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BANGKOK 23 March 2019 13:53
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California tells Trump that lawsuit over border wall is 'imminent'

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9 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

I'd like to discuss the ethics of Trump's proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border.
I'm not American, but Australian, so I'm not very familiar with American practices and lifestyles. However, in Australia, most people have fences or walls surrounding their property, whether it's a suburban home or a farm, and I assume that is also the case in America.
Some properties are in gated communities, surrounded by a high wall, with access only through a gate which opens after entering a specific pin number.

 

Many owners of properties keep dogs, and put warning signs to deter any intruders, like, 'Beware of dangerous dogs', or, 'This property is continuously monitored by video cameras', and 'Private property; Intruders will be prosecuted', and so on.
I assume this situation is similar to that in the USA, is it not? However, Australia is a large island and doesn't have a land border with another country. Even without a land border, we have had a lot of trouble with refugee boat people who have paid smugglers to 'unsafely' transport them to Australia, often with loss of life at sea. But let's not get into that discussion.

 

The issue that concerns me is the 'apparent' hypocrisy of those who are against the building of the wall along the Mexican border. I say 'apparent' because I don't know their precise circumstances. Perhaps someone like 'Bristolboy', on this forum, who is clearly against the building of the wall, actually lives on a property with no fence or wall, grows fruit trees in his garden, and allows anyone to walk into his garden and help themselves to the fruit. I don't know.

 

However, if those who are against the building of the wall, are not also against surrounding their own property with a secure fence and gate to deter intruders, then it seems irrefutable that such people must be hypocrites when they attack Trump's agenda to build a wall along the Mexican border.

 

Just a point for discussion. 😉
 

The pro and cons have been extensively discussed in various threads. I hope you have time to read them.

About your comparison: people are free to do what they want with their own money, I.e. build a wall around their house.

In this case it is about taxpayer's money. Trump promised Mexico would pay for his wall and now wants taxpayer's to pay for it. All polls show that a large majority of citizen does not want to pay for it.

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11 minutes ago, candide said:

The pro and cons have been extensively discussed in various threads. I hope you have time to read them.

I have.

 

About your comparison: people are free to do what they want with their own money, I.e. build a wall around their house.

 

Of course they are. I'm not disputing that. The point I'm making is that I've seen very few properties in Australia with no fence, or wall, and gate.

 

In this case it is about taxpayer's money. Trump promised Mexico would pay for his wall and now wants taxpayer's to pay for it. All polls show that a large majority of citizen does not want to pay for it.

 

That is a separate issue. It's obvious that Trump has no authority to instruct Mexico to pay for the wall. I agree that that was just a political ploy to address any concerns that the American voters would have about the expense of building a wall.

 

I don't think it is reasonable to expect Mexico to even contribute to the cost of building the wall, just as I wouldn't expect any property owners adjoining a gated community, housing the wealthy, to contribute towards the cost of building the wall surrounding that community.
 

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34 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

I'd like to discuss the ethics of Trump's proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border.
I'm not American, but Australian, so I'm not very familiar with American practices and lifestyles. However, in Australia, most people have fences or walls surrounding their property, whether it's a suburban home or a farm, and I assume that is also the case in America.
Some properties are in gated communities, surrounded by a high wall, with access only through a gate which opens after entering a specific pin number.

 

Many owners of properties keep dogs, and put warning signs to deter any intruders, like, 'Beware of dangerous dogs', or, 'This property is continuously monitored by video cameras', and 'Private property; Intruders will be prosecuted', and so on.
I assume this situation is similar to that in the USA, is it not? However, Australia is a large island and doesn't have a land border with another country. Even without a land border, we have had a lot of trouble with refugee boat people who have paid smugglers to 'unsafely' transport them to Australia, often with loss of life at sea. But let's not get into that discussion.

 

The issue that concerns me is the 'apparent' hypocrisy of those who are against the building of the wall along the Mexican border. I say 'apparent' because I don't know their precise circumstances. Perhaps someone like 'Bristolboy', on this forum, who is clearly against the building of the wall, actually lives on a property with no fence or wall, grows fruit trees in his garden, and allows anyone to walk into his garden and help themselves to the fruit. I don't know.

 

However, if those who are against the building of the wall, are not also against surrounding their own property with a secure fence and gate to deter intruders, then it seems irrefutable that such people must be hypocrites when they attack Trump's agenda to build a wall along the Mexican border.

 

Just a point for discussion. 😉
 

That has been discussed many times already.

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1 minute ago, stevenl said:

That has been discussed many times already.

Then please provide the links to the specific posts that have discussed the ethics. I seem to have missed them.

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1 hour ago, VincentRJ said:

I'd like to discuss the ethics of Trump's proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border.
I'm not American, but Australian, so I'm not very familiar with American practices and lifestyles. However, in Australia, most people have fences or walls surrounding their property, whether it's a suburban home or a farm, and I assume that is also the case in America.
Some properties are in gated communities, surrounded by a high wall, with access only through a gate which opens after entering a specific pin number.

 

Many owners of properties keep dogs, and put warning signs to deter any intruders, like, 'Beware of dangerous dogs', or, 'This property is continuously monitored by video cameras', and 'Private property; Intruders will be prosecuted', and so on.
I assume this situation is similar to that in the USA, is it not? However, Australia is a large island and doesn't have a land border with another country. Even without a land border, we have had a lot of trouble with refugee boat people who have paid smugglers to 'unsafely' transport them to Australia, often with loss of life at sea. But let's not get into that discussion.

 

The issue that concerns me is the 'apparent' hypocrisy of those who are against the building of the wall along the Mexican border. I say 'apparent' because I don't know their precise circumstances. Perhaps someone like 'Bristolboy', on this forum, who is clearly against the building of the wall, actually lives on a property with no fence or wall, grows fruit trees in his garden, and allows anyone to walk into his garden and help themselves to the fruit. I don't know.

 

However, if those who are against the building of the wall, are not also against surrounding their own property with a secure fence and gate to deter intruders, then it seems irrefutable that such people must be hypocrites when they attack Trump's agenda to build a wall along the Mexican border.

 

Just a point for discussion. 😉
 

Hello VincentRJ.

You are coming to this discussion very late as your point is a prime example of false equivalence and has been discussed in depth before (see my post number 66 on page 5).

If we were to take your point at it's face value the easy refute would be that if these people trying to steal your 'fruit' were as determined as illegal immigrants, they would be tunneling under your fence, flying over your fence and driving through the main gateway of your property, therefore negating the fence altogether. Also, you might want to think twice about a fence that costs 50 times more than the value of the fruit it is protecting.  

It is tempting to boil down very complicated arguments to something that you can personally relate to (and a fence around your own property certainly looks similar) but there is no real equivalence, as a fence around your property probably would deter people from stealing your 'fruit', whilst there are much more effective ways for Trump to deter people from entering the US illegally than building an ineffectual and VERY expensive wall.  

 

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1 hour ago, VincentRJ said:

That is a separate issue. It's obvious that Trump has no authority to instruct Mexico to pay for the wall. I agree that that was just a political ploy to address any concerns that the American voters would have about the expense of building a wall.

The financing by Mexico was a quite marginal issue in my post. My point is that you are comparing two issues that are not directly comparable, from an ethical point if view or from another.

People build walls around their private properties for different reasons, which can be economic, protective or even cultural. For example, people put fences to prevent cattle from wandering outside, to protect themselves from burglars, or to prevent other people from looking inside (i.e. in Muslim countries walls are usually high). And they do it with their own money.

It is a totally different issue to build or not a wall in certain sections of the border of a country (in this case mainly in desertic areas or along rivers. And it is also a totally different issue to decide what to do with taxpayers' money. Here the ethical issue is: is it ethical to spend a lot of money for disputable outcomes (while arguing with inaccuracies and lies)? Is it ethical to spend taxpayers's money for something a large majority of taxpayer's don't agree with.

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38 minutes ago, candide said:

People build walls around their private properties for different reasons, which can be economic, protective or even cultural.

Exactly! Good point! People build walls for economic, protective, and cultural reasons, whether it's a personal, individual property that's being protected, or a much larger community, such as an entire country like the USA. The principle is the same in all cases. The difference is in the scale and the cost of the protective wall.

 

The Mexican border wall is estimated to cost 5.7 billion. Let's agree that that is an underestimate and that the true cost will be 10 billion dollars, or more.

 

In the USA, according to my internet search, there are approximately 128 million households, many of which will have fences or walls costing perhaps a minimum of several hundred dollars, and sometimes thousands of dollars.

 

If we divide 10 billion by 128 million, we get $78. That means that every householder in America would have to contribute just $78 for the Mexican border wall to be built, if the full cost were gathered directly from all householders. The entire cost will not be attributed to them, so the cost should be no major concern, just a one-off charge of a very few dollars for each individual tax payer.
 

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35 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

The Mexican border wall is estimated to cost 5.7 billion. Let's agree that that is an underestimate and that the true cost will be 10 billion dollars, or more.

 

I'm going with option d: much, much more, because these cost estimates do not include many peripheral expenses, such as the enormous cost of building a road that can support the heavy trucks and construction equipment that will need access along the entire border.

 

 

Quote

In the USA, according to my internet search, there are approximately 128 million households, many of which will have fences or walls costing perhaps a minimum of several hundred dollars, and sometimes thousands of dollars.

 

If we divide 10 billion by 128 million, we get $78. That means that every householder in America would have to contribute just $78 for the Mexican border wall to be built, if the full cost were gathered directly from all householders. The entire cost will not be attributed to them, so the cost should be no major concern, just a one-off charge of a very few dollars for each individual tax payer.
 

 

By this reasoning, even $100 billion would be a bargain because what family wouldn't mind giving up a mere $780 for national security?  We could even spread it out over two years so it would be $32 a month.  How cheap affordable is that?!

 

This cost-juggling is an exercise in futility because it has already been noted that several billion is not that much compared to the overall budget.  The issue is that the wall will be ineffective, disruptive to the ecosystems and not address the alleged "emergency" of drugs, murderers and rapists flooding into the country.  That means even a "cheap" $1 billion border wall should be voted down.

 

I don't care how cheap it is.  It won't work.

 

 

Edited by attrayant

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1 hour ago, johnnybangkok said:

Hello VincentRJ.

You are coming to this discussion very late as your point is a prime example of false equivalence and has been discussed in depth before (see my post number 66 on page 5).

If we were to take your point at it's face value the easy refute would be that if these people trying to steal your 'fruit' were as determined as illegal immigrants, they would be tunneling under your fence, flying over your fence and driving through the main gateway of your property, therefore negating the fence altogether. Also, you might want to think twice about a fence that costs 50 times more than the value of the fruit it is protecting.  

It is tempting to boil down very complicated arguments to something that you can personally relate to (and a fence around your own property certainly looks similar) but there is no real equivalence, as a fence around your property probably would deter people from stealing your 'fruit', whilst there are much more effective ways for Trump to deter people from entering the US illegally than building an ineffectual and VERY expensive wall.  

 

Hello Jonnybangkok,
I've read your post #66 and see nothing which describes my point of view as a false equivalent. People build fences and walls around their property, not just to protect any fruit and vegetables they might be growing, but to deter people from stealing anything that is lying around, especially when they are away from there property, when they sometimes lock the gate, as well as locking the house.

 

The purpose of the fence or wall is to make it more difficult for people to intrude, but we should all know that a burglar who is really intent on entering the house, because he thinks there might be a few diamonds lying around, inside the house, will devise strategies to climb over fences or walls, and pick locks to get into the house.

 

The point you seem to have missed is, if entry through normal channels such as airports are subjected to increased scrutiny to prevent drug smuggling and illegal entrants, then such people will revert to border crossings where there are no checks and no wall.

 

The wall is not the whole solution, but a major and necessary part of the solution.

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8 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

People build fences and walls around their property

 

Are you suggesting the border wall needs go around the entire country?  Because that's the only thing that makes your comparison work.

 

And how would homeowners deal with the people who legally come and go at all hours to and from their walled property?  Those who have jobs there or are just coming to visit while you're not home?  And how does the homeowner prevent their fence or wall from disrupting the ecosystem and causing harm to local wildlife?

 

Gee, it's almost like your comparison between border walls and private property enclosures is totally daft.

 

Here's a picture of the fence in front of my DC home, just a few blocks from the White House.  I hope you don't think that fence was put up to keep murderers and thieves out.

 

1359366240_dcfence.jpg.d4dd9d26a943ca9d5baae3f3e82ef049.jpg

 

 

Edited by attrayant
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7 minutes ago, attrayant said:

I don't care how cheap it is.  It won't work.

Refer to my reply to Jonnybangkok. The wall by itself will not be sufficient. All potential points of entry have to thoroughly checked. A border with no fence, wall or scrutiny is a serious loophole. I don't understand why some people cannot see this. Seems like an excellent example of denial.

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2 minutes ago, attrayant said:

 

Are you suggesting the border wall needs go around the entire country?  Because that's the only thing that makes your comparison work.

Of course not. Is there a problem with Canadians rushing to the USA for a better lifestyle? 😀

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12 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

Refer to my reply to Jonnybangkok. The wall by itself will not be sufficient. All potential points of entry have to thoroughly checked. A border with no fence, wall or scrutiny is a serious loophole. I don't understand why some people cannot see this. Seems like an excellent example of denial.

 

Not denying anything.  But if you acknowledge that there are bigger holes in the boat, why are we declaring a national emergency over this little pinhole? 

 

The discussion is about the border wall, so that's what we're talking about.  

 

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A border with no fence, wall or scrutiny is a serious loophole.

 

Are you in favor of a northern border wall too?

Edited by attrayant

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47 minutes ago, VincentRJ said:

Hello Jonnybangkok,
I've read your post #66 and see nothing which describes my point of view as a false equivalent. People build fences and walls around their property, not just to protect any fruit and vegetables they might be growing, but to deter people from stealing anything that is lying around, especially when they are away from there property, when they sometimes lock the gate, as well as locking the house.

 

The purpose of the fence or wall is to make it more difficult for people to intrude, but we should all know that a burglar who is really intent on entering the house, because he thinks there might be a few diamonds lying around, inside the house, will devise strategies to climb over fences or walls, and pick locks to get into the house.

 

The point you seem to have missed is, if entry through normal channels such as airports are subjected to increased scrutiny to prevent drug smuggling and illegal entrants, then such people will revert to border crossings where there are no checks and no wall.

 

The wall is not the whole solution, but a major and necessary part of the solution.

You have answered my point yourself.

'The purpose of the fence or wall is to make it more difficult for people to intrude, but we should all know that a burglar who is really intent on entering the house, because he thinks there might be a few diamonds lying around, inside the house, will devise strategies to climb over fences or walls, and pick locks to get into the house'.

Now imagine if that 'burglar' was a family fleeing persecution and destruction in their home country and getting into the US means literally life or death? How determined do you think they might be to get over a mere wall? If the wall is 50 foot, you only need a 50 foot ladder. If it's buried 20 foot into the ground you only need to build a tunnel that goes 21 foot underground. 

The vast amount of illegal immigrants get into the US with the help of 'coyotes'. These are people who do this for a living. Do you think they won't work out how to get over/under/around a wall? There's already 650 miles of fencing in place on the border and that doesn't stop illegal immigration so why would another 1,000 miles do it? And please don't say they are using the bit not protected by the wall as that is not true either. The vast majority come through areas already covered https://www.npr.org/2019/01/10/683662691/where-does-illegal-immigration-mostly-occur-heres-what-the-data-tell-us.

Then there is the problem of land rights (much of the border is private land), water rights (how do you stop lands on the Mexico side getting much needed water), ecological, environmental issues not to mention the vast costs of maintaining said wall.   https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-wall-wont-work

The vast amount of money we are talking here (you are not even close with your $10Billion - try $70 billion ++)  would be put to much better use pursuing and prosecuting employers that hire these illegal immigrants in the first place (take away the incentive and then people have no reason to try such a hazardous trip) and giving resources to the vastly underfunded and understaffed courts that handle asylum seekers. You can also clamp down on people who overstay their visa's as this is how the VAST majority of illegal immigrants get into the US.

It's tempting to think that such a simple solution could immediately stop the problem of illegal immigration but it's simply not the case and only serves as an effective soundbite to appease Trumps ever fervent base who he promised this to so many years ago and who he needs to stir up again to take their mind off the many, many problems he is now facing.     

  

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5 hours ago, johnnybangkok said:

You have answered my point yourself.

'The purpose of the fence or wall is to make it more difficult for people to intrude, but we should all know that a burglar who is really intent on entering the house, because he thinks there might be a few diamonds lying around, inside the house, will devise strategies to climb over fences or walls, and pick locks to get into the house'.

Now imagine if that 'burglar' was a family fleeing persecution and destruction in their home country and getting into the US means literally life or death? How determined do you think they might be to get over a mere wall? If the wall is 50 foot, you only need a 50 foot ladder. If it's buried 20 foot into the ground you only need to build a tunnel that goes 21 foot underground. 

The vast amount of illegal immigrants get into the US with the help of 'coyotes'. These are people who do this for a living. Do you think they won't work out how to get over/under/around a wall? There's already 650 miles of fencing in place on the border and that doesn't stop illegal immigration so why would another 1,000 miles do it? And please don't say they are using the bit not protected by the wall as that is not true either. The vast majority come through areas already covered https://www.npr.org/2019/01/10/683662691/where-does-illegal-immigration-mostly-occur-heres-what-the-data-tell-us.

Okay! You make some reasonable points, so let's examine them in more detail. I assume any substantial wall, especially one that costs $70 billion or more, as you suggest, will be continuously monitored. There would presumably be many stations along the wall, at regular intervals, video cameras, and monitoring devices that can penetrate the ground to detect any tunnels that are being excavated.

 

A wall by itself with no monitoring would definitely be less effective because, as you point out, ladders could be used. However, such a process is more difficult and more time-consuming than skipping through a hole in a broken fence,  or simply walking across a section of the border with no fence or wall at all, so the wall would serve some purpose even if it wasn't thoroughly and continuously monitored. But I can't imagine the US spending so much money on a wall without a continuous monitoring system in place.

 

People who are fleeing a country as a matter of life or death are in a different category. These people are genuine refugees, such as the Rohingya from Myanmar and people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Syria. These people should be placed in well-maintained refugee camps and processed over time for emigration to their country of choice, or any country that will take them. Hopefully, criminals and potential terrorist can be weeded out.

 

I read your linked articles, by the way, and came across some interesting facts. For example, I didn't know that 'Mexican immigrants annually send $26 billion to their families in Mexico, and only half of the Mexican immigrants in the United States are here legally'. The same article also mentions an estimate of the construction cost of the wall at $31.2 billion.
"For the full 1,000 miles, Trump’s 30-foot wall (with a 10-foot tunnel barrier) would cost $31.2 billion, or $31.2 million per mile, according to the best estimate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers."

 

There's no information on whether the illegals send as much money back to Mexico as the legal immigrants. However, if we assume they do, the entire cost of the wall would be approximately equal to the amount of money sent out of America by the illegal Mexican immigrants during a period of just 2 and a 1/2 years.

 

Here's an alternative view from the Wall Street Journal, relating to the effectiveness of a wall.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-silly-arguments-against-a-border-wall-11547165119
 

"They’ll just climb over it, dig under it or break through it. Just like that huh? I spent 10 years as a Navy SEAL, and people often say, “Dan, you know better than anyone how ineffective a wall is.” Actually, I know how effective walls are, even against skilled SEALs. Planning to scale a 30-foot steel slatted barrier is a daunting challenge. Do you bring an enormous ladder all the way there? How do you get down from the top? Jump? Rappel? This isn’t a Tough Mudder course. A few skilled and well-equipped people may figure it out, but the reality is that most will be deterred."

 

"The same goes for “digging” or “breaking.” Tunneling would require special equipment and hundreds of hours to dig under the barrier, the base of which would penetrate many feet underground. To break through it, you’d need specialized circular saws, torches or explosives. Typical equipment for a special-ops team, but not exactly on the packing list for a migrant. And Border Patrol agents would easily detect such a ruckus."

 

Have I not convinced you yet? 😉

 

Then there is the problem of land rights (much of the border is private land), water rights (how do you stop lands on the Mexico side getting much needed water), ecological, environmental issues not to mention the vast costs of maintaining said wall.  

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-wall-wont-work  

 

I don't know. It's not my speciality. I'd have to consult hydrologists. But it might be an opportunity to build a new dam with the dam wall along the border. That adds to the expense of course, but dams tend to have economic benefits, especially in areas subject to floods and droughts.

 

Here's the Wall Street Journal's view on that issue.  "You can’t put a wall on the Rio Grande. Fair enough—there are places where a physical barrier can’t work, such as private land along the river in Texas. You can’t build a wall everywhere—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build one anywhere."

Edited by VincentRJ

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