceive to directly personally affect me right at this moment" (on-topic) from "things which I perceive to directly and personally affect other people and not me, or which I perceive to not currently affect me" ("politics", off-topic). The problem with this, of course, is that for every thing that affects you, there'll be another person who is or perceives him/herself to be unaffected and declare your issue "politics". And for every issue you declare "politics" there'll be another person who is or perceives him/herself to be affected and dispute it with you.


I'm not from America. This doesn't directly impact me. I am interested in the outcome and I post in my communities about the topic with _strong_ opinions, much stronger than you even manage here. Those communities are clearly labelled "POLITICS".

This is hacker news. We have a job to do, irrespective of what the electorate choose we build solutions to make the world better. We inform each other as to what problems are spawning from the political spectrum and how to mitigate those in our solution building. We fix problems. What we tend not to do is devolve into political activism as that is an orthogonal interest to our skills as engineers and most importantly is often requiring of solutions that run counter to our skill set.

Lets leave the politics aside and stop pushing soap box crap like this to the top of the page please.


Engineers are people, my friend.

One of the lessons learned from history is the danger of professionals considering their actions to be removed from politics and morals, and their jobs to be just implementing whatever their boss wants from them (c. f. Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil": http://amzn.to/2kMX4Wd)


This a blog post by a well know person in tech on a blog that is normally about tech. It is not like the front page is suddenly full of op-eds.


This is hysteria.

"he signed an executive order that literally, not figuratively, banned Muslims from entering the US"

Of the 10 countries with the largest Muslim populations, only one - Iran - has been restricted: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/muslims/pf_15-04-02_proje...

The list of countries was previously drawn up by the Obama administration. I'm not in favor of the restrictions, but there is no need to make things up.


- It was a ban of people from 7 muslim-dominated countries

- It excepts non-Muslims (religious test)

- It includes dual-citizens, and permanent residents. Even when you become the citizen of another country, you're still tainted according to the EO. Even when you've been vetted for the green card, you're still tainted.

- Guiliani is on the record that Trump said "I want a Muslim ban" and this was drafted to be the "most legal" way to do this, and a compromise from "ban all people from all muslim countries"

- There is no correlation between the list of countries and terrorist attacks on US soil. None of these country's citizens have contributed to attacks in over 40 years. Imagine England banning Irish citizens for the IRA.

Trump called for a Muslim ban over the campaign, asked for it as president, Guiliani gave what he thought to be a muslim ban, no other executive office seemed to give input. Not sure what else this could be but a muslim ban.


In addition to the substance of the executive order, the implementation was chaotic and poorly planned. The spokesperson for the DHS said on Saturday the order "will bar green card holders" [1], then one day later the secretary of the DHS releases a statement effectively reversing that position with a very odd press release [2].

It is one thing to give the benefit of the doubt to an administration with a history of well thought out and well implemented policies. It is another to give the benefit of the doubt to an administration that didn't even have the foresight to consider how the ban would affect legal permanent residents and then took 2 days to make up their minds about it.

1: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-immigration-green...

2: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/statement-secretary-john...


> Guiliani gave what he thought to be a muslim ban,

It's pretty poor as an effort if that's what it was meant to be. At least 70% of the World's Muslim population aren't banned.

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/muslims/pf_15-04-02_proje...

I'm not even a USian but I find myself posting on these threads because otherwise-rational people are posting irrational, inaccurate statements.

We wouldn't accept people saying 'withdrawing FTP access for kernel.org is a ban on FTP!!!'. So why don't we extend that rationality to other domains?


The BBC had an article pointing out that Trump has business interests in Egypt, Saudi, and Pakistan, and no business interests in any of the banned countries.

Also, when people talk about 'muslims' in these Anglo countries of ours, they're generally not imagining Indonesians or Malays. In the US it's middle-eastern muslims. In the UK, you can add south asians to that mix. Even here in Australia, 'muslim' doesn't evoke imagery of Indonesians, even though we're right next-door to them and have decent trade links. And before Boko Haram made the news, the general public had no idea that muslims lived in sub-saharan Africa, except maybe around the horn near the Arabian peninsula.

In short, it's an "anglo stereotype of muslims" ban, minus countries with good business links.


> Imagine England banning Irish citizens for the IRA.

The IRA at least came from Ireland, that's like England banning Scots for the IRA.


> It excepts non-Muslims

Can I get a source on that? I just want to read about it, not doubting you.


From the EA:

> "the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality"

In all of these 7 countries the majority religion is Islam, therefore by prioritizing refugee claims by people who practice a minority religion they are de-prioritizing claims by refugees solely due to being muslim.

-----

Also Donald Trump once released a press release stating:

> "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on,"

----

There is no reason to twist the reality of the situation. Donald Trump has talked many times about banning Muslims from entering the US. The text of the bill allows for Muslims to be banned or at least de-prioritized from being able to enter the country due to their religion. Why anybody would assume the main intention of the executive order is not to do the exact thing Donald Trump has talked about doing?


Are you suggesting it's wrong to prioritise religious minorities who are being murdered? Would you, during WW2, say no to Jews, because it would be a 'religious test'? What would be worse, having a religious test or being driven to extinction?


It's not an either-or situation. The refugee program can accept people regardless of religion. The fact that many refugees are Muslim is a reflection of the statistical reality that many of the people afflicted are Muslim. To have a policy that favors the Christian minority makes it seem as if the Syrian/ISIS conflict is specifically one of Islam vs Christianity, which it is not.


What evidence do you have that people of minority religions are being persecuted any more than people of the majority religions? In a country like Syria that is ~90% Muslim, what are the odds that all of the most persecuted people are in the 10% religious minority?

Why even flag them based on religion anyways if you are trying to help people who are being persecuted or murdered? What difference does it make?

During WW2, nobody should have been saying yes or no to Jews solely because they were Jews. It was because the were as a people being persecuted and murdered solely because of their religion that they should have been helped.

And again context is important here. The ban is coming from a person who has stated Muslims should be banned from entering the US because "there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population" and "it is obvious to anybody the hatred [of Americans by Muslims] is beyond comprehension". To ascribe motives to the ban that are counter to what the author of the ban has said again and again seems very dubious.


There is plenty of evidence that Christians are being persecuted in Syria and other places, some even call it genocide: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/13/christians-fle...

US liberals have a blind-spot about it, because they have an image of Christian conservatives refusing to make gay wedding cakes in their head. So Christians can't possibly be persecuted! The usual US narcissism.


> Are you suggesting it's wrong to prioritise religious minorities who are being murdered?

You're apparently assuming people not from these minority religions aren't being murdered for some inane reason. How about prioritising people who are getting murdered regardless of the underlying reason?

> Would you, during WW2, say no to Jews, because it would be a 'religious test'?

Apparently you would, during WW2, say no to 7th day adventists, gays or socialists.

Incidentally your invocation of Jews in WWII is interesting given the administration's all-live-matter-ing of these exact same WWII jews on Remembrance Day, confirmed to have been intentional.

> What would be worse, having a religious test or being driven to extinction?

How about neither and judging each and every application instead of applying nonsensical blanket bans?


> You're assuming people not from these minority religions aren't being murdered.

No I'm not.

> Apparently you would, during WW2, say no to 7th day adventists, gays or socialists.

No I wouldn't.


1. They are prioritising persecuted minorities

and

2. Most of the worlds Muslims aren't in a banned country.

Stop trying to mislead.


Well it says that people from a religion which has the majority in a country are probably not persecuted for their religion. That sounds lie a pretty reasonable assumption?


I can't find any mention of Islam, Muslims, Christians etc in the order: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/27/donald-trump...

And are you suggesting it's wrong to prioritise religious minorities who are being murdered? Would you, during WW2, say no to Jews, because it would be a 'religious test'?


Funny how you should use that example. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/us-government-turned-a...

The "we'll turn away a whole group of refugees because they come from a war-torn area and some tiny fraction of them might be hostile" was used exactly during WW2 to say no to Jews, and the same argument is used now to turn away refugees from Syria.


The opposite situation was the Interahamwe who had just committed genocide in Rwanda, and skipped over the border to Congo, only to be housed and fed by international aid organisations. They were fleeing, so they must be poor refugees!


The Christian exemption in the EO is evidence the EO is using a religious test to exclude Muslims. Accepting refugees who are persecuted due to religion is quite different.


What Christian exemption?


Read the rest of this thread. Stop sealioning. Or read the EO where it calls out minority religions in countries with a majority Islamic population, coupled with Trump specifically saying he'd prioritize christians in the media.


I guess you'll be happier if minority religions were murdered rather prioritized. "We can't prioritise Jews being murdered by Nazis - we must cover our eyes and ignore it"

Perhaps it's only Christians you want murdered.


>It excepts non-Muslims (religious test)

Source please?


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/trump_executive_o...

""" (b)Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. """

""" (e)Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship —and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States. """

I can't even find the EO on whitehouse.gov.




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