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Diego Green
Wordsmith | Bibliophile | Wanderer
Wordsmith | Bibliophile | Wanderer

Diego's posts

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For +Michelle M​

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I do enjoy Cream & Sugar Magic...

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I am not a writer.

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The real Skittles question is "Is my life more important than that of thousands of refugees?"

If you're so terrified of the world that you'd condemn others to poverty, war, and death rather than take any risks. By all means, go lock yourself in your house with your guns. I'll be out on the street greeting our new neighbors.

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While I agree, the base writing underneath all that polish needs to not be shit as well in order for greatness to be achieved.

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Coming next year: "President Trump authorizes police to use any means necessary to enforce the new national patriotism code. Any citizen seen not paying due respect to the flag, anthem, or any symbol of authority will be detained and stripped of any remaining civil rights."
The national Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Trump. I did not think I could become any more disappointed with American police, but they have found another way.

It is clear that they see Trump as deeply representative of their priorities and likely to stand behind them no matter what. Unfortunately, this makes clear what their priorities are. Police unions have decided that their first and foremost principle is to protect individual officers from any form of accountability, up to and including for rape and murder; they apparently have also decided to include white supremacy in their formal charter.

If you combine this with other police union statements in the past few days - like the Miami union's saying that they will not provide police protection to the Dolphins football team until and unless the team forces its members to stand during the anthem - it has become painfully clear that police unions across the country have converged on a belief that any opposition to them, any suggestion that their power should be less than unlimited, is "anti-cop."

I have always been suspicious of the notion of public sector unions, but police unions have gone so far beyond any prospective worst case of how such a union could behave that their very existence has become unconscionable. The armed forces of a state must always be subordinate to civilian oversight - and a police union which can demand exemption from this, and threaten violence or public disorder (as Miami's just did, and as many others have) if it is not granted, is an enemy of democracy itself. 

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You really can't design a burn more brilliantly than this.
Shaun King asks a fair question about Donald Trump's plan to deport eleven million people over a two-year period. Answering it feels a bit like doing a sociopathic sort of "What If?," but sometimes it's good to see what's actually involved in a policy proposal.

If you want to deport all of these people, you'll have to do a few things:

(1) Figure out who you want to deport.
(2) Round them up.
(3) Transport them to wherever you're deporting them to.
(4) Dump them there and get them to stay.

The biggest things that probably aren't blindingly obvious are:

- Identifying people is harder than it sounds, since it's not like everyone has proof of citizenship tattooed on their arms. You'll have to put people in the field, and they'll have to have a lot of leeway to deal with ambiguous cases. Which is another way of saying they need the power to decree someone an outsider and deport them.

- Rounding people up is easier than it sounds, Ben Carson to the contrary. The police have more guns, and if you're already at the point where the local field commander is willing to say "this entire neighborhood is probably deportable," it turns out that rounding people up and/or shooting resisters isn't very challenging at all. Most people will stop shooting when you threaten to kill their families, and the ones that don't, well, you just kill them and their families.

- Transporting people is much harder than it sounds. 450,000 people per month is a lot; even with serious packing, you can only fit about 80 people into a standard boxcar or truck; a typical modern train might have 140 boxcars or so, which means it can only transport about 11,000 people, and loading them takes time. Unfortunately, people are somewhat scattered out, so if you want this to work, you'll need to use trucks and so on to deliver people to staging areas, where you can store them for a while until a train is ready. Fortunately, there's a lot of prior art on how to concentrate people in a small space while they're getting ready to be loaded on trains.

- Mass-deporting people to an area you don't control is harder than it seems, because the people who control that area are likely to object. You'd probably have to conquer and subjugate Mexico as a first step, and then set up receiving camps on the other end. Unloading areas would have to be fairly heavily armed and guarded, of course, to keep people from attacking you; the logistics are somewhat similar to the staging camps on the sending side, only you have to worry less about killing people.

- Running this is going to be really expensive, so you might consider finding ways for the project to help pay for itself. So long as you have people concentrated in one place, maybe have them do labor as well? They can pay for their own deportation!

So I suppose the good news is that we can answer Shaun's question fairly straightforwardly, because this has been done before and we do know what it looks like. We don't quite have the right expertise in the US, because none of our past mass-deportation efforts were quite at this scale per month; the transatlantic slave trade moved roughly this many people over three centuries, the Trail of Tears moved only about 16,500 people, and the internment of Japanese civilians during WWII only about 110,000. But outside the US, there's much more experience with it; probably the world's top expert on it was Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962), who ran a program very much like this which managed to move people at about this rate. 

Trump's team may be interested in checking him out; there's a tremendous amount written about his system, I'm sure it would be very helpful. And as I noted in a comment below, the design of this program really wasn't easy; they had to iterate through quite a lot of trial solutions before they could come up with a final one. You should always save work by studying prior art when you can.

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This unbridled capitalistic greed needs to end.

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Reposted mainly to highlight the obligatory reaction comment of a man offended by the word 'mansplaining' which, as always, includes a long-winded mansplanation about how the word is incorrectly used. Gotta love it...
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