Link blog: politics, doom, nazi, trump

These Are the Bad Times – Hmm Daily
“Our public conversation misses the fundamental point. The warnings and the rebuttals to the warnings have revolved around the drastic, epochal historical questions: Is this what it was like with the Nazis? Are we becoming the Third Reich? Is that where we’re headed?

What that line of debate overlooks is that going only halfway Nazi would be more than bad enough. Going a quarter of the way Nazi would be. “
(tags: politics trump nazi doom)

Whence came Trump’s list of bad countries?

Where’d Trump get the list of bad countries from which none shall pass (except if they have a Green Card and a court order)? From legislation passed on Obama’s watch, we’re told by various people defending Trump’s latest omnishambles. As Seth Frantzman says, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), the legislation referred to in the Executive Order was signed into law under Obama. However, Frantzman’s commenters make a few interesting points, which I summarise below.

Under the legislation, if you’ve visited one of those countries or are a national of them, this will prevent you from getting a visa waiver.

How’d those countries get into the visa waiver banned list, and is that Obama’s fault? Some of them appear to have been added by a Republican sponsored bill which failed to pass, but became law by getting tagged on to a larger spending bill. This letter is a complaint that Obama had weakened the provisions of that Bill, which, in passing, gives a history of how it became law.

From my extensive viewing of The West Wing, it seems that tagging stuff on to a spending bill is a way to force the point: if you refuse to sign the bill, other important stuff will not be funded. So, it’s not clear how much Obama’s administration approved of the additions (since they apparently went on to weaken it when it was implemented, perhaps they didn’t and their hands were forced, but I haven’t seen any public statements either way by them). Either way, they certainly didn’t ever put that list to the use that Trump has. To use a list to exclude people from getting visa waivers is quite different from using it to bar people outright. Implying that the list of countries in the Executive Order came from Obama is disingenuous.

What about?

Presidents Carter and Obama have blocked visa applications from nationals of certain countries at certain times (Obama in relation to Syria). Pointing out that the other lot did something similar and therefore can’t argue that Trump is wrong to do it is called the tu quoque fallacy.

Link blog: politics, brexit, trump, nuclear

Why Stop Funding Hate deserves answers – Creative Review
“The Stop Funding Hate campaign is gaining traction and giving brands difficult decisions to make.” If you want something you can do, this is something you can do.
(tags: daily-mail newspapers hate daily-express politics)
Why the economy can’t explain Trump or Brexit – OpenLearn – Open University
Authoritarian social attitudes and the rate of change of minority population in an area are better predictors of Trump/Brexit voting than poverty.
(tags: trump brexit psychology authoritarianism politics)
Responding to Tim Keller’s “Making Sense of God” Talk
A shorter and better version than my own rebuttal of the book the talk was based on.
(tags: tim-keller Religion philosophy Atheism)
The President and the bomb | Restricted Data
The US military won’t stop a president from using nuclear weapons, the system is designed to make sure they can do so, not to prevent them.
(tags: politics military nuclear president)